Thursday, 16 October 2008

Thursday 16th.October 2008

After two days of hedgelaying up on the Greensand Ridge , and seeing no wildlife at all , today was the first work day of the season on Hayes Common . As I was going to be chainsawing all day , I decided to pop in to Keston Ponds on the way , only to find tree surgeons , with two chainsaws and a chipper working between the middle and bottom pond , and absolutely nothing at all to be seen . So I met up with the other volunteers , and we set to clearing Hawthorn scrub and creating a glade to promote wildlife . All went well and the scrub was cut and burnt off , and just before going home , we had a look at what was to be done next time out . In one corner of the newly creared glade , we found three Broad Leaved Helleborines , one had been nibbled off , but the other two had flowered and gone to seed . We put the fire to bed , and collected up our tools . Where I had put down my tools , and unseen at the time , we found another few BLHs . We put our gear down and had a good look around . Within minutes , we had reached 50 plants , and there are probably more that we didn't find . Our new glade could be really interesting next year .
On the way home , I called in again at Keston Ponds . The tree surgeons had done their job and had gone . On the middle pond were three male and three female Mandarins . They must have been hungry because they came quite close to a lady with a young child , thinking they were going to get some bread , but the slightest movemnent , and they would be gone over to the other side of the pond . When I tried to get closer over the other side , they saw me coming and just paddled back over the original side , most infuriating .
The Mallard family are still intact , mum has done a good job with her five youngsters , if you can still call them that . Mum is bottom left in this picture . A couple of the youngsters are showing a green hue on the tops of their heads , probable drakes .
The Gulls were starting to come in for their night roost , all being Black Headed in winter plumage .
Only other thing of interest was the fact that one of the floating pondweeds , I'm not sure whichone it is , is still in full flower .
When I got home , my wife couldn't wait to tell me of her wildlife encounters today . This afternoon , she went for a walk round the houses , and whilst over by one of the farms , a Common Buzzard passed about 30ft. over her head as she walked on the pavement . She obviously got brilliant views of the bird before it started to gain height and get attacked by the local Corvids . Unfortunately , unlike me , she doesn't carry a camera everywhere she goes . If that wasn't enough , when she got home and made a cup of tea , she sat in the sun lounge , watching the small birds on the feeders , when in comes a Sparrowhawk , missed it's prey first time , shot over the hedge , then doubled back to the feeders . It missed it's prey the second time as well . She was wondering what the third thing was going to be .
Perhaps I should give up volunteering and join her walks , with my camera .

No comments: