Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Spring at Feckenham

Now that Spring is finally springing, although in the last few days it looks like it's going backwards, I thought I'd tell you what is happening at FWM since the excitement of the Slavonian grebe.

The coltsfoot is now in full flower with significantly more than last year in front of the pool hide. There were large numbers of noisy hoverflies (Eristalis pertinax) feeding on these flowers and I found this one keeping guard on the hide door.

Our resident coot is still being its agressive self and has been chasing off another coot which would like to muscle in on its patch.

There are a number of large frogs in the main pool 'croaking' and swimming around. The colour of our frogs varies considerably around the reserve depending on the colour of the ground. Where the peat is black they blend in and are often difficult to spot. What we really would like to see are our elusive toads. No evidence of spawn has been seen for some years and the numbers are probably lower than ever before. One of the contributing factors could be the heron who visits regularly and has been seen catching them from the pooside in the past. We will still keep an eye open again this year for spawn.

Still plenty of deer tracks, both roe and muntjac, and I have found a large number of fresh barn owl pellets under their tree. There was also a fresh pellet under the big crack willow on the northern path (I have yet to dissect a random sample of these and record the contents). Now that the lighter evenings are here I plan to stay late, hopefully, to catch sight of them over the reserve.

Paul, Feckenham

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