Ashington keep us on track

A big thanks to Northumberland Railway Walks Society for the work they did on the reserve this week, it is very much appreciated.

Thanks to Jacquline for organising the group that came along and all put in a good shift.

Some of the work party in action:-

Below is a before and after of one of the areas the group worked on.

BEFORE
AFTER

Getting a buzz out of food

I discovered a badgers digging efforts on the reserve, a half excavated bumble bee nest. I assumed that they would be back to finish off what had been started so I put a trail camera on the site and the following clips show who appeared:-

B Movie
B movie – pt 2
Fox B movie

When your in a rut!

Its that time of year when our resident Doe attracts the attention of her male admirers. She seems to have two bucks that are vying for her affections. Here are a few pictures of the goings on.

Those of you of a delicate disposition may want to avert your eyes from the last picture in the sequence as it is an image of deer related ‘hanky panky’.

No1
No 2

The main buck looks like a fine specimen, so hopefully that bodes well for fawns next year.

Full House on Dunces Corner Pond

I was beginning to think they would not arrive but yesterday my Tufted Duck appeared with 6 ducklings.

That completes a full compliment of families for my bird life on Dunces Corner Pond. So we have youngsters for the Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Little Grebe, Swans and now Tufted Duck.

It is very pleasing to see how productive the large pond has been considering it is only just over a year since we put it in.

Kids Growing Up

Our resident Roe deer mum is starting to take the youngsters out a bit more and help them explore the reserve. Here are a few pictures taken over the last two days.

Even daddy deer turned up today
Mum partial to Valarian flowers

Parade of Youngsters

It’s a busy time on the reserve with many youngsters arriving. I thought I would share a few pictures of what we have currently on site, although it’s not a comprehensive parade it does give you a flavour.

Blue Tit

Tree Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
Cygnets
Pheasant
Mallard
Coot
Moorhen
Little Grebe
Bunny Rabbit
Toadlet
Roe Deer Kid
Young Rat

Bunnies do swim, who knew?

There was a touch of excitement at Dunces Corner Pond today where I witnessed something I had not seen before.

There was a squeal down by the pond, as I went down to see what was going on I I heard plop and saw this:-

But what caused this little bunny to jump in the pond?

The answer crept out the undergrowth:-

Unfortunately poor little bunny looked like they had jumped out of the frying pan into the fire as our Swans took exception to our little bunny in there pond. They surrounded the poor thing and started having a go at it, they may have thought it was a rat!

The swans finally decided the bunny was not a threat and let it swim away. It eventually made its way to the edge of the pond.

I had to go and pick it out the pond as it was exhausted, I also chased the rat away that appeared to have been watching and following the bunny along the pond edge. The bunny was cold and bedraggled with an injury to its side, so I put it up on the sandbank to dry out and warm up.

It seems to have lived to fight another day, hurrah!

Abbeyfield Adventure

We hosted two classes from Abbeyfields School on Monday, so that was 60+ year 3 students, plus teachers and parents.

I did a talk on plant structure, pollination and seed dispersal followed by a whirlwind tour of the reserve. It was certainly ‘fast and furious’ but we didn’t lose any and I didn’t spot any falling asleep during my talk, so result!

Many thanks for the kids donations to the reserve, it will help feed my hungry swans and cygnets.

Nature reserve construction and development