Life on the Edge

With the cooler weather starting to bite, quite a number of visitors have been seeking temporary refuge at the Center to warm themselves with a beverage from our excellent range available from the coffee machine.   (end of advertisement).

Elsewhere the wildfowl have taken to loafing on the ice sheets around the edges of the lakes rather than bobbing around on the water, it seems they prefer a firm place to stand but with the option of being able to quickly slip into the water if danger threatens.

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Teal and wigeon on the ice shelf

Overall there is a nice diversity of different species including teal, wigeon, pochard, shoveler, tufted duck and gadwall out on Ivy Lake, providing a majestic spectacle of wildlife behaviour and an opportunity to hone some identification skills.

The woodland hide is now buzzing with plenty of our tit and finch species, including siskin and good numbers of redpoll and a decent smattering of brambling , in with the numerous chaffinches.  An added feature today was the gradual appearance of a mole hill being thrown up a foot or so from the base of one of the feeder supports.  Now getting to be an almost regular feature of the  Woodland Hide area a buzzard cruised through the open(ish) area to the left of the hide.

Last Saturday we put out some feeders in an area close to the Dockens Water to encourage the birds, especially finches and tits, into this woodland area in advance of the local bird Ringers putting out their mist nets early in the New Year. 

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Readers of  early wildlife writers may be familiar with their allusion to what we would now call families and species of animals in terms such as ‘tribes‘ or ‘nations’ . Those of you who   have read my previous postings will know I have a penchant for word play and I was briefly tempted to post an entry last saturday entitled ‘Feeders put out to tempt nation’  — which has an almost familiar ring to it —-but thought better of it!!!!

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