“A fallen tree is like a free playground”

131030 Wild Days Out 20resized by J Day

The title of this blog refers to my quote of the week from Rosie, who made this observation even before we came across the fallen tree pictured above and spent a significant part of the morning on or around it! That quote is closely followed by “Who needs wi-fi when you’ve got nature?”, by Sam. Both children were participants in the autumn themed “Wild Days Out” activity days this week which were thoroughly enjoyed by all, despite the wet weather on Friday.

I, personally, fully endorse both quotes and both go some way to explaining why I think my job and my work are so important and why I so strongly believe that the more experiences like this that I and like-minded people in the Wildlife Trusts and other organisations can provide children, the better our world will be.

Stepping off my soap-box, mixed weather again today – sunshine, showers and wind, though thankfully nothing anywhere near the scale of Sunday night/Monday morning.

We had a family birdwatching event this morning which played host to a select, but very enthusiastic audience! Birds generally speaking were, and are, a bit thin on the ground – a combination of the relatively mild weather having minimised the influx of migrant birds to both woodland and wetland, an abundance of fruits and seeds in the tree’s and hedgerows decreasing the woodland birds need for the bird feeders and then the wet weather dispersing a lot of grazing wildfowl like wigeon, into the valley and thus away from the lakes. Still nuthatches and great spotted woodpeckers performed at the woodland hide where it was also interesting to note that coal tit have now obviously moved back from having summered in the coniferous plantations. Highlight of the morning however was towards the end of the morning/early afternoon at Ivy South Hide where two bittern were confirmed in the reeds to the left (north) of the hide, one flying in from elsewhere whilst another could be seen stalking along the very edge of the reed/water boundary. As far as I am aware there have still been no bittern seen from Ivy North Hide (or the “bittern hide” as it is known to many!), but it doesn’t mean they are not there! Also reported again today, over on Ibsley Water and best seen from Lapwing Hide, was a sighting of the black necked grebe.