Thursday, October 31, 2013

Homemade birdfeed scoop

A cheap, easy and effective bird scoop made by recycling an old milk carton.

Saw the bottom off a 1ltr plastic milk bottle - a serrated bread knife will do the job.  A 500ml bottle works just as well for a smaller scoop.  Keep the lid in place.  Smooth off the edges if they're a little rough.

Remove any label - et voila! A scoop with handle and one plastic bottle recycled into something useful.

Can easily be replaced if it gets lost or damaged.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Telscombe Tye dewpond and fungi - October

With the recent rain the dewpond has filled up nicely.  Not quite up to it's limit but certainly a lot fuller than it was a few weeks ago.  The flowers have died back, making it much easier to see what's there and the regrowth from the hawthorn and rose around the edge.

Telscombe Tye dewpond - October 2013
A solitary southern hawker dragonfly was around briefly but no sign of much else.  I haven't seen the newts for a while now and there are signs of disturbance from dogs around the edge of the pond.  The pond weed has become submerged with the increase in water level.

Parrot waxcaps
I spotted a few yellow-green, waxy mushrooms or toadstools on the grass around the outside of the dewpond.  They're about an inch or so across and shiny.

Photographed as they were in situ - probably disturbed and damaged by sheep, dogs or walkers.

The closest match I can find is parrot waxcaps on a local fungi website.

On the way back there was a small flock of goldfinch and greenfinch along the cross-dyke, a kestrel along the hedgerow and three buzzards up high above the horse field.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Telscombe Tye flock 2013

Telscombe Tye has a new flock.  Alongside the existing grazing flock.  This year's Telscombe flock has been replaced by black faced Suffolk cross sheep.

Suffolk sheep on Telscombe Tye
A mix of young ewes who will hopefully have a more successful breeding season than this year.  I haven't seen the numbers yet but there was quite a high mortality rate for both lambs and sheep this year.

They have distinctive black faces and legs which makes them easier to identify which now belong to the Telscombe flock, rather than having to try and identify them from the coloured spots or their ear tags which weren't always visible.

Black-faced Suffolk sheep
Eight Herdwick sheep have also been bought and will be put out to graze on the e-Piece.  These are a hardier, rare breed sheep and will be able to tackle the brambles, nettles and regrowth.  They're not out there yet but will be as soon as the fencing has been agreed and put in place.

Dog owners - please be aware that if you're around livestock - sheep, cattle or horses - your dog needs to be under close control.  That does not mean running around free or on a long lead.
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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Telscombe Tye dewpond - October

Lovely sunny day for a walk up to the dewpond and to sit on the bench and watch the swallows dipping in for a drink before heading southwards.

Water level is quite low and dogs have been getting in - despite the signs.  Haven't seen the newts for a while - hope they're still in there somewhere and haven't been disturbed by swimming dogs!

Also spotted a red/brown dragonfly.  Too quick for me to identify or photo and I'm not that good at spotting and identifying dragonflies at twenty paces ... yet.