Sunday, January 27, 2013

Glynde dewpond clearance

Lovely sunny day, although there was the potential for snow showers later in the afternoon.  There was also a chill wind, so it was just as well we were reasonably sheltered where we were working.

Having cleared the track at the end of last year on the Christmas scrub bash, we were now working on the very overgrown dewpond up on the Glynde estate, near Lewes.

Glynde dewpond - scrub clearing

In fact you wouldn't know there was a dewpond there, just a hollow in the ground surrounded by scrub and filled with small and fallen trees.

Glynde dewpond ... somewhere in there

The scrub was a mixture of pretty thick windblown hawthorn and elder with a few brambles thrown in.    Once you'd broken through the outer barrier of thorns it got a bit easier to tackle the base.

Good effort all round, as by the end of the day, we'd pretty much cleared the outer ring of scrub, which was left to be burnt on a later task.

Glynde dewpond scrub cleared

Saturday, January 26, 2013

RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2013

Well, as ever - any even vaguely unusual visitors to the garden, like the song thrush which had become a regular visitor for a few days in the cold and snow, disappear as soon as it's RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch weekend.

I did manage to get a reasonable tally for my hour watching the birds in my garden.

  • Collared dove x 2
  • House sparrow x 2 - often a small group of 4-5 appear
  • Great tit x 1 - usually one or two around
  • Starling x 3 - sometimes up to 5 at a time
  • Blue tit x 2 - about average - well at least some were consistent
  • Wood pigeon x 3 - usually that number
  • Robin x 1 - of course the other one turned up later - now regularly see 2 in the garden
  • Blackbird x 1 - just the male - often a female and a younger bird visit

This year I decided to take a walk around my local park for an hour too, just to see what was there and knowing that I often see far more birds flying over or sitting in the trees than visit my garden just a few hundred yards away.

So the tally for Chatsworth Park was:

  • Carrion crow x 3
  • Jay x 1 - several around but just saw one at a time
  • Dunnock x 1
  • Robin x 1 
  • Woodpigeon x 18 - several roosting up in the trees, more than counted at one time
  • House sparrow x 12 - noisy little chattering in the bushes by the road
  • Greenfinch x 3 - definitely more around and often see a flock of 20-30 in the trees late afternoon
  • Chaffinch x 2
  • Blue tit x 4
  • Blackbird x 9 - plenty around
  • Magpie x 1 - usually see 2-3
  • Fieldfare x 2 - could have been 3-4 at least
  • Redwing x 7 - with the fieldfare
  • Herring gull x 1 - well we are near the coast, plenty more flying over
  • Collared dove x 1 - surprised to only see one, seeing as there were more in my garden
  • Great tit x 1 - some top and bottom of the park
  • Song thrush x 1 - possibly the one that's been visiting

At least the park is a good source of birds for the surrounding gardens - even if most of the trees aren't native.  It's a mix of woodland and scrub with grassy open spaces, much frequented by dog walkers.

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Snow in Telscombe

A short, sharp burst of snow and everything's covered in a few inches of the white stuff.  I took these on a walk around the area today.

Gorse in the local park - in flower whatever the season and the weather.

Part of the e-Piece covered in snow. 

View of Telscombe Village across the field from the edge of the Tye.

The dewpond on Telscombe Tye with a layer of ice and surrounded by snow.

The dewpond with seed heads and grasses.

View down the Tye towards the coast.

The funeral track on Telscombe Tye in the snow.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

January traditions and nature notes

English: Bust of the god Janus, Vatican museum, .
Bust of the god Janus, Vatican museum
Did you know: Named after the Roman god Janus and traditionally the coldest month of the year but this year looking at being milder than previous winters and still wet.

Nature: Look out for daffodils, snowdrops and crocus starting to work their way up through the soil.  Hazel, catkins and pussy willow may also appear.

Look out for waxwings, which are being spotted around the country as they move in for winter.  Often spotted around car parks feasting on berries.

Traditions: Still carried out in Scotland on the 1st of the month - First-footing involves a visitor arriving with a piece of coal, bread, money and some greenery to bring prosperity and luck to the household.

5th - is Twelfth Night and marks the end of Christmas - the time to take down all those cards and Christmas decorations and pack them away for another year.

13th St Hilary’s day - traditionally the coldest day of the year.  Let's see.

Don't forget the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of this month - 26-27 January.

 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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