A wealth of wildlife on and around Go Local Food – eventually a list of the birds seen and heard on the Go Local Food fields back when the dawn chorus walk was held:
Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue tit, Bullfinch, Carrion crow, Chaffinch, Chiff-chaff, Cockerel, Collared dove, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Great tit, Greenfinch, House sparrow, Magpie, Pied wagtail, Pheasant, Peacock, Robin, Starling, Swallow, Skylark, Sedge warbler, Song thrush, White throat, Wood pigeon, Wren
Even with the cockerel and the peacock known not to be on the fields but heard locally that is an impressive list. Makes the growing methods we use worthwhile to see and hear the richness of the wildlife.
The wood pigeons are getting clever. Though the covers over crops have stayed in place despite the high winds, the pigeons have worked out how to spot where the wind has lifted the edges and walk in to have a sneaky peck at the brassica edges.
We seem to have a goodly crowd of wrens on the fields. They have been appearing from insect hunts in the long grass as Ian the grower has walked around and fluttered next to him to survey him. As they are such small birds, Ian has noted that their wings have really been working double and treble time. But they are welcome to hunt insects that we don’t need to attack our crops.
Fred the rodent operative (OK he’s the cat you may see) from the Halls of Heddon glass houses and growing areas is still patrolling the area so he must find food.
Bridget opened her second new hive (the one created after the recent swarm) to see how the brood was doing. Things seem not to have calmed down as there is no sign of a new queen yet.
Remember Bridget’s bee hives? Ian our grower doesn’t like bees (he thinks they have something against him due to the amount of stings over the years) but it was all hands to work earlier in the week when the bees decided to swarm.
Eventually the swarm was captured by a fully booted and suited beekeeper Bridget from the great height – the ladder in the picture is an 8 foot tall one. After that it was a case of splitting into two broods: one in one hive with a queen and one in another hive to make a new queen. All seem to have settled down now and are busy around the Go Local Food fields and beyond. There is plenty of tree pollen and oil seed rape in the area to top up the comfrey and broad beans on the Go Local Food fields.
Three caterpillars were spotted in one of the poly tunnels. Ian our grower has been investigating and believes that we have a woolly bear caterpillar.
Eventually this will become a garden tiger moth which is in decline. We shall keep a watching brief to see if the caterpillars survive, find food and eventually become moths.
Book your place on the dawn chorus walk on May 11th at the Go Local Food fields! Ian our grower has seen swallows, thrushes, blackbirds, pheasants, long tailed tits, green finches, a blackbird possibly nesting in the tractor jump leads, blue tits, a wren nesting somewhere in the palace, a red kite …. And that was just over a cup of coffee outside the snug. The reason for outside was that Ian had just had to evict a wasps’ nest. Of course there are the local pigeons as ever and the rabbit squad. You should be able to see a goodly selection of wild life!