Wednesday, 30 November 2016

November Observations

I found this hedgehog on the Shanley Land (Bellcross Homes) having died of exposure to the cold after the grass and scrub was cleared.

I disturbed this common frog on my patio while clearing up for the winter and watched as his skin changed colour to blend in with the terracotto flower pot - amazing!  I tried to tempt him with this slug but he wasn't interested.  I hope he's hunkered down somewhere safe and manages to find his way back to the stream come spring.

I have no pictures for the best sightings this month: reed bunting, egret and.... kingfisher!  The reed bunting was beside the borrow pit, and I flushed out the egret and kingfisher as I approached the stream.  I stood spellbound for the few seconds it took for that streak of brilliant blue to dart from the bank of the stream under my feet into the willows on the other side.  There are lots of holes in the bank where the roots of the willows create shelter for all sorts of creatures.  As I crept along the bank the egret rose gracefully into the air.  This section of stream gives good shelter from prying eyes because of the brambles of willows.  It's a pity the cycle path and lampposts are so close as the habitat is now less protective.  The footpath on the north bank has been marked out and I hope they don't remove the vegetation that gives shelter to many creatures at this sensitive spot, including water voles.

As the roads are completed, the landscaping will be put into place, trees planted, paths surfaced and wildflower seed sown and it will be good to see the area restored to greenery, and to get safe access to monitor the water voles next March.