More snow and ice

Sunday, February 21st 2010

Winter hasn't finished with us yet, and once again the lake and ponds are iced over and covered with snow.

The lake covered in ice

There has been a lot of activity at the back garden feeders today with Bluetit, Great Tit, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Brambling, Blackbird, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Robin all making an appearance.

It's been a very busy week and here, as promised, is a round up of what has been going on.

Snow on the signpost

On Monday Willie came to sort out the huge tarmac pile adjacent to the access road. This was recycled tarmac (as evidenced by the yellow pieces of double line origin!) Under Willie's expertise this has transformed our stone pile into a proper parking area. He also replaced the posts which border the front lawns at the Field Centre.

On Tuesday our ever-willing volunteers installed 5 new finger-posts at key locations. The one pictured here is opposite the front door.

Wednesday was taken up with finishing off preparations for our Royal visit. This Pale Brindled Beauty moth was found whilst cleaning the veranda. It is on the wing between January and March and is quite a common, resident moth.

Pale Brindled Beauty moth

As you will have seen, on Thursday we were lucky enough to have a Royal visitor in the the personage of His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

His Royal Highness Prince Charles

He was in between engagements and came for a guided walk through the reserve over his lunchtime. Tony, Sophie and I showed him around and told him of all the work done by the volunteers and the college students. He was very relaxed and was interested in learning about the future plans for the reserve and asked lots of questions about the flowers and birds we have here. It was altogether a delightful visit.


Later in the afternoon we discovered the first open flower this year. As you can see it is the ubiquitous Gorse, which flowers in every month of the year! As an old country saying goes ” When Gorse is in flower, kissing is in fashion!” A welcome sight, a spot of gold appearing through the snow.

On Friday there were a lot of visitors enjoying the last day of the half term holidays.

Volunteers working

On Saturday our Volunteers' Work day was luckily in fine weather. After a chilly start the air was clear and warm. Thank you to everyone who gave their time. This beautiful silhouetted photo of Tony and Meg shows how bright the sun was on the afternoon.

Today the snow has covered up the ground again. Let's hope that the newly emerging leaves and shoots survive this second cold snap.

A Huge Thank You to everyone who helped in preparing for our visitor and for the work day. Especially the cleaning staff who worked hard to make the Field Centre as bright as a new pin. To Elizabeth for all sorts of help throughout the week. To Ann and Pat for giving us cover on Friday whilst we were off. To Colin, for working on an old blackboard and making it good as new to stand outside for notices. To everyone out there who helps in any way, thanks to you all. We appreciate it.

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