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Spring Has Sprung!

Wednesday, April 22nd 2020

Although the reserve remains closed, there are signs of spring everywhere. The Blackthorn blossom is at its best just now especially along the red route.

Willow is also in flower and is stunning against the blue skies.

In the Willow Carr, the air is full of song from Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs.

The trees that were donated by Bettys Tearooms are beginning to poke their heads above their protective tubes! The mini hedge outside the field centre is doing exceptionally well.

On closer inspection, the trees are really healthy.

A variety of species were planted and all appear to have been a success.

The orchard trees also donated by Bettys Tearooms are growing well too.

These orchards will provide valuable food for winter thrushes such as Blackbirds, Fieldfares and Redwings in the future.

The reedbed that was cut earlier in the year by staff and volunteers is beginning to grow back already.

If you look carefully, you can see plenty of green shoots appearing. Below these, the water is teeming with tadpoles.

Out on the wetland, there are plenty of birds breeding and the first young of the year for the reserve are two delightful broods of Mallards.

There are ducklings scrabbling about on the banks and scooting over the pools!

They seem to be most complacent and have been wandering far from their parents!

All of the above are thanks to the dedicated team of Foxglove volunteers who have worked so hard over the winter months to improve and maintain the mosaic of habitats that make up the reserve. The sad part is that due to the current restrictions, they are unable to visit and to see for themselves what an amazing difference they have made to a very special place. However, it will all be here waiting for when the situation improves.

A quick update on the owl: the Jackdaws buried her several times but have finally got the message and she is doing well with five eggs so far. It is time to leave her undisturbed and hope that she is successful in raising some chicks. Lastly, the beetle that was on the last blog has been identified as the Bloody-nosed Beetle, also called Blood Spewer or Blood Spewing Beetle (what lovely names!) Timarcha tenebricosa. The larvae of which feed on bedstraws.

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