Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Busy Season

Now that the cattle have gone from the Great Meadow and the floods have receded we have been able to get on with fencing the rest of the field, ready for the return of more cattle in the spring. The Great Meadow has held skylarks and grey partridges this year, although both probably nested in the adjoining field. Recently we have been seeing green sandpipers in the ditches and the odd snipe.
The sheep left the paddock this week, but will return in spring. In the long term we should get some cattle in there to trample, munch and generally vary the sward a bit. A few nice meadow-muffins would enrich the insect fauna too.

On the arable we have harvested our wheat and barley, gathered the sheaves into stooks to dry and then built larger ricks to store the grain for winter bird food. We found about 50 harvest mice during the work and saw eight buzzards overhead at the same time. Now we are sowing a field of winter wheat.

Meanwhile we have been busy with the Friends of Paxton Pits getting the materials together to build an otter holt. This will replace the one that burned down at Easter. Otters are still around on the Heronry lakes, and on Cloudy Pit.

It is a busy month indoors too, with various meetings and events. We are all looking forward to David Boag's talk in the Priory Centre on November 15th. I've seen him before and I subsequently stole several of his jokes to use in my own talks.