Paxton Pits Nature Reserve is a haven for wildlife created by gravel quarrying in southwest Cambridgeshire, UK. For more information, visit www.paxton-pits.org.uk.
Saturday, 23 January 2016
Catch up with Facebook?
I know a lot of you don't engage with Facebook, so I'm summarising the recent Paxton Pits Postings here for you.
Facebook is so easy to use that it has taken over the way that people and businesses communicate. Have you ever tried to look up a restaurant of a pub and found that their website hasn't been updated for a year or more? That's because they moved to Facebook and completely forgot about their website which has now joined all the other derelict sites that wash up on the shores of the internet.
A big attraction for me is that Facebook is so quick and popular. Last week over 6000 people saw my postings. In turn, I also kept up with Debbie at our Environmental Education Centre, Cambridge Bird Club, the Great Fen, the RSPB and many people who use Facebook to reach us. I really think you should give it a go. Most of the places you would be interested in have their own fFacebook pages.
I have pasted it up as you would see it on your computer or tablet, but you can't comment in the boxes like you can on the real thing. It works on smart-phones too.
Here's just a taste of what you missed (with the newest on top):
Friday night out? In the meadow at 4:30. After a mucky wet day, during which I had stumbled about in mud and re-rigged an electric fence, fed the cows, cleaned the loos and answered all my emails, the sun came out and set at the same time!
There's a lot of nice work going on in the background. The midweek volunteers have been working on a new viewing screen and hedge laying by the Environmental Education Centre.
Missed opportunity. This muntjac was just outside our office window during our staff meeting on
Monday. I popped out for a pee and saw that he had a magpie on his back. Went to get my camera but missed the shot. Went back into the meeting and the magpie returned. I suspect the bird was after anything on the ground that the deer disturbed, but possibly parasites too? The rump hairs have been plucked about. I don't think magpies use hair in nests.
The car park at Paxton Pits has some very big holes in it. We found a Fiat 500 in the bottom of one of the puddles! The good news is, we are going to fix it! Starting on Tuesday, we will be resurfacing the car park so you won't need to park on the road. This is a good idea because, very soon, there will be big gravel lorries passing in both directions. The funding has come from Huntingdonshire District Council. It is money that we saved by not having biscuits at staff meetings. (NOT REALLY!)
Smoke on the Water.........Every year the Friends of Paxton Pits Nature Reserve hold a Sunday work party on the islands in the Sailing Lake at Little Paxton. Although not part of the Reserve, we have an agreement to manage the islands for the terns, gulls and waders that will nest there in spring. We always find a few surprises such as voles and moles that live in the middle of the lake. (Photo by Ann Thomas)
The Paxton Pits Bird Box Survey comes to you Volunteers Janet and Steve set out to check our nest boxes. They wrote this for our absentee volunteer David Cobham, who normally looks after these things with David Butterworth, but he is stuck in hospital following a stroke.
"We met with David Butterworth at the VC and armed with ladder, tools and clipboard, we headed off to survey the bird boxes on the meadow trail. That’s with the exception of Jim’s experimental social housing ...
In these dark winter evenings, what could be better than a good book? Last year I bought "A Guide to the Birds of East Africa" by Nicholas Drayson. It's a novel, not a field guide at all. I only just got round to reading it and I now recommend it to all of you. It is barely fictional; I recognise some of the characters and events from my days in Nairobi when I worked with BirdLife International. It's about a light hearted (almost) romance set on the Tuesday Morning Bird Walk ...
Yesterday's bird? Yes, you were all correct; Little Gull. There are a few about . This is an adult in winter plumage. Look at the dark underwings and red feet. They do have a tint of pink too.They behave more like terns than gulls.
I was really pleased to see this bird at Paxton yesterday. I watched it fly by the first time and forgot about my camera. Luckily it flew past again, though not as close. Do you know what it is? (Answer tomorrow).
Ten minutes ago, I asked my wayward Voluntary Wardens to check in from which-ever part of the world they are in now. (I'm going to have them all fitted with micro-chips). Meriel repiled within seconds:- from South Georgia: "I'm getting knowledgeable about polar seabirds, penguins and mammals and could be an asset on a pub trivia team offering a very narrow field of knowledge".