My Blog MARCH 2014 based on Wildlife sightings around birds and conservation thoughts

23rd March Shrew under tin, planted a few more Hawthorn wips. Green Woodpecker in full voice, and had a buff tail worker enter and a minute later emerge from what seemed a nest hole, first nest found this year. 19th March 5 Redwings seen near Stalisfield will these be my last till after Summer.

17th March

T.V news stated that chalk grassland is rarer then tropical rainforest, when I tried to get some financial help to manage about 4 area of this rare land I was told no help its in the wrong area for Higher Level Stewardship support, so its is now suffering the same complaint that they were reporting, it needs sheep to reduce the grass level, and having looked into the economics of Sheep it would cost me to much in time to look after the paperwork let alone the animals, I looked into getting someone in to mow it with a tractor but the slope was to high a risk to work it safely, so the grass grows, a weeks work has been spent in the last year with a brush cutter and just under half has had one poor cut. A remote control machine would cost me over £20K, and small tractor and mover £10K so it will have to suffer till money comes spare.
Do we really want to look after wildlife with public money or is it just a front to support jobs?

16th March

What a change in the weather at last it is dry underfoot, we have been reinstating the Hedgerow that from the wood growth we have been cutting down has been left for 20 plus years, its bought light back into the lane and I look forward to seeing what natural plants will grow from the dormant seed bank that should know be able to grow, we came across a self sown Yew sapling, and a rarer Elm but without leaf not sure which one. The new hedge whips planted at the beginning of the month are shooting nicely much earlier then expected as this time last year we still had snow.
It’s been good to see good numbers of Bumble Bees, both Queen white tails and red tails are around many seem to be search out holes in the ground most likely to make their home and get the family underway, there is also good numbers of Small Tortoiseshell which hopefully will mean we have good numbers later in the year especially as the nettle are shooting being their caterpillars plant food, unlike two years ago when I saw very few even later in the season, there is also the odd peacock on the wing but the only Red Admiral was in my garden over a week ago. Two days ago the Field Vole was under the tin roofing as last year but its not been there since maybe the local Kestrel is fat on it. Blue Tits darting around in song, our local Wrens from around the logs seems to have moved on, but the Mistle Thrush is in Full flight song, drowned out by the Yaffle call, the Great Spotted Woodpecker is drumming on the neighbors Horse Chestnut. The Robin and Dunnock meet us from the Blackthorn with song by the entrance gate. The Daffs are shining gold with tree buds breaking, spring seems to be in the air and arriving early this year, I do find it interesting how nature balances itself out over time.
I need to set about reducing the rabbit numbers, and am thinking of using them as food for the local buzzards to start feeding then once a week so eventually I can get some good photos. It should also get the Magpies and Crows in close, the elusive local Jay would be a bonus.

Tom Tit Blue Tit in Winter painting Blue Tit painting
Blue Tit photo
Tom Tit or Blue Tit photo Wood Pigeon rear view, photography Blue Tit artist Sam Harvey photo of Blue Tit by Paul Cumberland
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Winter Blue Tit by artist Richard Allen Blue Tit artwork
by Sam Harvey
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Paul Cumberland
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