Creatures

Awakening from hibernation

Many animals awaken from hibernation in March and so as we start April many of the animals are out and about. Newts, which have hibernated away from the ponds and ditches, will now be active. They will slowly make their way back to water, but its slow progress. On land newts look like lizards, but their movements are [...]

Moorhen courtship

We have been seeing some exciting behaviour through ditch cam the last few days. The moorhen that live in the ditches are preparing to nest. Before this happens the males tend to squabble and chase each other around in the hope of impressing the females. You can see this in the school video library clips [...]

Winter Becomes Spring – Animal Life

There has not been a lot activity on the reserve during the winter months. Why do you think this might be? Animals have different ways of coping with the severe winter weather. Some animals, especially birds, stay active during the winter and we have seen this through the bird cam. A few species of bird [...]

Birds on the feeder

You may have noticed that we have been having a lot of activity on the bird feeder. To help you identify the birds you are seeing there is a picture below of the 4 main types of bird coming to the bird feeder, great tit, blue tit, house sparrow and great spotted woodpecker. You can [...]

Pond Cam

We have been seeing lots of activity though pond cam this past week. Many pond creatures are still in the pond but remain dormant in the cold winter months. However this year the winter has been relatively mild so far. We have also had a lot of natural flooding which has also included the woodland pond. [...]

Surprise view of palmate newts

The underwater webcam on the Leighside pond has shown that newts are already in the pond. Newts usually return to the pond in the spring. They hibernate away from the ponds and ditches in the winter but they are active already. Why do you think this might be? Firstly we have had a mild winter so far. [...]

Winter weather

We have had a very unusual winter so far, much milder than normal on many days, but also very changeable. Why do we think this is happening and what makes it so changeable?   Well firstly wind has brought warmer weather from the south and the west giving us a mild winter when countries to the [...]

Winter migrants

We often associate migration with the summer months in particular the long distance migrants, such as swallows and swifts, which breed in the UK and Europe and spend the winter in Africa. But some birds actually chose to migrate to visit the UK in the winter. Why do you think they chose to do this? [...]

Autumn walk

The nature reserve has now settled into autumn and I took a walk around the reserve to see how some of the areas not covered by the webcams had been changing. Many of the trees have now shed their leaves and changed colour but why? Well, they do this to conserve water and energy during the winter. [...]

Bird feeder pecking order

Blue tit and the larger great tit are frequent visitors to the bird feeder. Observe a bird feeder for any length of time you will notice that there is a distinct pecking order. Especially between species. Blue tit will often be chased off by a great tit and a great tit will give way to an [...]