A Place to Think

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Water level rise and fall

As discussed in previous posts, winter flooding is a natural part of the ecosystem on the nature reserve. But I had always thought of the reserve flooding in the winter and water levels returning to normal in spring and summer. One thing that the cameras have allowed us to observe this year is just how much the [...]

By |February 25th, 2016|A Place to Think, Conservation, Habitats, Seasonal change|2 Comments

Changing water levels

Water levels in the freshwater habitats on the reserve continue to change due to natural flooding which causes water levels to rise and fall. This is part of the natural life of the wildlife of the reserve but for us its a constant frustration as we endeavour to keep the live cameras operating. So while pond [...]

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 [...]

Natural Winter Flooding

The Winterbourne stream flow through the north end of the nature reserve and is an important part of the patchwork of interconnecting habitats. In the summer the winterbourne is a slow meandering stream. In the winter months, a much larger volume of water flows along the winterbourne only flows in winter which normally flows direct [...]

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 [...]

Great spotted woodpecker

One of my favourite visitors to the bird feeder is the great spotted woodpecker. In the woodland, views are restricted to a quick flash of black and white as it flies past, or the distant drumming. Small air pockets in the skull help cushion the impact as the woodpecker strikes the tree with its beak [...]