New volunteer Rowena and I saw a kingfisher sitting on a post in the pond this morning, first time I've seen one at Coombes! We must have disturbed it as there was suddenly a flash of electric blue and it had gone.
Visitors (and staff!) may not appreciate the rain but the pond and brook are filling up nicely. Its great to hear the sound of running water through the valley.
Today I took a walk. Climbing the steep stairs winding through the woodland, soaking in the fresh smell of damp ground and hearing just the occasional breeze rustling through the trees. Bad weather the night before and this overcast morning will mean few, if any, visitors expected today. Thinking the woodland to be all quiet I stop, breathing it all in.
Suddenly, an outpouring of alarm calls. The sharp ‘chik’ of a woodpecker, the metallic clicking of a wren, the rattling of a great tit and others I didn‘t recognise. Nonetheless, sounds unmistakably filled with fear and alarm.
Standing completely still, thinking this would calm the noise, I listen. Yet it continues in its high pitched repetitiveness. The noise is accompanied by panicked fluttering around me. I take a step forward and the noise intensifies. The chiks, clicks and rattles put me on edge. It's a shame the birds are unaware of my peaceful intentions.
Ignoring them for a moment, my eyes are drawn to movement up above. A nuthatch and then a tree creeper spiralling up the thick trunk of an oak, unperturbed by the mayhem going on around them, concentrating solely on digging out insects from the damp bark.
Feeling like an intruder, I slope off, treading lightly on the dry holly leaves underfoot. Gradually the woodland behind me returns to quiet, apart from the gentle rattle of an overly-cautious great tit. Leaving them to their woodland world I continue with my walk.
Throughout the school summer holidays at Coombes Valley we will take you to explore our lush meadows full of flowers and butterflies and to the pond to discover the fascinating creatures hiding beneath the surface. We will also have a number of fun and exciting activities, games and crafts. Whilst sun cannot be guaranteed, fun most definitely is!
The events will run from 9.30am – 12.30pm on the following dates:
3, 5, 9, 10, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26 August
£5 per child, accompanying adults free of charge
Booking is essential so please phone or email to avoid disappointment:
RSPB Coombes Valley nature reserve, Six Oaks Farm, Bradnop, Leek, ST13 7EU
office: 01538 384017 or email: email@example.com