Thank you to our newest team member Al for this blog:

Hi Coombes followers!

I’m Al, the new residential volunteer intern at Coombes for the next 6 months. I've just finished a 6 month stint at Leighton Moss, doing the same thing, and absolutely loved every minute of it - Coombes has got a lot to live up to! I've got a really keen interest in broadening my natural history knowledge whilst I’m here, and there’s no better way than getting out and about. I've been running the trails a lot, (when I’m not too tired after Chainsawing), and getting to know the reserve really well.

My highlight so far has been running down the public footpath track one evening and coming face to face with a Red Stag, wallowing in a mud hole. It was about to run away, so I “roared” at it with my best imitation. Unfortunately it didn't roar back, but it did stand there and look at me until I got bored and carried on running – it probably thought “what the heck is wrong with him!”. So I’m really looking forward to the next 6 months. If the past couple of weeks are anything to go by, I've got a fun filled winter ahead of me! 

Autumn has arrived, and it has brought with it a whole host of new moth species. The wonderful colours and intricate patterns that these moths possess, never ceases to amaze us. They are no longer the annoying, drab beings that you wipe off your windowsill during a spring clean! Since I have arrived,the trap has been set nearly every night, and we've been getting some crackers. New species to the reserve include Feathered Thorn , Flounced Chestnut and, my personal favourite, Merveille du Jour (which literally translated is “Marvel of the Day”)! At the moment we are struggling to differentiate between the  November moths, but even on stormy nights we are catching at least 20. The average daily species list is approaching 10, indicating that all of our hard work in managing the woodland, is paying off. Yaaaay!