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While the sun shines ... have a picnic
Saltholme has lots of good picnic tables and yesterday the two on the meadow had a make-over. The Wildlife Explorers painted one of them with pictures of fish and pond life, the other with leaves, flowers and terrestrial bugs. The painting of the terrestrial table in progress - and the finished...
3 Sep 2012
Make hay while the sun ...
The end of August and the last chance to make hay, and yesterday the meadow had its annual cut. Traditional meadows are cut to make hay from the end of July to the end of August which gives the farmland birds time to rear their young, and the meadow flowers time to set seed. This is not what happens...
1 Sep 2012
Meals on wings
Over the last winter we, the estate team volunteers and staff, put a lot of work into renovating the Sand Martin bank. We were cold, tired and very muddy so were disappointed when the Sand Martins came, had a look then left. But all was not lost as they returned a few weeks later and started serious...
22 Aug 2012
Pond-dipping Fact Files: Backswimmer
One of my favourite pond bugs, the backswimmer can be distinguished from the lesser water boatman quite easily as it is substantially larger, and has much longer hind legs. The picture above shows the 'front' of the backswimmer , and as it's name suggests, it swims the other way around...
22 Aug 2012
Habitat improvement, boys with toys
We have seen some big toys on the reserve to help us improve the habitat for our wildlife. Last year a rotary digger made some ditches. This last few days Keith the contractor has been cutting the grassland with his tractor to remove the ragwort , creeping thistles and other coarse weeds to improve the...
16 Aug 2012
Carrot, parsnip and radish
Three useful plants but what were these vegetables developed from? We have wild species of these on the reserve with wild carrot, Daucus carota , flowering now in the Wildlife Garden and along many of the paths. The roots are very small and white but with a strong smell of carrot. The flowers are...
15 Aug 2012
Sunday supplement; garden issue
Not the best year for gardening, but finally our Wildlife Garden is looking good. We have lost some plants to the slugs and the rain has caused some to rot but the recent sun has helped bring out the best in the rest. No sunflowers this year as the slugs ate them all! We tried beer traps but something...
12 Aug 2012
On the (rather small) wing today
Following the photos from last week end Lockhart took these of insects today - our hide guides can show you more than just the birds. At last we are seeing a few butterflies, and the dragonflies and damselflies are mating. This is a small skipper. A red darter emerald damselfly ...
11 Aug 2012
The life in the day of...
The life in the day of a hide guide. Lockhart, one of our volunteer hide guides was at Saltholme on Saturday and observed lots of wildlife. Many birds have finished breeding and are moving to new feeding grounds so we have a changing cast on our stage. The Common Terns and Black-Headed Gulls are thinning...
6 Aug 2012
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