To:KOS update Usher Tony <>
Sent:27/03/2020 20:44
Subject:Knutsford Nature News #2
Please send any sightings or observations to me via email or text.
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Friday 27th March 2020 - the night of what should be our monthly indoor meeting and a much anticipated talk about the Brockholes reserve!
Another beautiful day. Absolutely no clouds and temperatures ranging from -0.3C to 13.6C, cooler but nice and warm in the sun and out of the wind.
Our weather guru and the KOS' own Michael Fish Bob Groom predicts colder conditions over the weekend.
 The Met Office are forecasting Arctic air dropping down over the country at the weekend. Even today it's down from 16/17C yesterday to around 11C but at least we've still got the sunshine, for now.
One of Steve Barber's recommended webcams is proving popular. Great viewing this morning, watching Fulmars enjoying the breezy conditions but beware, as Steve points out - they can be addictive!
Steve and Jill are birding around Marton (near Redesmere) and seem to have been doing well.

I think it’s a great idea in the present circumstances. If it isn’t well supported you always have the option of stopping it.

 We’re birding around Marton during our ‘exercise’ so don’t know how much of what we see will be of interest to those in the Knutsford area.  However I can pass on general stuff and you can use it or not as you see fit.  During today’s 3 mile exercise along lanes, tracks and paths east of Marton there was a light easterly passage of Meadow Pipits, just 7 Redwings were seen and a mixed party of 50 Fieldfare and Starlings flew east.  We were relieved to find three Tree Sparrows  - relieved because after having up to 15 in our garden throughout winter 2018-19 we have recorded just one or two in only 4 of the weeks this winter.

Jane McHarry is sticking to her back garden birds - Lots of sparrows a couple of blackbirds and a starling having a very enthusiastic bath time last two evenings in my garden pond. Butterflies certainly enjoying the sun, had a comma sunbathing in the garden the other day. - thanks Jane.

David Cogger is exercising over towards Spring Wood.  Woods along Longridge yesterday - 3 Chiffchaffs and Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming (They'll be building on that patch soon David. Make the most of it!)

One of the few people still working is Tatton ranger Darren Morris - Day in work: Deer and sheep fed and checked, fences checked too.
Managed time to do part of my BTO heronries census today too with 14 active nests at Higmere. Just before then a Tawny Owl calling in Approach Clump. On the way to feed the sheep at the far side of the deer enclosure a fox slinked along the path in front of me. Followed by a Sparrowhawk flap, flap, flap gliding past!
Walking past one of the ponds on the farmland I flushed 2 teal and 3 snipe too.Plenty of buzzards soaring and a pair of ravens again at the Knutsford end of the park enjoying the thermals.Also lapwings calling and displaying on Norbury's farmland at the back of the deer enclosure. Reed Bunting on the farmland too looking very dapper.
Day off tomorrow so I'm isolating!

Jayne Davies - just up the road from us has been enjoying the peace and quiet along the Pavement Lane area of Mobberley.

I’ve been taking my permitted daily walk along Pavement Lane and then varying routes round some of the Mobberley field paths. For the last few days a little owl has been sitting in one of its favourite trees across the field from Pavement Lane, and this morning there were two owls. I've seen a good variety of other birds including tree sparrows, yellowhammers, meadow pipits, skylarks, fieldfares, linnets, grey and pied wagtails, reed buntings and three noisy oystercatchers racing round overhead. The warm sunshine has also brought out small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies.

Thanks Jayne, I saw the Oystercatchers yesterday from the garden (there were four on that occasion!)

After a week spent on domestic duties - lawn mowing (new mower - self-propelled, excellent and recommended) and jet washing, I ventured out this afternoon for a couple of hours. I walked down to the Fox Harbour area of Mobberley (where we went on our June KOS evening walk last June - Yellow Wagtails etc.) It's a part of Mobberley unfamiliar to most villagers, even older folk and certainly to the new generation of "woke" newcomers who get a nose bleed if they travel more than a few meters from their SUV's. After leaving Pavement Lane I saw no one! It was a disappointing outing really, I had 4 singing Chiffchaffs, two Buzzards and, over Spring Wood, a circling Sparrowhawk. In the past this was a great place for Grey Partridge, Snipe, Corn Bunting and even Curlew. All gone now, as have the Lapwings, generations of failed nesting attempts seem to have discouraged them altogether. Still it's early days and there's no knowing what might turn up in the months to come!

Looks like Dyfi will be on line soon.

Bore da

The most anxious job in reconnecting the nest with our new Dyfi Wildlife Centre was the fibre cable - remember The Big Pull way back in 2012?
Any number of construction vehicles could have damaged the delicate glass fibres over the winter, let alone any sort of weather damage.
We've just tested the cable using a fancy machine called an Optical Time Domain Reflectometer, otherwise known as the Machine that goes Ping.
We got a dead-straight line with no pings (reflections), which means we have a 100% clean signal from the nest.
We may, just may, have live pictures for you before 1st April