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Wildlife Around the Corner

Posted: Monday 26th October 2015 by Volunteering

Photo by D. Kilbey

The feathered visitors to the Newlands Corner Wildlife Garden continue to keep us busy.

Volunteers replenish daily, a selection of food for their delectation - mixed seed; peanuts; sunflower hearts; fat blocks; mealworms; porridge oats. The quantities they gobble up have hardly reduced through the summer, so hopefully they have been able to raise large strong families, in readiness for the winter ahead.

For the first time, this year the regular woodland birds have been joined by a dozen or so pigeons, who sit on the roof of the Visitor Centre waiting for feeding time, which they tend to dominate somewhat. They quickly learned our habits and routines - for example that of sprinkling food on the tops of fence posts, for those birds who are too shy to visit the bird-table. As we arrive with the food now, the pigeons hop confidently onto the posts and (metaphorically-speaking) lick their lips expectantly. A similar issue affected the bird-table, until our most gifted volunteer, Mark, designed and built an ingenious mesh frame for it, which permits entry to small birds only. Our little favourites mastered this on the first day, leaving the pigeons to wait on the ground for spillages.

The garden pond was a great success again this year, for assorted tiny creatures, and for the newts and the frogs. Oh, except one frog. By chance, a volunteer emptying the contents of an abandoned (urgh!) can of drink into a drain, noticed a face staring up from below the drain cover. Closer inspection revealed a trapped frog (the drain cover had been replaced two weeks previously) looking tired, pale, and cross! Once liberated, he spent a quiet ten minutes sitting motionless in the Wildlife Garden, regaining his dignity and his good humour, before hopping off into the woods to join his chums.

We hope for a safe winter for our wild friends.

Nicky

Newlands Corner Volunteer

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