Tuesday, 5 February 2013

January with a woosh!

Well, is it just me or did January go past like a ferrari on nitro? I've only just got used to writing the date with a 13 instead of a 12 for the year and already I'm having to correct writing the month as 2 instead of a 1. I think it must be down to old age when it comes to you just getting used to something and they change it.
I must say, that January has seen me busy in the garden building my wifey's new log cabin studio, so much time has NOT been out in the wilds of Suffolk searching for elusive wildlife, but instead cursing at a log cabin company (Garden Buildings Direct) for gross incompetency in the basic running of a company. I beseech you now, if you ever consider getting a garden building of any kind, be it shed or cabin AVOID this company like the plague. I would use the words chocolate fireguard, but the chocolate is still useful as you can eat it even when it's melted. Unlike Garden Buildings Direct who have no concept of the word useful! That's it rant over, onto other stuff.

So, as I said, I haven't been out much as my time has been limited. I've only seen about 20 species so far and 19 of them were in the first 5 days of the month. But studio is almost complete and soon I hope to be out and about.

I mentioned in my previous post that some projects were in the pipeline for the coming year and after consulting various people and sorting out logistics, I can now tell you some of those plans. 

Bridge Wood

As many of you know, bats are my main thing and the last couple of years has seen me helping out a dear friend of mine Sue Morgan with her survey of Dunwich Heath, which had some wonderful results with 9 species of bat being recorded out of 13 species that are recorded in Suffolk. This survey has inspired me to do one of my own on the much smaller area of Bridge wood in Orwell Country Park. This is an area of ancient replanted woodland (1600's at least) on the banks of the river Orwell on the outskirts of Ipswich. It'll be an activity as part of the Mid Anglian Bat Group, but anyone with a detector is welcome to come along and join me in finding some bats. Dates have yet to be planned, but as soon as they are, I'll post them here and also on the Mid Anglian's Bat Group website
If you want some more information please post a comment at the end of this blog with your email address, don't worry, all comments are screened by me before being published and I won't publish information queries or emails, etc.

Holywell's Park

Yes, Holywell's Park in Ipswich has some exciting stuff going on. They're having a bit of a facelift planned and during some digging work they unearthed an ancient icehouse that used to belong to the Thomas Cobbold Brewery, who owned the park in the 1800's and used to use the water from Holywell ponds for use in brewing their ale. The water was shipped using special barges from the waterfront in Ipswich to their brewery in Harwich. Thomas Gainsborough did a painting of the ponds which can be seen here. The ice from the ponds was removed in winter and put into this icehouse to help keep the contents stored within chilled. Apparently, this icehouse was effective all year round.
Anyhoo, the rangers have kindly asked our bat group if we would like it to turn it into a bat hibernacula/roost and the bat group has gratefully accepted it and guess who's been put in charge of this  restoration project? Non other but me, your loyal servant. This is quite an exciting project to be involved in as it ties in with another project I'm involved in at the park which is the installation of a bat flight rehabilitation cage. What the heck is that I hear you cry. As some of you know, I'm a licenced bat carer who helps to rescue our furry little friends when they've been swiped out of the air by tibbles the cat. When they are nursed back to health, we need to make sure that they can fly, echolocate and hunt, otherwise our efforts will have been wasted when we release a bat that can't hunt properly and the bat will more than likely die a nasty death. So the bat flight allows the bat to fly in an open, yet secure area where we can monitor it and assess it's abilities to do all of the aforementioned tasks. It's also ideal for 'soft release' which means that young bats that need to learn how to hunt and forage can be left in the flight and hunt food which falls down from a moth trap installed on top of the flight into the flight. The rangers and 'Friends of Holywell's Park' have kindly donated us some space to build such a structure and the container transport company Maritime Transport have kindly donated to us a 20' steel shipping container (which is the ideal size) to be converted into a bat flight. We hope to get this all in place before the spring, but it's just a matter of logistics at the moment and most importantly of all, peoples time.

Garden Moth Scheme

Alas, on a sour note, I will not be part of the Garden Moth Scheme (GMS) this year as the new coordinator for the scheme considered my name was not 'human enough for his records'! Honestly, how rude. I know my name's a bit unusual, but to say it's not human is a bit too much. So I've told him in no uncertain terms what he can do with my records and name. But fear not, I will still be recording and my records will be going to the wonderful Suffolk Biological Records Centre. At least they won't be insulting towards me, I hope. :)

So that's it for now, but don't worry, things are warming up and looking good. Here's the minuscule list so far:



Number
Species name
Common name
Location
Date
Species type
1
Turdus merula
Blackbird
Home
01/01/2013
Bird
2
Falco tinnunculus
Kestral
Claydon
02/01/2013
Bird
3
Columba palumbus
Wood pigeon
Felixstowe
02/01/2013
Bird
4
Motacilla alba
Pied wagtail
Felixstowe
02/01/2013
Bird
5
Corvusmonedula
Jackdaw
Tot Hil
03/01/2013
Bird
6
Larus argentatus
Herring gull
Felixstowe
03/01/2013
Bird
7
Larus ridibundus
Black-headed gull
Felixstowe
03/01/2013
Bird
8
Gallinula chloropus
Moorhen
Thorington hall
04/01/2013
Bird
9
Orytolagus cuniculus
Rabbit
Thorington hall
04/01/2012
Mammal
10
Pica pica
Magpie
Thorington hall
04/01/2013
Bird
11
Branta canadensis
Canada goose
Needham lakes
05/01/2013
Bird
12
Fulica atra
Coot
Needham lakes
05/01/2013
Bird
13
Anas platyrhynchos
Mallard
Needham lakes
05/01/2013
Bird
14
Cygnus olor
Mute swan
Needham lakes
05/01/2013
Bird
15
Dama dama
Fallow deer
Stoney hill
05/01/2013
Mammal
16
Phasianus colchicus
Pheasant
Stoney hill
05/01/2013
Bird
17
Parus major
Great tit
Stoney hill
05/01/2013
Bird
18
Discus rotandatus rotundatus
Rotund disc
Stoney hill
05/01/2013
Invertebrate
19
Aegithalos caudatus
Long-tailed tit
Claydon
05/01/2013
Bird
20
Cyanistes caeruleus
Blue tit
Home
27/01/2013
Bird

2 comments:

  1. Nice blog Hawk. Mr GMS sounds a bit of a 'jobs worth'. You would have thought he would be glad to have you taking part!

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  2. Thanks Pingwing1, Even when I told them how rude I thought he was, I still never got an apology. Only when I sent an email to the person who runs the whole shebang, did I get an apology and a request for me not to pull out. Bit late then I'm afraid.

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