Wildlife at Middleton Hall – Autumn Update 2013

November 2013, Edition 15

In the last month the Moorhens, as hoped, have found the new lake at the Waterside. This new habitat is going to be a great addition to what’s already on site for the numerous flora and fauna.

The Estates team are currently designing a floating island, made from recycled materials, for nesting waterfowl on the Waterside Lake to be ready for the breeding season early next year.

Alterations are also afoot on the island of the original pond, so that next year when the wind blows, the Moorhens do not get a shower from the fountain while trying to sit on the nest!

Over the past few weeks, wintering birds from Scandinavia have been arriving on site. These predominantly have been Redwings, Fieldfare and Blackbirds. In addition to these, I was lucky enough to spot the first Brambling of the winter from our bird hide a week ago. The Brambling numbers vary from year to year depending on scarcity of food in their Scandinavian breeding grounds. Last winter we had very few on site, however in 2011 we had flocks of up to 30, mixing in with other resident finches.

In the last newsletter, I laid down the challenge for someone to be the first to spot evidence of a badger on site. However, the search for badger/s has proved fruitless so far. A wildlife camera has been used in our woods hoping it would capture images during the night.  It has so far shown we have a healthy population of foxes!

I enjoyed two wildlife walks in the last few months, organised by the Estates team. We had some good feedback from the residents regarding these walks, where numerous interesting flora and fauna were sighted. We hope to organise more walks in the near future, but in the meantime while you are out and about around the grounds, please report any interesting sightings to myself and/or the estates team.

David Richardson, Head of Operations