Since late summer the fish in the main pond have been staying in the middle reaches due to daily visits of Herons. A decoy Heron had been placed in the margins, however when a Heron was seen making courtship advances towards this, the decoy`s use was questioned, ending up with it being sent to storage!
You may have noticed an abundance in quantity and variety of funguses on site. They are traditionally most numerous in the autumn time and this year the conditions have been excellent with a mixture of wet summer and mild autumn.
It is now the time of year to assess the nest boxes and clean them in preparation for next year. The records kept help to show which boxes are unused and these can now be moved to new locations, hopefully improving the occupancy levels.
Many residents and staff see birds of prey on site on a daily basis now. The site seems to support a healthy population of birds of prey and many of these species are nesting on site. These include a pair of Kestrels, Sparrowhawks and at least one pair of Tawny Owls. Barn Owls have also been seen recently on site.
Charlie Chapel, myself and some residents are currently compiling lists of flora and fauna found on site. Charlie is also looking at forming a Middleton Hall wildlife group. Please feel free to contact me or Charlie if you are interested or can help with this or any wildlife issues.