It is so nice when we visit Cockaynes to talk to people who come to the site regularly as they can tell us about things they have seen that we haven’t. A gentleman yesterday told us how he had seen two stoats chasing each other around by the fishing lakes early in the morning while walking his dog. Last year he had seen the family of foxes at five in the morning by the holes in the scrape area.
This Sunday is the monthly work party so the main gate will be open from ten till about three pm, allowing vehicle access into the central yard for visitors.
The bluebells are in full flower and Villa Wood is looking especially good with a variety of other spring flowers blooming too. You might also hear the nightingale singing at the top of the wood as well as the noisy liitle chiffchaffs who are especially vocal at the moment. (Their name comes from the sound they make). Yesterday the Cetti’s warbler was singing loudly in the centre of the site and the lapwings were also defending their territory over the scrape and making their distinctive ‘peewit’ call. We also saw and heard the common Whitethroats in the central heath scrub area (little brown bird with a white throat patch). The shelducks had returned to the scrape too. The kestrel and buzzard were also very visible yesterday. (There are also patches of bluebells and anemones in Cockaynes Wood too.)
The people on the work party are always happy to chat and answer any questions about the site. A lot more photos have been added to this web site (still more to sort and obtain), but we are always happy to accept any from visitors to the Reserve providing the photos have been taken on the Reserve (we are attempting to have this web page as a true pictorial record for the Cockaynes of all the flora and fauna found there). We have had confirmation in the last few days of a second rare bee species (Andrena Vaga), in the yard area, found by David (one of our insect experts) when he visited last week. This is another mining bee and has a grey hairy shoulder patch with shiny black body…we would like the photo!
Roger and Valerie.