Andy Sapsford’s blog about Sawbridgeworth Marsh Reserve
Daphne Wallace-Jarvis’s blog about Birchhanger Wood
Following on from a report of Ravens in the area some weeks ago there has now been a positive sighting of these same birds giving every intention that they may well be nesting in the Hatfield Forest area.
The last of the Swallows & House Martins will be on their way to warmer climes by now, though a few can be seen skipping over the hedgerows & about farm buildings until the middle of the month. In the days when it became the custom to set fire to the stubble (remember those days?), the heat generated a powerful lift sending insects high into the air where the migrating Swallows & House Martins would predate on this very available food supply. Because of an evident pollution issue, an alternative was adopted; that of turning the stubble into the ground. At the time, the farming view was that it would not be possible to bury the stubble in one turning operation. In the event, it is all done with such impressive speed & dexterity that it is difficult to believe we ever experienced those days when the whole of our arable countryside was spectacularly alight.
Following along behind, so to speak, will be the winter thrushes, ready to feed on the crimson berries awaiting them on the hawthorn bushes. These birds have come in from Scandinavia, as will many of the Blackbirds that begin to fill our gardens & recreation fields. Starling flocks too, are supplemented by continental birds, where a roost is something to behold, as they swoop & dive in tight, noisy, formations.
The year has been a good one for the Hazel nut & I have been busy gathering them from beneath the bushes & wondering why the squirrels have not already hidden them away. Could it be that they have already discovered that all is not what it seems, & that inside the husk is a less than desirable nut? Only at Christmas will I find out!
Quite a few events are organised in Hatfield Forest this month, so you have no excuse not to get those wellies or walking boots on & get out & about! These include trying your hand at archery (Sun.13 from 10.30am - 4pm), deer rut walk for adults (Tues29 from 5.30-7.30am), deer rut walk for families (Wed.30 from 3.00 - 5pm.), Batty Hallowe'en (Thurs.31 from 3 - 5.30pm) & an introduction to survival (Thurs 31 from 10.30am - 3.30pm). Further details are available on the forest web site www.nationaltrust.org.uk/hatfieldforest.
|Old Woman's Weaver|
|Pishiobury Park Bats|
|Forest Bird Watch|
|Breeding birds survey 2015|
|Over the Farm Gate|
|Records & sightings|