RSPB Walk 28/11/11

7 of us arrived for the RSPB guided tour of the work they have done at Dovestones Reservoir on Sunday 27th.

It was a cold and very windy day but we weren't deterred. Suitably clad with anoraks, hats, binoculars and cameras we proceeded to follow Rachel's lead around the pathways in the areas of woodland where RSPB had undertaken their various tasks. They had around 30 volunteers who helped plant up a hedgerow along the border of one field of some 50+ small trees. It will be some years before we see a substantial hedge but it will be well worth the trouble in not only defining the field but providing shelter and habitat to small mammals and insects. Other volunteers had undertaken some stone wall building to mark out another border in the same field.

Further along we came upon a pond of about 6 foot diameter. This area will attract insects for the various bat species in Dovestones as well as dragonflies. RSPB continue to work with the Woodland Trust/United Utilities and Forestry Commission to thin out the many trees that have been planted many years ago and which, now fully grown, are blocking light to other main parts of the woodland. They are, of course, very careful to maintain many breeds of existing trees but their strategy is to manage so that a diverse ecosystem is produced. Bird boxes have also been erected on many of the trees in this area. RSPB are heavily dependent on volunteers to help them undertake all of their projects.

The peregrine falcons which they have been monitoring have failed to produce young this year and so are being watched carefully in expection of a brood next Spring.

Many smaller birds benefit from the feeders the RSPB have put up in various wooded areas of Dovestones and it is hoped we can return in Spring to see Siskins, Blue tits, Finches, Swallows and many more of our favourite birds as the woods once again come to life.

It was a really excellent tour and we all felt invigorated and the better for it before once again starting out on a busy week.

Fly Agaric mushroom - one of a few varieties we came across. Fly Agaric mushroom - one of a few varieties we came across.
Paul takes a close up photo. Paul takes a close up photo.
Bird feeders made from logs. Bird feeders made from logs.
Some more mushrooms. Some more mushrooms.
Taking a rest.... Taking a rest....
and a spot of lunch. and a spot of lunch.
A discussion towards the end of the journey. A discussion towards the end of the journey.