Tuesday 30th April 2013
Today is Beltane Eve, or also Walpurgis Night. The last day of April. Tomorrow is the first day of the first month of the year without an ‘R’ in it, which intimates that the weather should be mild and balmy from now on. Well until the end of September at least. We shall see.
On my travels this week I came across a welcome surprise. I was walking around the estate with our Conservation Officer Millie Clarke, as we were sorting out the script for ‘Walk On The Wild Side’; a guided walk which will take place on a daily basis at 12 noon next weekend during the ‘Festival Of Flowers’ here at Muncaster. I will be covering for Millie when she has her days off. We were looking to see what was happening wild flower wise, as I mentioned before how everything was behind because of the persistent cold weather we had. Whilst walking around, to my surprise, I managed to stumble upon a small colony of ‘Cowslips! Please check out the photos I have included at the end of the blog. These are part of the Primula family, and are usually associated with more lime based soils such as the Dales. Here at Muncaster we have acidic soil, and the wild flower community certainly would indicate that fact. But there you are. I managed to count 18 individual plants on that particular patch, most certainly a small colony.
As for the Owl collection, I can now confirm that we have at least one Brown Wood Owlet down in the Breeding Ground. I managed to see a small head poking out beneath ‘mum’ who this year happens to be incubating her eggs on the ground in the wood chipping substrate. This has since been confirmed by one of the other keepers. Good news.
Rupert the Red Kite is still resident here at Muncaster. A friend of mine managed to take a picture of him with something in his beak, while he was flying. It looked suspiciously like a dead day old chick, which means he is managing to feed himself. This is also good news.
See you next week
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