Nature Notes – December 2020

By Andy Johnston

This Autumn is one of the warmest on record with no frost of any note as yet. Consequently, Summer flowers are still in bloom. On the village green, snow drops and daffodils are well through and even a few celandines are flowering. Mild weather has encouraged rooks to begin nest building in the limes and a song thrush was singing in a tree at Pittfields Corner recently. Fields along the A684 to Morton Bridge are a haven for wintering flocks of curlew, golden plover, lapwing and gulls. An unusual event has been the regular meeting of feeding hares, with eighteen spotted recently.

SwansThe first major flood coincided with the migration of whooper swans from Iceland and the flooded fields at Morton Flatts attracted a family group of six. If you see swans flying over the village don’t assume they are mutes as more and more whoopers are wintering here. In addition to their larger size, they have a distinctive whooping call.  Currently a huge flock of starlings is feeding on the stubble fields along Common Lane and they can be frequently seen in a murmuration. When the cold weather arrives look out for waxwings.