|Posted by micky brown on October 7, 2018 at 5:30 PM||comments (0)|
Around about 5pm on the last few evenings there has been a flock (called a charm) of Goldfinches arriving in the park before they go off to roost. If you want to see them, they congregate in the tallest tree right at the top of the park. They flock together in small groups of half a dozen or so and chatter about the days business and where they found the best food etc. Then they fly off and get together with other groups and come back a minute or so later with an even bigger flock. They keep on doing this until by about 5.15 tonight there were now just two flocks of about 100 each in and out of the tree all chattering away. Small groups then split up and start heading off to roost. I don't know where but they all headed North in the direction of Dawlish. By 5.30 they were all gone and it was quiet again.
|Posted by micky brown on September 8, 2018 at 4:40 PM||comments (0)|
Devon Rocks and Stones
This group has a facebook page, and has been set up for the people of Devon to have great fun with or without the kids, decorating, hiding and hunting rocks, to let you bring out your artistic side as well as getting out in the fresh air. You can paint some rocks or stones with what ever design you want, also write on the back (post a picture on devon rocks and stones ) then hide them somewhere for people to find, also can you post a picture of the rocks you're hiding and the area you are hiding them, so people know where to look
Some of them have been turning up in the park.
Here are three that I have found -
If you find any in the park please send us some pics before you post them on their website, and remember to hide them again in another part of Devon.
We have started our own photo album containing these brightly coloured stones. More have been added. Just go to our Contact page to tell us your finds.
|Posted by micky brown on September 2, 2018 at 3:50 AM||comments (0)|
A couple of weeks ago you may have seen the machinery in the park cutting the hay.
If you have wondered what happened to it, the clue is in the notice that went up at the Dawlish Countryside Park.
Opened in 2017, this 65 acre countryside park is a public open space with wild countryside and walks. It is home to native species including wildflower grassland, scrub and woodland, and native wildlife, such as cirl buntings.
The grassland will be managed as hay meadows packed with colourful wildflowers and bustling with butterflies, with mown paths for exploring and shorter strips for throwing a ball.
It is still being developed, and so there are still huge open areas for dogs to run and run and run!
Part of it's development is to put in wild flower areas and that is where our hay has been important. The notice below shows the areas where our hay has been spread.
|Posted by micky brown on July 18, 2018 at 11:55 AM||comments (0)|
Masses of ladybird larva have arrived in the park.
Many people have said they haven't seen many ladybirds this summer. Well it looks as though they are on their way. I noticed, while clearing some nasturtium plants that were looking the worse for wear from the orchard in the park, that they were full of blackfly. The blackfly had been able to eat and breed in peace due to the spell of hot dry weather and lack of rain to wash them away.
Then I spotted all the ladybird grubs. But after checking online I found they were not the British ladybird larva, they were the harlequin ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) larva.
The photo above are of just a few that fell from the Nasturtium plants.
Harlequin ladybirds are an invasive species which has been spreading north and west throughout the UK since it was first sighted in the south east of England in 2004. The native larvae are a paler grey than the harlequin larvae which are more spiky looking, with much longer legs.
After a female lays her eggs, they will hatch in between three and ten days, depending on ambient temperature. The larva will live and grow for about a month before it enters the pupal stage, which lasts about 15 days. After the pupal stage, the adult ladybug will live up to one year. They can eat upto 60 greenfly in a day.
The hot summer of 1976 is remembered as a particularly good year for ladybirds, with swarms of them infesting towns and cities across the UK.
The group noun for ladybirds is a "loveliness"
So it could be that very soon we will be invaded with a loveliness of ladybirds.
|Posted by micky brown on June 17, 2018 at 6:45 AM||comments (0)|
A Bit Boring
Just to let you know that contractor Arcadias will be on site in near future to create an additional small borehole on behalf of Network Rail.
This is necessary safety work and has been planned to minimise impact upon the park.
They will, as before, gain access via The Rowdens cul de sac and across the top meadow.
If park staff deem it necessary they will lay a protective trackway but this can if dry be unnecessary/counterproductive.
We have just received notification that this will now be starting on the 2nd July. They have booked two weeks but anticipate it should only take one.
photo taken during the last boring job
|Posted by micky brown on March 28, 2018 at 4:15 PM||comments (0)|
Not such a fun guy!
Meripilus giganteus. A serious root rotting fungus that attacks Beech trees has been found in our park. It was spotted a couple of years ago on the lawn at the back of Rowdens House emerging from the roots of an established Beech tree.
Meripilus giganteus is a polypore fungus in the family Meripilaceae. It causes a white rot in various types of broadleaved trees, particularly beech (Fagus). This bracket fungus, commonly known as the giant polypore or black-staining polypore, is often found in large clumps at the base of trees, although fruiting bodies are sometimes found some distance away from the trunk, parasitizing the roots. It is recognizable by the large, multi-capped fruiting body, as well as its pore surface that quickly darkens black when bruised or injured.
Now that the the root system has been damaged, there was concern that the tree may fall in a strong wind and cause injury.
It was decided to fell the tree.
UPDATE..... 24TH AUGUST 2018
The branches have been taken away but the fungus is back with a vengence.
|Posted by micky brown on March 4, 2018 at 4:50 PM||comments (0)|
Blackcaps have been spotted (February/March) on my bird feeder next to The Orchard in the park.
The Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) usually known simply as the blackcap, is a common and widespread typical warbler.
The blackcap breeds in much of Europe, western Asia and northwestern Africa, and its preferred habitat is mature deciduous woodland. The male holds a territory when breeding, which is defended against garden warblers as well as other blackcaps. The nest is a neat cup, built low in brambles or scrub. The blackcap is a partial migrant; some German birds have adapted to spending the winter in gardens in Great Britain and Ireland. Insects are the main food in the breeding season, but, for the rest of the year, blackcaps survive primarily on small fruit.
Garden birds also eat bread, fat and peanuts in winter.
The male's song is a rich musical warbling, often ending in a loud high-pitched crescendo. It has been known to mimic other birds song including other warblers and the Nightingale. I thought I was listening to a Nightingale singing one evening last November but after listening to recordings of each I realise this was a Blackcap.
Some text extracts from Wikipedia.
A flock of Feildfares were also seen in the park on a snowy 3rd of March. Fieldfares are large, colourful thrushes, much like a mistle thrush in general size, shape and behaviour. They spend the winter in flocks of anything from a dozen or two to several hundred strong. These straggling, chuckling flocks which roam the UK's countryside are a delightful and attractive part of the winter scene.
My neighbour recalled that they had been in his garden a few days before and had stripped his holly of all it's berries within an hour.
Scientific name: Turdus pilaris
Photo courtesy of Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Author N p holmes
|Posted by micky brown on January 19, 2018 at 2:35 PM||comments (0)|
Starting January 22nd 2018 the top pond will be desilted. Work has already started (18/01/18 on preparing the pond, and a large pipe has been laid to take the running water over the pond to the next pond down. The Teignbridge Park team managed to salvage the pipe used 8 years ago on repairing the ponds. The bank will then be supported with rocks to stop mud and silt being washed down into the pond in the future. A family in Maudling drive kindly donated the rocks when they shifted an old wall and rockery.
January 22nd, pipe work installed to divert the water flow
January 24th,start to remove the silt
Sian shifting silt - with a smile
mud glorious mud
The silt ends up in the walled garden for use in the community gardens
|Posted by micky brown on January 15, 2018 at 10:20 AM||comments (0)|
Irene Foy mentions in Viv Wilsons earlier article, a recollection of the lawns being mowed by horse drawn mower.
Here's some photos of Monty Don having a go -
Don't churn up the lawn, put your slippers on-
Pony slippers Horse slipper
Above - how it may have looked.
below - This one has got the hump.
Camels have soft feet and don't need slippers.
Shanks' Pony or Shanks' mare
meaning - to use one's own legs,
Supposed to be a Scottish verb to shank or to shank it dating from the 18th century meaning to go on foot.
I prefer the later version from 1850.-
Alexander Shanks of Arbroath introduced its range of Caledonia mowers from around this time.
An innovation on the Caledonia was the addition of a small spring on the bracket that supported the rear roller. The idea was for the chain to absorb some of the vibrations that occur as the mower moves across the lawn. Shanks patented this mechanism in 1894 primarily for its larger pony and horse drawn mowers.
But they also manufactured popular hand mowers. If you had one of these you became Shanks' pony!
|Posted by micky brown on October 13, 2017 at 3:50 PM||comments (0)|
reproduced from an article printed in the Teignmouth Post & Gazette on 6.10.2017
by kind permission of the author and copyright holder Viv Wilson
Irene Foy nee Crocker