|Everyone loves a big red tractor!|
|Sacrificial Crop Preparation - Chesworth Farm|
A very exciting time at Chesworth as this week saw the beginning of a project I have wanted to carry out on the Farm for many years. The project is taking place in Wheat Rick and New Town Nine Acre fields respectively and the more observant visitors to the Farm might well have noticed two plots have been ploughed this week.
The aim of the project is to sow several crops which we will not harvest but come the autumn will produce lots of seeds and grain to support the bird population which winters on the Farm, you may see these in the future being referred to on the blog as sacrifical crops. Species such as Linnet, Yellowhammer, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Reed Bunting should all benefit from the bounty of free food during the winter period and we hope they will use the nice big hedgerows to roost in and avoid predators from.
The next stage of the process is to power harrow the project area which will break the large clods of mud down into a fine tilth which will support the seeds and give them a better medium to grow in. We hope the weather will brighten up soon so we can get on with sowing the all important seed. These two plots are going to be the center of lots of attention throughout the year and I will keep you posted with how they are developing.
Around the Farm David Verrall has once again been busy finding lots of different species and this time he managed to get a lovely photo of a pair of Small Tortoiseshell butterflies which have been surprisingly few and far between this spring.
|Small Tortoiseshell - D. Verrall|
|Friends of Chesworth Farm AGM|
Leechpool & Owlbeech Woods
Up on the heathland at Owlbeech the warm spring sunshine has brought a plethora of species out and about with Common Lizard and Adder seen this week mainly in the areas with Bracken and the Green Tiger Beetles are making the most of the bare earth areas. Plenty of butterflies are now on the wing with many Brimstone's seeking out the vast amount of Alder Buckthorn to lay their precious eggs on. Willow Warbler's are very evident with their melodic song being heard throughout the heathland, soon we hope to hear the churring of the Nightjar once more.
Southwater Country Park
|Horsham Green Gym at Southwater Country Park|
Our thanks as always to the volunteers at Horsham Green Gym for supplying us with immense support and skill. It does not go unnoticed around the district and we are always grateful.
Warnham Local Nature Reserve
|Orange-tip - D. Verrall|
We have seen a real increase in the number of summer migrants and passage migrants this week with Common Sandpiper being seen every day with a peak of three birds on the 28th April. The best place to see them in Tern Hide and they are often feeding on the muddy scrapes right in front of the hide. Sean Collins managed to get this fantastic photo of all three birds not only together, but together in flight!!!
|Common Sandpipers - S. Collins|
|Common Tern - S. Collins|