Most of my time has been spent on the Deep Pit banks again and they are now finished. I have also spent some time digging the dragonfly pools and a volunteer has been busy on these on many days this month. He has also opened up some areas that were formerly used for spawning by frogs. Whilst clearing the brush from the Deep Pit banks I came across good numbers of basal rosettes of Bee Orchids. It will be interesting to see if these flower this year.
We have been given an old bird table which we installed near the containers last month. I have kept it supplied with bird food and, although at first very little came, now there are good numbers of Reed Buntings and Chaffinches coming for food.
On 14th I received a phone call to say the swan on the Small Gravel Pit had fishing line dangling from its bill. I contacted Notts Wildlife Trust to see if they had anyone who they used to help them when these incidents occurred and they sent over the manager from Attenborough Nature Reserve. He brought a swan jacket and we soon caught the swan (it came for bread). Once restrained he soon had the fishing line out and it sat on the ground, unrestrained, between us, eating more bread. It didn’t bother getting up until all the bread was gone. Since then it has been seen several times and has flown between the Small Gravel Pit, river and Deep Pit, so it seems none the worse for its ordeal.
The week beginning 6th February was very cold and most of the pits froze over. A lot of the wildfowl moved away, although some stayed on the river. Since then it has all thawed again and the wildfowl are back, the Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Goldeneye in particularly good numbers. Otherwise it has been a quiet month for birds at the reserve but there have been some early signs of spring with a frog being seen on 24th February and a Red Admiral on the 1st March, plus Coltsfoot and Lesser Celandine coming into flower.