We have a diary in the office that we use to record wildlife around the park and estate - first sightings, unusual species or little anecdotes of behaviour. The last few weeks have seen a flurry of entries, so I thought I would share a few on here:
17/5/13 - First swifts of the season seen in a large group (about 20) above Bell Brook behind Norton Farm.
25/5/13 - The mason bees in the orchard are producing eggs and pollinating all our trees (good job!). The straws in the plastic tubes will need harvesting soon.
26/5/13 - Otter spotted down by the confluence, and lots of tracks nearby on the riverside.
5/6/13 - A pair of red kites flying over the deer park close to Bob's house.
7/6/13 - First fallow fawn seen on top of the park - only hours old - ran into Reptons wood.
11/6/13 - Red kite flying over Ismore woods in the afternoon. Also heard a cuckoo in the woods in the deer park.
19/6/13 - The following seen at the bird observation area, feeders are working. 3x greater spotted woodpecker, 2x rabbit, 2x wood pigeon, 3x squirrels, 1 robin and 1 blackbird. At Duncote Farm I saw 14 young partridge, about 2 days old, going into the corn.
I'm really pleased that more cuckoos are being heard around the Estate as last year I didn't hear a single one! Last week I was up in Scotland walking the West Highland Way and there were cuckoos calling all day long. It's also good to hear that the kites are being seen more regularly - there have been a few sightings over the years (my first ever kite was flying high over the Stables courtyard!) but in the last couple of weeks more and more people are mentioning them.