The diving Goosander – flora and fauna
Jun26

The diving Goosander – flora and fauna

An exciting yet reasonably regukar visitor to New Mills the Goosander is a medium-sized duck and a member of a group called the ‘sawbills’ because of their long, narrow bills with saw-like ‘teeth’ which are excellent for gripping fish, especially the brown trout found in the River Goyt. This long sleek, streamlined bird, is perfectly shaped for swimming after fish. Goosanders are gregarious birds, forming...

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Flora and fauna – the gymnast
Jan29

Flora and fauna – the gymnast

The busy nuthatch looking for his favourite seed The real gymnast of the bird table in winter is the nuthatch. I always think of them as strong athletic birds, just as happy running up and down a treat stump or swinging from a bird feeder. Nuthatches readily come to the bird table, being particularly partial to peanuts and sunflower seeds which replace the hazelnuts, acorns and insects of their natural diet. You may notice them...

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Flora and fauna – something in the air
Jan26

Flora and fauna – something in the air

Something in the air  You’ll have seen them hanging in the breeze above motorway verges, precisely adjusting wings, body and tail so as to keep the head dead still, like it was pinned to the background. The lovely old name for the kestrel is the ‘windhover’.  Our most abundant bird of prey, the bread and butter for kestrels is the vole, though they’ll also take earthworms, insects and fledgling birds. Now then, voles don’t...

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Flora and fauna : Mistle thrush
Dec23

Flora and fauna : Mistle thrush

Flora and fauna : Mistles I’ve been trying to come up with some Christmassy flora and fauna facts: in the past I’ve done holly and covered ivy. Then the thought came to me that we don’t get much mistletoe growing round these parts. By coincidence we’ve currently got a couple of mistle thrushes which have been hanging about and presumably roosting in a large holly tree in the garden. A pair nested in there a few Springs ago and reared...

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Flora and fauna : Jaywalking
Aug07

Flora and fauna : Jaywalking

Flora and fauna : Jaywalking We were visited by a pair of these beauties the other day, collecting peanuts (they can hold up to a dozen in their gullet at one time) to store in hidey holes. You’re most likely to see them in the autumn when they’re busy collecting their favourite food, acorns, and burying them for winter use…Jays are responsible for many of our oak trees because they miss collecting the odd one or...

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