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 Guelder rose
Jun18

Flora and fauna – the Guelder rose

The Guelder Rose has a lacy, romantic looking creamy white flower with multiple little clusters of tiny flowers in the centre and a surrounding edge of larger five petalled flowers. Its delicate white appearance makes it easy to see why it inspired a traditional wedding song in Russia. Also known as dogberry, it has bunches of bright red berries in the autumn which are a favourite with mistle thrushes and bull finches. Often a sign of...

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Flora and fauna – Bird Cherry
May18

Flora and fauna – Bird Cherry

The midpoint of the Sett Valley trail is a perfect place to stop and savour the delights of the beautiful Bird  Cherry tree. A tree that loves to grow near water, there are several dotted around here in the wet woodland  and by the stream bank.  A particularly lovely one lies in the field by the public footpath leading up to Hayfield Road. At the moment...

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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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