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Julie's Nature Column - Winter 2016

Feb 08, 2017

What an amazing colourful Autumn we had, it's such a shame though that the Alder trees all over the site don't change to a pretty colour. New Hill is the best part of the site to be on during the Autumn as it is lacking in Alder trees, but Field Maple and a few others provided some stunning colours. The wind has blown most of the leaves away now and the site is starting to take on its winter look. This should help me get some photos as you can see more clearly into the woodland.

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I recently saw a Tawny owl one evening; it was dark, but caught in the headlights sitting on a branch. It was a lovely sight to see and it sat there long enough for a photo. I wonder if it's easier for them to catch their prey in the winter with less vegetation on the ground.

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The deer have just about finished the rut and are starting to gather on the mead. I always look forward to a bit of winter snow just as a good photo opportunity, but I hope it's not too harsh on the deer. I am sure we will be supplying the usual haylage for them during the cold months to come. This fella retired early from the rut and spent some time hanging around the canals...giving his magpie friend a ride.

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During the winter I will still be on the lookout for some more wildlife, lifting boards and logs to see what I can find, the Mills is always full of surprises.

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This little Vole was hiding in its bed and popped it's head out to take a look at me. I have missed so many photo's by not being quick enough, but I do get lucky sometimes and enjoy being able to share them with everyone.

Julie Matthews
Mills Nature Conservationist



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