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Julie's Nature Column - Summer 2017

Jul 07, 2017

Well the good weather has arrived and the Mills is buzzing with wildlife. There seems to be lots of bumble bees which is great and several bees nests have been noticed. One just above a doorway, one in the ground and one which had to be removed by a beekeeper because they decided to nest under the wheel arch of the railway children's digger. The beekeeper took them several miles away to set up home somewhere new. Talking of bees, over the years there has been bee orchids growing in the car park. They disappeared for a few years, but to my surprise they reappeared the other week, only two, but it's a start. A week later i found a pyramid orchid in the same area, so we are going to keep this area wild and sow other wildflowers to compliment what's already there.

 julie-summer-2017-orchids.jpg

Watching wildlife in the evening has been enjoyable. Sometimes we're a bit spoilt as to what animal to watch first. The other evening a family of foxes were quite entertaining with two playful fox cubs. They can't sit still for long and it seems that everything is worth exploring or playing with. The cubs are about half grown and still depend on their parents. Other evening activities include the badgers of course, having glimpses of them when it's still light in the evening is a nice treat. I recently bought a bat detector and it's amazing to hear that they are all around the site. It's the perfect time of year for them with so many midges and moths on the menu.

 julie-summer-2017-fox.jpg

julie-summer-2017-badger.jpg

 The deer are in really good condition, antlers regrowing very fast and their coats looking shiny and new. This is the time of year when the Does have their fawns and I am hoping to catch the occasional glimpse soon. It will be some time before the does rejoin the males as they like to keep their fawns safe. In the meantime the males are quite entertaining because no one is in charge whilst their antlers are growing and the younger ones seem to get away with disrespecting the bigger males, but it won't be for long!

 julie-summer-2017-deer.jpg

I hope to bring you some more interesting wildlife news next time around, but until then I hope you enjoy the little snippets so far.

Julie Matthews

Mills nature conservationist



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