Recent Wildlife Sightings – 12/03/2024

Written by: Cornelius Jones

The signs of Spring are really beginning to show in the Tawd Valley. In and around the Allotment site, dozens of smooth and palmate newts are being seen, and the scrape near the orchard currently holds a good amount of frogspawn. Within the coming weeks, frog and newt tadpoles will hatch out and begin their famous transformation.

Over on Yewdale, excitement was sparked when a FoTV volunteer reported a sighting of a possible woodcock flying over the houses to the Valley. A winter migrant with a small British population, this has been long-awaited this season, after a few birds spent last winter in the North of the Valley near the BMX track. Yewdale hasn’t only been host to Northern European birds, though, as a Black Swan – a species native to Australia – was found at the side of the road not long ago. These birds now breed in Britain having escaped captivity (with one local pair breeding last year on the Ribble) and this individual, due to its proximity to the road and the likelihood that it has fled from a collection, was caught and taken to a rescue.

Glenburn Field has been providing local wildlife watchers with a spectacle as of late, with at least seven buzzards at times flying over the disused land. A cock pheasant – a scarce bird for Tawd Valley – was also sighted here. Throughout the Valley, Sparrowhawks continue to hunt for the smaller birds, which are currently laying claim to their breeding territories – a male Bullfinch was recently sighted near the Retail Park, and Goldcrests continue to put on a show in the woods below the Allotments. Grey Wagtails can be seen along the River, as well as Mallards, which are also present alongside Coots on the Half-mile Lake.

Two Rabbits were recently sighted in the Valley after a long absence. Grey squirrels are the only other mammal of note, as no deer have been noted for about a month – perhaps the Tawd Valley was just their wintering ground, and they have now returned to the local countryside to breed.

Now is a great time to get out and look for wildlife – all manner of life is claiming territories, looking for breeding partners, and building their nests. In the bird world, Winter migrants are on their way out, whilst summer migrants are heading in. So go on, get out there – who knows what you will find?