Recent Wildlife Sightings – 27/02/2024

Written and photos by: Cornelius Jones

It’s been a busy few weeks for the wildlife of the Tawd Valley Park. Buzzards have been seen competing for mates, and Sparrowhawks and Kestrels continue to hunt in and around the Valley. At this time of year, birds are laying claim to their nesting territories, and some are even beginning to construct their nests. One responsibility potential breeders have at this time of year is finding a mate – Tawny Owls have been heard calling to one another in the Valley, and Blackbirds are singing on their territories at dusk each day. Woodpeckers continue to feed near Yewdale, as well as a leucistic (partially white) Carrion Crow.

Elsewhere in the Valley, amphibians are active and breeding. Frogspawn has been found in the Park, and Newts – Smooth, and likely Palmate – have been seen claiming mates in ponds, particularly on the Manfield Allotments. They are expected to breed in good numbers on this site.

Aquatic life is a large focus of this week’s report – Roach and Bream were caught from the Half-mile Lake in good number by anglers recently, showing the presence of a healthy fish population. A team of volunteers also found at least ten Stonefly Larvae in the Cobb’s Clough – this species is an excellent indicator of healthy, unpolluted water, and it is hoped that they will soon be in good number in the River Tawd itself.

Finally, onto mammals – as well as the ever-present Grey Squirrels, at least two rabbits are currently living in the Valley, after a long absence. Keep an eye out for their white tails bouncing as they retreat into the cover of the undergrowth.

As always, if you see any interesting wildlife in the Valley, please let us know – we’re always interested to hear about the species which call our green space home.