Written by: Cornelius Jones
It’s been a busy few weeks for the wildlife of the Tawd Valley Park. First of all, Roe Deer have been sighted throughout the woodland areas of our Valley, mainly during the short period of snow and ice. Large mammals finding refuge and feeding grounds right in the centre of Skelmersdale is yet more proof as to the importance of the Park – it is amazing that we can sustain these animals, a testament to the hard work put in over the years by our dedicated volunteers.
Deer aren’t the only mammals calling the Valley home at the moment – fox tracks were found in the snow last weekend, not long after the culprit was spotted crossing a path late one evening. Grey squirrels – love them or hate them – are still being seen in the Valley in large numbers. Unfortunately, the fresh tracks of an American Mink were found at the riverside recently after the species was seemingly absent from our waterway for a good while, but the adverse conditions likely drove it into new territory in search of food.
The birds of Tawd Valley Park coped well with the snow, however – one of our volunteers reported encountering five Great-spotted Woodpeckers at once, with others sighting these birds at the Manfield Allotments or frequenting garden feeders in the Yewdale area. Buzzards continue to show reliably well over the woodlands near the Community Orchard, below which Goldcrests, Treecreepers and Grey Wagtails have been sighted. The feeding flock of Rooks has moved from Tanfields and are now often seen feeding in the Valley near Yewdale.
Finally, an amphibian – likely a Newt – was spotted briefly in the Scrape near the Orchard.
As always, please let us know about any wildlife encounters you have had in the Tawd Valley. It’s always great to hear about what the public has spotted.