Archived Guestbook entries for 2008

    22/12/08
    December 22nd, Alfrick Pound. For the past two or three weeks, one (or more?) marsh tits have been feeding on seed from and around our seed feeder - a first for us here. Early signs of spring can be seen locally - a celandine in flower along a nearby lane and snowdrops out on the bank opposite the Knapp and Papermill Reserve wardens' house. Carol Bradley

    29/11/08

    November 29th. A couple of firsts for this winter in our garden - a male blackcap perching and flitting about in our hawthorn edge near the bird feeders, and a male bullfinch feeding on grass seedheads under the same hedge. Also, as well as the resident sparrows, great tits, blue tits, greenfinches and chaffinches, coal titshave been regularly feeding on the feeders and a pair of greater spotted woodpeckers have been pecking on the trunk of an old apple tree. A mistle thrush has been eating the berries on large clumps of mistletoe in the same tree. Male and female blackbirds have been eating the remaining apples in the trees and on the ground, and last week a small flock of redwings stripped the berries from a holly tree in our garden (no holly for us at Christmas this year!). Carol Bradley

    7/7/08

    Our old (limestone and sandstone) garden wall has just been rebuilt/renovated after an argument with a land rover. Within the wall, lying in a crevice in the old loose, sandy, disintegrated mortar, five small slow-worms were found, enjoying the warmth from the sun on the old stones. These slow-worms were very light sandy/brown in colour, possibly juveniles from last year? Interestingly, last week in North Wales we saw a larger, jet black slow-worm dead on the side of a road. Does this indicate a camouflage effect because of the darker rocks in that area? What colour are slow-worms on the Malvern Hills? Carol Bradley

    20/6/08

    The robin babies fledged on Tueday (17th June). Dad is feeding them and I saw Mum taking nesting material to a new nest. We have more than a dozen young sparrows in the garden as well. The robin sometimes has trouble carrying a meal worm away because the sparrows try to take it from him. We feed the sparrows too to distract them from the robin. It costs us a fortune in mealworms but it is very good entertainment! Shabra Dowson

    7/6/08

    The robins that are nesting in our garden started feeding their third brood last Wednesday (4th June). We are feeding the adults the smaller-sized meal worms which are ferried to the babies. We have to look away (to go along with the idea that the nest is secret) before the robin will fly to the nest. Shabra Dowson

    27/5/08

    I looked up Golden Oriole - there are a small number breeding in Norfolk so one may have blown over on the east wind! They have an attractive fluting song and also a harsh alarm cry like a jay. But perhaps one on his own might not call much. It was a male you saw, the femail is green. Shabra Dowson

    23/5/08

    A bright yellow and black bird came briefly to our nut feeder this morning (in Guarlford). From the book, it seems like a golden oriole - could it have been? Has anyone else seen one? Rosemary Williams

    17/5/08

    I read the article in the Malvern Gazette about when the cuckoo was first heard: I first heard it on April 27th in the area behind the Bluebell pub on the Guarlford Road, Barnards Green.From then on it has been heard here most days! Rosemary Whalley

    12/5/08

    Our garden birds are breeding very successfully, with a bit of help in the form of meal worms from us. The male robin will land on our hands to take meal worms and the male blackbird will come to our feet and wait until he has collected a beakful. The blackbirds have fledged babies perched in bushes and she is building a new nest. The robins have started feeding theur second brood. The first were around in the snow and needed our support more then! Shabra Dowson

    12/5/08

    Saw our fist Damselflies today, probably be laying eggs soon. Have seen/heard a few woodpeckers around the woods at the back of Malvern Instruments in Enigma Park Ind Est. and Focus DIY store. Chris Leonard

    11/5/08

    Can anyone help with a tadpole problem? We have pink slime growing in our pond which has replaced the green algae that the tadpoles used to eat. We had several successful tadpole years but now they hatch and disappear. The pink slime started after we used rainwater collected from the house roof to fill the pond. Shabra Dowson

    9/5/08

    Currently have at least 10 common newts in our pond, approx 7' x 5". Unfortunately the frogspawn was disintegrated by the heavy hail and frosts, some tadpoles were mature enough to survive but I think the newts have eaten them. We do however regularly have many large frogs around the pond. Bird sightings include Redpoll, Siskin, House/Common Sparrow, Long tailed tits, Goldfinch, Heron. There is a blue tit nesting in a hole in next doors Damson tree. Chris Leonard

    28/4/08

    Green woodpecker seen below the path high up on North hill overlooking the town centre . See Photographs. Jean Evans

    18/2/08

    The frost has slowed down most signs of spring, but the Great Spotted Woodpecker is still to be heard drumming. Siskin are about the reserve and can be seen and heard amongst the Larch. Buzzard are vocal at the moment, and yesterday ( Sunday 17th Feb) Tawny Owl was heard hooting in broad daylight. If the weather warms up and we get the rain promised at the end of the week, look out for migrating Toads at night. They look a little like leaves on the road, so try not to run them over. Trevor Smart


    10/2/08

    Yesterday ( February 9th) we saw a red admiral butterfly on the (very early) blossom on a prunus tree in our garden - is this a first for this year? Carol Bradley

    8/1/08

    Eleven long tailed tits flew in briefly to feed on our peanut feeder. First signs of spring - snowdrops out on the bank opposite the entrance to the Knapp and Papermill Reserve, woodpecker drumming in the woods at the Knapp, great tit calling 'teacher  teacher'. Carol Bradley

    5/1/08

    Hi! I have just looked at your website for the first time. I have no current sightings or info to write about but would like to tell you of the large, thriving community of slow worms (currently hibernating of course) to be seen on my Mum's allotment in Malvern. We keep a close watch on them throughout the year and have increased habitat sites for them (compost heaps with carpet covering!). Lovely. I have a nice collection of sloughed skin which is really beautiful. I am a practicing artist and a lifelong lover of nature especially 'creepie crawlies', anything that slithers and ponds and pondlife. I use both these interests to produce some of my artwork in the form of collections. Alexandra Gordon