A year in na­ture

A new year and a whole new year of wildlife spot­ting beck­ons, writes Jo Dar­ling­ton from Cheshire Wildlife Trust

Cheshire Life - - | -

The start of a new year is an ex­cit­ing time. What I es­pe­cially love about it is the op­por­tu­nity to start a clean sheet for my wildlife spot­ting; what things will I dis­cover this year? I love to see the old favourites which act as mark­ers for the year just as much as any cal­en­dar, but I also hope to add some new sight­ings to my wildlife high­lights. Here are some of the things I’m look­ing for­ward to go­ing out to see.

peo­ple in Cheshire took part – will we reach 2,000 this year? I’d like to think so.

Our crea­tures love the sun­shine too – com­mon lizards en­joy bask­ing in the sun at heath­land na­ture re­serves such as Cleaver Heath and Danes Moss. A visit to Mar­bury isn’t com­plete with­out hear­ing a king­fisher ‘peep’ along with its blur of blue as it flies by and bats start to zip round the Trust’s wooded re­serves too.

For most of our mam­mals it’s a time to start mak­ing re­serves to last through the win­ter. Whether this is fat­ten­ing up for hi­ber­na­tion or stor­ing nuts and seeds in the ground, it can be a busy few weeks for them. on a win­ter’s day but trust me it will be worth­while to catch sight of huge num­bers of wad­ing birds feed­ing on the wet sands. On your way there or back you might even catch a glimpse of a fox or badger cross­ing the road. If you don’t feel like go­ing far, make sure you keep your bird feed­ers and bird baths topped up. Your gar­den res­i­dents will ap­pre­ci­ate the easy food when things are get­ting scarce and you could be in for a treat if you at­tract a group of long-tailed tits or a red­poll.

Win­ter wildlife in Cheshire The Trust’s head­quar­ters at Bick­ley Hall Farm is a great place for see­ing mi­grant birds. Star­ling mur­mu­ra­tions are fre­quently there and at their na­ture re­serve at Bag­mere. Park at Park­gate on the Wirral to watch the world of waders and win­ter­ing birds on the Dee es­tu­ary.

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