Thursday November 27th 2014
Just Rose and I working in school wildlife area this morning-weather sunny earlier but alas soon chilly and overcast,,,
I filled most of bird feeders + sorted bird food ready for next week then located a missing peanut feeders which had come off a branch and rolled down the slope below the shed
As soon as Rose arrived we gathered gloves and garden bags together then set off to clear the large steep slope below the shed of nettles,dead stems,grasses etc – uncovering as we weeded lots of primrose plants plus a few daffodil shoots
We actually finished clearing this bank ie at least 10 more large bags of garden waste added to compost bins and piles-we even had time to start weeding the huge grassy area on the other side of the steps!
After morning break I collected 4 Year 6 children from Mrs Dudley’s class to help with filling the last 2 bird food trays near the shed-the children put mixed seed,suet pellets,sunflower hearts,sultanas and dried mealworms on the trays
Mr Ball brought Year 4 class children down into the wildlife area around 11.30am -children all excitedly searching for “size 4 twigs” ie very short thin twigs for the “Kelly Kettle”
Lots of magpies,blackbirds and a pair of robins seen this morning
Decided to take early coffee break this am alas discovered that flask of milky coffee still at home in wrong trolley!!!!
Thursday November 24th 2014
Arrived school around 8.15am began by sorting shed + started to fill bird feeders-Colin arrived to help at 9am
After completing filling feeders we sorted bird food for next time then went up by the playground to start some pruning on the perennial bed by nursery and behind the learning centre
Just after 10am Cath arrived to join us-she and Colin carried on with more pruning whilst I showed a possible new volunteer around the wildlife area
After our coffee break Cath and I weeded out alexanders near the shed and Colin pruned back a nearby wild rose
Birds seen in wildlife area this morning included a robin , blackbirds, goldfinch,magpies,collared doves and wood pigeons
Thursday November 20th 2014
NB not working at sch in wildlife area Mon Nov 17th due to wet weather conditions plus Cath unable to help
Arrived school this morning at 8.15am began by starting to fill various bird feeders around our project site-later joined by Colin (back from 6 weeks away)and later Rose
After sorting bird food ready for next time we went to work in far copse below car park -Rose weeding our alexanders whilst Colin sawed up a huge aspen tree branch which had fallen-I added the branches to the nearby woodpile/ shelter for insects ,small birds and mammals
Next after a coffee break Rose,Colin and I worked on the lower slope below the shed
Colin coppiced a large hazel -Rose and I moved all the cut branches to the black plastic near the willow dome ready for the children to use for building shelters …..
We also did more weeding, planting wildflowers ,tying up a wild rose etc
After the morning break I collected 3 girls from Mr Correy’s class – they helped fill the last 2 bird feeders .
Mrs King and Mrs Frost brought a class down into the wildlife area – lots of outdoor learning ie using branches to make various structures!
Thursday November 13th 2014
Damp start to morning with worsening weather forecasted nevertheless up to school I went as usual ie arriving just before 8.30am
Began by filling birdfeeders- noticed that fat squares near the shed had been eaten since Tuesday more than likely by squirrels and magpies so decided not to refill them for a while!
Rose arrived not long after 9am bringing more bird food ie niger seed and fat squares she’d bought for me
Before we could even start work the rain began so we sheltered in the shed for a while surprising Mrs Frost as she passed by! Mr Ball also in wildlife area giving a tour for a small group of school parents-needless to say I gave them all cards with website info re this blog plus tried to recruit them to join our volunteer team working in the wildlife area Monday and Thursday mornings……..
Although the weather still damp + very strong winds around we decided to carry on working so after going to check out the pond we did more weeding out of nettles,grasses,alexanders etc near the pond and outdoor classroom seating area
Decided enough was enough at 10.30am so after a coffee break we left an hour earlier than usual
Tuesday November 11th 2014
Up to school 10am till 12.15pm for an extra work session in the school wildlife area
Filled the 3 niger seed feeders +put out 3 fat squares in the holders near the shed and classrooms then spent awhile birdwatching -lots of goldfinches seen
At 11.30am as arranged met Andy Bakere Devon Wildlife Trust reserve manager who had kindly offered to help with our annual pond clearing
Very impressively Andy climbed in the pond -water over the top of his wellies-and pulled out about 70% of the irises which were the dominating plant ie leaving a few irises+water lily,spearwort,marsh marigold and purple loosestrife
NB large amount of irises left on grassy bank around pond -next week after pond creatures have found their way back into the pond the plant waste will be added to nearby compost piles
Monday November 10th 2014
At school just after 8am I began as usual by filling birdfeeders in and around school wildlife area
Nigel arrived around 9am for a quick visit + he brought back a peanut feeder he’d repaired
Half an hour later Cath arrived to help me with weeding and planting-we planted 3 wild roses on the edge of the copse near the pond+finished weeding the grassy area in front of the pond fence
Lots of signs of school classes using the wildlife area since last Thurs am ie numerous structures everywhere using fallen tree branches from our woodpiles left for small bird,mammal and insect shelters
A variety of wildlife seen this morning including a bumblebee, sparrowhawk, jays, woodpigeon,collared doves,magpies,robins,blackbirds,great tits, dunnocks,tree sparrows and a great spotted woodpecker
After the morning break Cath collected 4 Year 4 children from Miss Macintyre’s class to help us with filling the last 2 bird feeders by the shed
Thursday November 6th 2014
Arrived school before 8.30am began by filling most of bird feeders around school wildlife area-most were empty as was unable to come in on Monday
Rose arrived just after 9am in time to help sort bird food ready for next time
Our main job was down near the wildlife pond where we did lots more weeding and clearing away dead and overgrown grasses etc
Wildlife seen during morning included blackbirds,magpies a blue,robin and grey squirrel
Mrs Frost brought a group of excited children into the wildlife area-they were collecting samples of leaves, twigs, seeds,nuts etc ready to make skeleton pictures
After morning break 4 children from Mr Smith’sYear3/4 class came to help me fill the last 2 bird feeders near the shed
NB I noticed we have gorse in flower close by the wildlife pond