From brash to ash

Another day spent at Wybunbury Moss with Crewe & Nantwich Conservation Volunteers burning brash left behind by Natural England’s tree clearance activities.


It was a lovely spring-like day with blue sky and white fluffy clouds.  The woodland was full of bird song, not quite at it’s full strength but certainly starting to build.

A day in the (very chilly) sun

I was out with Crewe & Nantwich Conservation Volunteers today to continue with our tasks at Wybunbury Moss National Nature Reserve.  We spent the day burning brash that was left over from the tree clearance work Natural England have been undertaking.

It was lovely, bright weather but the chill didn’t leave all day when out of the sun and the breeze added a wintry edge that reminded us that spring could still be some way off.  In fact, it was so cold that there was still ice on the open water when we finished at around 3:00pm.  However, the fire kept us warm and it was put to good use towards the end with some marshmallow toasting (nom, nom).


Before we left the Moss for the day, I went for a walk around the centre of the site.  It’s not often I can do this as the main area of the Moss is out-of-bounds to the public – it’s dangerous place to be.  One of the most eye-catching parts of the Moss is where there are standing dead trees; they drown as they grow heavier and their roots break into lake beneath the peat floating layer of peat – the weather made this photo opportunity impossible to let go.


An uplifting break in the weather

It seems a long time since I was out in the sunshine, so this morning when I woke to a blue sky, I went to Bagmere to do the final Winter Bird Survey for site this season.  After all the miserable weather and the dark mornings and evenings, a bit of sun can really lift the spirits.

Whilst the sun was shining, the wind was close to being too strong to allow me to do the survey.  However, when I got down into the shallow bowl in which Bagmere sits, it was sheltered from the worst of the wind and I could more than easily hear all the birds in the surrounding area.


There wasn’t a great deal of bird activity and I didn’t get a particularly great list of species.  Unfortunately, willow tits were again missing from my records; after seeing them at Bagmere last time out there, I hoped I’d get them again.  Some nest boxes were put up for them last year and hopefully these will encourage them to breed.  The breeding bird surveys at Bagmere and Blakenhall Moss (both Cheshire Wildlife Trust reserves) start again next month, so I’ll soon see!


Not long after returning home, the clouds came across and it started to pour with rain and hail – usual service had resumed!