Friends of Dalby Forest

Volunteering in the Great Yorkshire Forest


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Staindale feeding station 2019 update

Based on a report for FoDF AGM by Lindsay Wardell

It has been a good year for the birds of Staindale Lake feeding station. Not only has the area been given a spruce up and up-grade, there has been a very obvious increase in the number of birds using the area. The Friends have improved the area and there are numerous Blue, Great, Coal and Marsh Tits, in numbers so high they seem to be all around the feeders get filled! There are lots of Chaffinches, which more than once, have been joined by Bramblings. Greenfinches, Robins and Blackbirds. Siskin numbers are also up on the year before too, and Nuthatches and Great Spotted Woodpeckers are frequent visitors.

In the summer months, you are almost sure to see Warblers, including Lesser Whitethroats and Willow Warblers and the iconic Chiffchaff. On the lake, a Kingfisher has been hunting , and there are lots of Bullfinches and Jays. The Winter saw visits by Yellowhammers and a Goldcrest.

New bird houses have been added

The amount of visitors who have approached Lindsay whilst filling the feeders, are aften asking about the birdlife and complimenting the area.

During the 2018/9 winter, accessing the area was an issue. Troublesome snow and ice persisted for quite a while, making it impossible for us to get to the birds when they would have desperately needed the help most! However, despite the cold conditions, when we finally managed to get up to the lake safely, there were plenty of birds all around, and so most managed to make it.

New feeding arch which has allowed us to add a greater variety of feeders such as Nyger

We now have two new bird tables now and a feeding arch full of different feeders. This year we added Nyger feeders to possibly attract Redpoll and they certainly are attracting Siskins.  We have yet to record Redpoll, but always keep a look out!

We are considering adding a low barrier across the area where currently cars pull right in and are hoping to put a seat there instead to allow visitors to stop, sit and watch the birds.

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Lizards, April showers and some new volunteers at the Maze

Our worktask this morning was at the maze. It was colder than we were expecting and we even had some hailstones and rain showers every so often. We mended pallets, shifted stones and weeded the inner circle, and even found a little lizard – who did not move very much having been fooled into thinking that the earlier sun meant it was warm!

Thanks to everyone who came including two new volunteers Sue and Vanessa.


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Buttercup-wrangling in the Forest Garden!

January saw us back to work in the forest garden and tackling the buttercups that were strangling some of the plants and taking over the paths. Some lovely pics courtesy of Michael Hill. We will continue to meet on the second Sunday of every month so if you want to do some volunteering in 2019 then come and join us!  https://friendsofdalbyforest.wordpress.com/about/


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Soggy but lovely – October work task in Dalby

A bit of a wet one today but we did some trail clearing in advance of Fear in the Forest at the end of the month. Thankfully topped off with a nice hot drink at the cafe courtesy of ranger Paul. Some of us also took a quick trip up to see the new Nissan hut installation by Rachel Whiteread near the Adderstone.

Despite the rain, it was still lovely to see all the Autumn colours coming out.


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Brushing up on our skills

We had a work task organised for Sunday 21st January but with the Ellerburn trail still under snow and more forecast at Sunday lunchtime, the decision was taken to cancel the task. However we had in any case arranged the first of our Manual handling training courses and so 8 of us attended that in the morning instead, along with some members of Singletraction. We brushed up on the good lifting and carrying techniques we should all be employing given that we can’t totally avoid lifting or moving things (or wheel-barrowing, or shovelling, or pushing, or pulling, or bending and reaching) as a forest volunteer!

All FoDF active volunteers will have to do the course eventually so watch this space for further training days.

 

Lifting and shifting at the maze – but in warmer times!


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Frosty work task at Ellerburn

Thank you to everyone who came out this morning under an amazing blue sky but frosty underfoot for our worktask today.

We removed the tree tubes from the hedge saplings we planted a few years ago along the Ellerburn trail. We had a great turn out, one of the largest of the year and also welcomed new volunteer Janet.


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Birdsong in the forest

After a meeting in the forest this morning, I stopped by the bird feeders by the lake, which the Friends keep topped up. I just had to share the beautiful birdsong.

In 10 mins I saw Coal tits, a Woodpecker, Chaffinches, Great tits, a Robin, Blue tits, Dunnocks and a Blackbird.

 

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