Monday, 10 November 2014

Fire & Water

The Charcoal Kilns ablaze 
As part of my training on the WildGrounds project with Durham Wildlife Trust we took part in the creation of Charcoal. Beginning to End, on the 5th, 6th and the 10th November.. Starting with the filling of the Kilns, the lighting and burning of the wood and the bagging of the charcoal.
We did this at Low Barns Nature Reserve, near Bishop Auckland. My first time on this nature reserve and what a brilliant place it is.
There were birds aplenty in the woodland and wetland habitats, with great views of Passerines, Pheasant and Moorhen around the feeding station. As well as Grey Squirrel, everyone has an opinion of that particular yank species. I managed to get a couple of brief glimpses of Sparrowhawk and on the final day a single Snipe flying overhead.
All in all the three days of charcoal production, from start to the final end product, was a great experience, made even better because of the fantastic setting! If you get a chance I highly recommend you visit Low Barnes Nature Reserve.

The longest day we had was a 13 hour day, which was spent actually letting the wood burn in the kilns to create the charcoal. This day was book ended by the calling of Tawny Owls, both in the morning and on the evening. I love Owls, I think anyone who spends an amount of time in my company will realise I have a healthy obsession with our five British species! They fascinate me.
So if anyone reading this rings Owls or knows of any regular Owl hotspots(In the North East of course) I would love to hear from you. ;)

The feeders at Low Barnes provided the best views of Nuthatch I think I've ever had and although very weary, we were occasionally treated to some great views of Jay.
Jay fascinate me, for a Corvid species they're incredibly shy and amazingly coloured. They do however, make an incredible racket. Some fleeting glimpses of a pair of Kingfisher also added a dash of colour to a grey Autumn day.