Monday, 13 January 2014

January Calendar


New resolutions!
After the storms, tidy hedges and broken tree branches, a lot of little birds have been blown off their course by these winds, so are disorientated and hungry.  Feed, Feed, Feed, 9 out of every 10 minutes are spent feeding by small birds, in order to survive overnight!!  Remember the nights are far longer than the days at this time of the year.
Robins are pairing up now and the females will stop singing once a mate has been found, it won’t stop males though, who will fiercely defend their territory!
My own experience with the bird table this winterand especially on the fat balls were the Blackcaps and Long Tailed Tits, ecstatic at their visit.

Signs of spring are everywhere, buds on the cherry tree, daffodils peeking and the snowdrops up too. You may have read about the odd hedgehog appearing from hibernation a bit early and being a bit malnourished and weak, Kildare Animal Foundation Wildlife Unit had a kind lady bring one in from her garden, it was very weak and had a flea burden, it is now in their care, has been eating and is a bit more alert.  It is amazing how they will respond to the simple things like a warm blanket and a bit of grub.  That was only yesterday so fingers crossed for the little hedgehog.

If the weather is too nasty to be out and about sit down with a seed catalogue or a native wild flowers guide and pick out what you would like to plant/set in your garden in the coming spring to attract birds, bees and other wildlife, often others will have seed they can swap with you for plants they don't have.  Plant one wildlife friendly shrub this year, like a hawthorn or blackthorn, that provide shelter as well as food for all during the year. Another simple plant that even the smallest member of the household can help with is the giant sunflower.  This will provide hours of entertainment when the finches and tits gorge on the seed head at the end of the summer.

If you have the patience, time and space a small shallow pond will increase the wildlife visiting your garden immensely.  It doesn’t have to be big by any means and a small pool can provide a place for birds to drink and bathe too.

Has anyone heard the yelps and barks of vixens call out for mates?  This is the time to listen out.

And of course another one of our loved mammals - On Thursday 23rd of January at 7.30pm there will be a talk on badgers by Richard Bono at the Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre. Richard, a member of the Irish Wildlife Trust - Kerry Branch, was previously a member of The Hertfordshire & Middlesex Badger Group which was part of the British Wildlife Trust for over 25 years. During that time he spent many weekends carrying out badger set surveys. One particular set was monitored continuously for over 15 years. Join us on this talk to hear of Richard's unique insights in the life of the Badger.

A €5 (individual / family) donation to the branch is requested for non-Irish-Wildlife Trust members.

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