We are very lucky at Jordan’s Mill to have a large variety of wildlife. And you may well see the ducks and swans on the river from time to time, but there are lots more animals which are harder to see.
Coming out of hibernation
Spring is the first time we start to see signs of many of them emerging from hibernation. We welcome our wildlife back, especially the birds that eat lots of snails, slugs and flies from around the garden.
Voles are quite abundant in and around our garden. We rarely see them, but the signs of nibbled plants and eaten cereal seeds show they are here. You may notice on your walk around the gardens that some of the cereal crops such as the Wheat and Barley are a bit patchy. This is down to the voles that sneak in and eat the seed when we have sown it, as the sugars are very tasty to Voles.
They also love our young tender plants that we grow. One day we have a nice healthy little plant, the next day we have a stalk! We see a lot of evidence of them when we start to cut the grasses back late in winter and early spring.
Raising a young family
They make beautiful little nests around the bottom of the grasses and we often find the old ones. They start to breed in spring and can have 2 to 7 litters a year, with each litter containing between 4 to 6 young. So there are lots of babies to feed. If you keep your eyes open you may see one scurrying across the path to a nice juicy patch of new grass.
We also have a visiting Egret. It has been coming to the Mill for several years and loves standing in the water just past the cafe decking. They are always alone and we joke they come for some peace and quiet, but we really know it is for the fish.
As spring approaches most birds are frantically collecting material to build their nests. We have a variety of birds around the Mill and have some bird boxes in the woodland for them to use. We hope to have more the information on the birds next month.
Hope you are lucky enough to spot nature around the site!