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RPA Nature Blog by Jenny Bourne

  • The anzwer lies in the zoil....

    Date posted: Thursday 30th January 2020

    The anzwer lies in the zoil....

    Fans of ‘Beyond Our Ken’ will recall farmer Arthur Fallowfield’s (only) horticultural gems of wisdom: ‘Well, I think the answer lies in the soil’, in Kenneth Williams’ rich west country drawl! (Arthur Fallowfield, was based on Dorset farmer Ralph Wightman, who was a regular contributor to the BBC radio programme “Any Questions?”

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Happy New Year, 'Was haeil', apple tree wassail and new growth

    Date posted: Wednesday 8th January 2020

    Happy New Year, 'Was haeil', apple tree wassail and new growth

    A very Happy, Peaceful and Fruitful New Year to you all and ‘Waes haeil’!

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • It's that kestrel again! Christmas Cafe, birds, mistletoe and season's greetings

    Date posted: Wednesday 18th December 2019

    It's that kestrel again!  Christmas Cafe, birds, mistletoe and season's greetings

    Trish and Peter took this sharp photo of ‘our’ resident kestrel, after the Christmas Café last Sunday, when we enjoyed mulled wine, mince pies and a morning of mild, warm sun, after days of rain!

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Fruit tree conservation group, wasps nest, mystery intruder, kestrel again!

    Date posted: Wednesday 27th November 2019

    Fruit tree conservation group, wasps nest, mystery intruder, kestrel again!

    There are some old fruit trees, apple and pear, in the wildlife area and Ruth’s organised a group – Conservation Fruit Trees, to bring them back to good health and maintenance. A group of us went up on Sunday, to have a look at the trees from the beehive area side (apples had been dropping onto a hive under the old Bramley).

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Kestrel Central and a frosty Monday morning

    Date posted: Wednesday 20th November 2019

    Kestrel Central and a frosty Monday morning

    Dave took a video and this splendid shot of a kestrel perched on the compost toilet pipe. There have been several sightings of what appears to be a juvenile kestrel around the site over the past few months, often apparently unperturbed by our proximity.

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Bees, Autumn webs, indigo, frog, let's hear it for ivy! and chiffchaffs

    Date posted: Wednesday 2nd October 2019

    Bees, Autumn webs, indigo, frog, let's hear it for ivy! and chiffchaffs

    The bees are making the most of the sun when it comes out between the heavy rains – yesterday the heavens opened in a torrential downpour with thunder and lightning over Richmond Station.

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Exciting news - Brown Hairstreak butterfly seen

    Date posted: Monday 23rd September 2019

    Exciting news - Brown Hairstreak butterfly seen

    A very exciting piece of RPA wildlife news from last month – a sighting of a brown hairstreak feeding on garlic chives on 25 August, by Jon and Carol! To our knowledge this is the first time a brown hairstreak butterfly has been seen on the RPA site.

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Sandbath time, wasps and ants nests, September flowers and sunsets

    Date posted: Tuesday 10th September 2019

    Sandbath time, wasps and ants nests, September flowers and sunsets

    Enjoying a coffee at Sunday’s Café in the warm sun when keen birders shouted out, ‘Jenny!’ and there was this juvenile kestrel having a good old sand bath wallow in the dry, dusty path not far off from where we were all sitting. Naturally, as soon as I managed to get the camera out it began to take flight, but I love this waddly stance – not a brilliant photo but you get the picture!

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Juvenile robin opportunist, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and flower patch

    Date posted: Wednesday 21st August 2019

    Juvenile robin opportunist, Painted Ladies, Red Admirals and flower patch

    Much amused by the very forward behaviour of this young robin that zooms in as soon as I start to weed; yesterday it almost sat on my shoe, so close it came.

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Hornet mimic hoverflies, wasps nest, hoverflies, pond skaters and cinnabars

    Date posted: Wednesday 7th August 2019

    Hornet mimic hoverflies, wasps nest, hoverflies, pond skaters and cinnabars

    Startled to spot what I thought might be the dreaded Asian hornets last week, buzzing animatedly among the flowering oregano – very relieved to discover that they are in fact hornet mimic hoverflies, larger than wasps, slightly smaller than European hornets, moving in that distinctive hoverfly way.

    Click here to read the full story.

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  • Fledglings alert! Pollinator patch and Bob's poppy

    Date posted: Wednesday 10th July 2019

    Fledglings alert! Pollinator patch and Bob's poppy

    The fledglings are now making their presence felt! I rescued a small young blackbird from a fruit cage – it was obviously weakened and I was able to pick it up carefully and release it.

    Click here to read the full story.

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