January in pictures

What a fabulous sight! A lovely winter sunset over the reed beds at Swaddywell nature reserve.

This photograph – which we have selected as our image of the month – was captured by Brian Lawrence in mid January and illustrates beautifully the marvellous gold evening hue.

Each month we select photographs taken by our members. They might not be technically perfect – but they sum up the events of that month. Here are some other images from January.

This winter Teasel was also photographed by Brian at Swaddywell on the same day.

A winter Teasel at Swaddywell Photo: Brian Lawrence

Snowdrops are a sure sign that winter is waning (hopefully) and that spring is just around the corner. Sue Welch captured this image during a work party at Bainton Heath.

Snowdrops at Bainton Heath Photo: Sue Welch

It was during another work party – this time at Etton High Meadow – that this unusual photograph of Pixie Cup lichens was taken by Kathryn Parsons.

Pixie cup lichens growing on wood at Etton High Meadow Photo: Kathryn Parsons

There has been plenty of bird life on our reserves during the month.  Perhaps the most spectacular images are of the murmurations over Etton Maxey.  This one was captured by Steve Lonsdale.  There have been many others including this video elsewhere on our website

A murmuration at Etton Maxey Photo: Steve Lonsdale

This Goldeneye image was also captured at Etton Maxey by Nathan Stimpson.

A goldeneye at Etton Maxey Reserve Photo: Nathan Stimpson

And these reed buntings were on show at Swaddywell. This picture was taken by Duncan Kirkwood.

Reed buntings at Swaddywell. Photo: Duncan Kirkwood

As usual our work parties have been out and about during the month, despite the cold weather. This month we are featuring two photos that show just what a difference a year (or so) makes.

AFTER: the pond at Castor Hanglands this winter Photo: Mike Horne

This is a pond at Castor Hanglands now, having been brought back to life after some hard work clearing out debris and unwanted undergrowth.

It is now in good condition and demonstrates that nature needs a little helping hand from time to time.

Langdyke volunteers can and do make that difference.

The image below shows what a sorry state it was in not so long ago before the clearance work was undertaken.

BEFORE: The area that used to be a pond before clearance work at Castor Hanglands Photo: Mike Horne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are always on the lookout for volunteers.  Regular work parties take place at Swaddywell and Etton every week.

If you would like to make a difference and give nature a helping hand please get in touch via editor@langydke.org.uk

 

 

Murmuration on video

The wonders of a murmuration have us all entranced as thousands of starlings fly in formation ahead of roosting.

There have been some spectacular ones recently over the Etton Maxey nature reserve.

Langdyke’s Brian Lawrence filmed this version.  You can view it by clicking below.

Work party invites

Volunteers are needed to help out at three work parties in the Castor area.

The first is on Monday February 3  at Marholm Field Bank, near Castor.
Organiser Mike Horse said: “This is a rare opportunity to come along  when we will be teaming up with Highways England.
“The good work that we did there in 2018 and 2019 needs to have a bit of ‘tweaking’ done, as some of the invasive scrub has now re-emerged, and needs to be taken out.
“There are also small patches of grassland emerging within the wonderful wild flower meadow which we need to cut down and take out before they smother the wildflowers. Naturally we will have to take great care because with all this relatively mild weather we’re having lately the rosettes of the many orchids that flourish here are starting to develop.”
Meet at 10am until 3:30pm (or for as long as you are free). Tea and Coffee provided but please bring along a packed lunch if you can stay all day. Sturdy footwear and weather appropriate clothing is advised, and please bring along your gardening gloves. Email me at mikehorne@langdyke.org.uk if you’re not sure of the details of where to park and meet up.

 

Langdyke is lending a helping hand with the teams from Natural England on Tuesday February 18 at Castor Hanglands National Nature Reserve, where we will be tacking invasive scrub in the Ailsworth Heath area.

It will be a 10am start until 3:30pm. Please use the entrance to Castor Hanglands off the Helpston Road, which is through the double black metal gates and then drive for 400 metres until you reach the NE compound, where the cars will be parked.

Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather, and either wellington boots or walking boots as it may well still be quite wet and muddy. Tea and coffee will be provided, but please bring along some of your favourite homemade sandwiches and two large pieces of cake if you are able to stay with us  all day.’

On Wednesday February 26 , again at Castor Hanglands NNR to support the ‘Back from the Brink’ Butterfly Conservation team.
This work party is  aimed at improving the habitats for many of the butterflies found at the Hanglands
Please use the entrance to Castor Hanglands off the Helpston Road, which is through the double black metal gates and then drive for 400 metres until you reach the NE compound, where the cars will be parked. 10am start until 3:30pm.
Please email mikehorne@langdyke.org.uk if you would like further directions.
Please wear appropriate clothing for the weather, and either wellington boots or walking boots as it may well still be quite wet and muddy. Tea and coffee will be provided, but please bring along a packed lunch if you are able to stay all day.
Don’t forget that there are always work parties going on at our Swaddywell and Etton/Maxey reserves weekly and fortnightly. We would absolutely love it if you found a couple of hours one day to come along and lend a hand.
We’re a friendly bunch, and always finish the session with tea and coffee and cake. If you think it’s something that you could do, please email editor@langdyke.org.uk for further details.