January 2013

New Year’s Eve at Kelling Heath was a grey, damp day - the temperature was relatively mild at 8 degrees. A walk over the heath and down to the fishing pond uncovered the following flora and fauna; European (or Common) Gorse in flower

  • Liverwort along the path edges
  • Velvet Shank fungi on Gorse stems
  • Red Deer tracks
  • A flock of Siskins and a few Redpolls
  • Muntjac
  • 4 Coal tits
  • A large flock (circa 15.) of Long Tailed Tits
  • Alexanders growing by the woodland paths

The same walk on January 25 was a different picture with temperatures during daylight hours hovering around -2. The Holiday Park was closed for its winter break and everywhere was quiet. The ground was covered in snow with a fierce wind blowing, the temperatures together with the biting wind brought wildlife nearer the site centre looking for food. There were many visible tracks and prints in the snow of Birds, Rabbit, Deer and a Fox. Ground level Flora was covered by snow, the Gorse was still visible and a welcome contrast against the white. Wildlife no longer camouflaged was easy to spot;

  • Roe Deer x 3
  • Muntjac
  • Sparrowhawk
  • Grey Squirrels
  • Robin
  • Blackbirds
  • Great tits
  • Pigeons
  • Pheasant
  • Jay
  • Moorhen

Winter walks over the heath are very different to those in warmer weather, but none the less of interest. The tracks and trails in the snow are evidence of how much wildlife the heath and woodland supports and how careful management of those habitats are essential to maintain a natural escape for all to enjoy.