Reg Snook's "park jottings" have been a special feature of the friends' noticeboard since early in 2010. He publishes a new one each fortnight, providing a naturalist's insights into the lives of the birds and animals of our park.
Jottings 11 July 2017 – Any offers? - Reg Snook
Is anyone interested in a Sprite 55 Auto gas cooker? If so, then there is one in a lay-by between Culpho and Grundisburgh. It really beggars belief!
This year I again visited the ospreys nesting on pylons in a forest in the Loire valley. My guide was Pierre Roger who monitors and prays for these beautiful fish-eating birds of prey. After last year's disaster when many young succumbed to the incessant rain and cold, it is good to report that many young are likely to fledge this year. There is a lovely, albeit small, leaflet published by the LPO entitled 'Quels oiseaux nichent sur les pylônes électriques?' This explains with splendid illustrations the birds that nest on these pylons, birds that either build their own nests or birds that use the discarded nests of other species. Surprisingly, there are fourteen species of birds that use the pylons on which to nest. The most famous and jealously protected is the osprey. Also protected are heron and white stork, diurnal birds of prey including buzzard, kestrel, peregrine falcon, hobby and black kite together with two species of owl, both mainly nocturnal, tawny owl and long-eared owl. It is very interesting that many of the above depend on the nests of members of the crow family in order to lay their eggs. One, the raven, is fully protected but not protected are carrion crow, rook and magpie.
Many of you will have noticed that the Round Pond in our Park has a large amount of weed in it, some of which because of the recent hot weather is floating on the surface discoloured and looking a bit of a mess. Fear not, rain will soon get rid of the colour and this weed is good for insects, especially dragonflies. Many photographers gather around the Pond to record the different species, some of which are quite rare. However, the Music Day on 1 July allowed 40,000 visitors to enjoy themselves in this wonderful Park. Unfortunately, the weed in the Round Pond does not allow bottles cans etc to sink out of sight. You win some and you lose some!
Aldeburgh, ah Aldeburgh. There are so many wonderful things about Aldeburgh not least Benjamin Britten's music and legacy, Maggie Hamblin's scallop sculpture on the beach and fish and chips of course. At the beginning of July, I sat on the beach eating fish and chips. There was a gentle warm breeze blowing which ruffled the feathers of the herring gulls which were watching me and expecting to be fed. I did not feel guilty about refusing to give these birds a single chip.
The houses and cottages facing the sea are painted in various bright colours but are not as colourful as the hollyhocks. I love hollyhocks. At Aldeburgh, these tall elegant flowers grow where the shingle meets the concrete promenade. They grow in the cracks in the pavement and they grow in the small gardens that are lashed by unkind winds and salty sprays in the winter. But now, in July, they are simply splendid.
Cycling is a great way of seeing the wild flowers that grow in the roadside verges. This week I saw poppies, red and white campions, scabious, hogweeds, achillia, bindweed, teasel, knapweed, mallow goatsbeard, ragwort, vetch, nettle, toadflax, rosebay willow herb, thistle, hawksbeard and many grasses. Luckily, the roadside verges have not been cut this year and hopefully will not be.