Looking for Lizards

herp poster

We have suitable habitat in Orchard Park for Common Lizards and amphibians. Join us at this event organised with Transition Cambridge Wildlife Wander group and students from Anglia Ruskin University to see what we might find. Under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.

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Summer Safari Summary

We had a great turnout for the Orchard Park Summer Safari. Thanks to all who came along. Special thanks to Tim and Carol Inskipp for sharing their vast wildlife knowledge and identification skills, and to Agnes Toth from Sustrans who helped enormously with the organisation of this event and took the photos included in this post. Click on the photo above to see the photo album.

People who came along had a range of ages and interests, children seemed particularly enthralled by the little things especially ants.

The wildlife show wasn’t bad either. We’ll be adding the new species we saw to existing lists for Orchard Park and sending them to Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Environmental Records Centre (CPERC) who collate, manage and store data that describes biodiversity in the local area.

Given the current concern about bees in decline, it’s good to report we found six species of bee here: White tailed Bumblebee, Red tailed Bumblebee, Carder Bee, Buff tailed Bumblebee, Early Bumblebee and Garden Bumblebee. A range of birds including Rooks and Jackdaws from the Corvidae family, and back to the small things, Magpie Moths (album cover photo above), White Lipped Snails and Brown Lipped Snails, Cinnabar caterpillars, and Earwigs.

On the mammal front we weren’t disappointed – as well as seeing the large Hedgehog at the very end of the safari, we also saw bats at the far western side of the Wildlife Area again. We had the detector set to pick up Common Pipistrelles, however we all saw a bat which the detector didn’t pick up, indicating it might be another species, perhaps a Soprano Pipistrelle.

We’ll add a note on new plant records for Orchard Park shortly.

Our next event will be looking for lizards on 15th August – more on that in a moment.

BBQ in aid of Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital

BBQ Poster ver 2 MH edit

Simon and Rose are neighbours to Orchard Park living just south of Kings Hedges Road. They became fascinated with hedgehogs when one began visiting their garden regularly last year. It appeared small so they fed it frequently before it disappeared to hibernate for the winter. Thankfully it survived the winter and still visits their garden. They’ve called it Benson. Simon and Rose are keen to help Benson and kin. As well as being wildlife friendly garden practitioners, they’re organising a BBQ at the Carlton Arms pub on 8th August – all proceeds will go to the excellent work at the Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital see: Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital

We’ll be promoting wildlife friendly gardening at the event.

There’ll be a raffle at the BBQ to win prizes such as a family river cruise on the canal boat ‘Rosie’ see: River Cruise

For more information contact: shavaddy@yahoo.co.uk

Hedgehogs are here….

Although several people have told me they’ve seen hedgehogs in Orchard Park, I hadn’t seen one myself until, fittingly, a large one crossed the road towards the Premier Inn on Tuesday night at the very end of the wildlife safari. The next morning I received this video from Giovanna filmed at the other side of Orchard Park – thank you Giovanna.

We’re hoping Mary from the Shepreth Hedgehog Hospital will be able to bring a hedgehog or two to the Orchard Community Centre for us to meet in August, as well as hearing from her about the important work that the hospital does, and what we can do to help them. Hedgehogs are declining and need our help.

Orchard Park Summer Safari 21st July @ 6.45pm

Final reminder about our event tomorrow. Weather is looking good, with warm temperatures which should help with invertebrates and bats… hope to see you there.

opwildlife

We’re very much looking forward to our Orchard Park wildlife wander, like a mini safari/bioblitz for suburban wildlife. It’s being organised in collaboration with Sustrans and Transition Cambridge – we thank them for their support.

We’ll stop to identify wildlife of interest on the way – Tim and Carol Inskipp have so much wildlife knowledge to share. Taking in a variety of habitats and moving from daylight to evening will increase the number of plants and animals we see. Bring binoculars and wildlife guides if you have them. We’ll record any new species we find and send them onto the Cambridge and Peterborough Environmental Record Centre.21 july safari moth bat FINAL

We will depart from outside The Orchard Community Centre, Central Avenue, CB4 2EZ at 6.45pm heading over to the far east side of Orchard Park where there are older hedges and trees – we saw a bird bashing a snail against a stone last night to successfully access its supper….

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Summer fiesta goldfinch feeder winners

Loved being next to the Owls today at the summer fiesta.

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Thanks everyone who took part in the Big Butterfly Count

The two winning tickets for goldfinch feeders were numbers 2 and 3. If you didn’t claim your prize at the fiesta, the feeders are at the Orchard Community Centre for you to collect from there.

We look forward to seeing people again at the Summer Safari on Tuesday – more details at: Summer Safari

Big Butterfly Count at the OP Summer Fiesta

ID-Guide

Come along to the Orchard Park Wildlife Project stall at the Summer Fiesta tomorrow to take part in the Big Butterfly Count Citizen Science Project for your chance to win a goldfinch feeder full of nyjer seed ready to hang in your garden, balcony or window frame. The Big Butterfly Count was launched this morning by David Attenborough and Butterfly Conservation. The wildflower bank along Ring Fort Road, the wildflowers near the Orchard alongside the sports ground, or flowering plants at the edge of the Wildlife Area might be good places to do your count.

We have a limited number of printed ID sheets to bring to the event. However, if you could help by printing your own to bring then that would be very much appreciated – just click on the photo above to access the sheet to print. There is also an app which can be downloaded for you to count your sightings and submit your results on the day. If you don’t have access to a computer or smartphone use one of our printed sheets, record your location, and hand the form back to me to submit your results.

Once you’ve completed your count we will give you a ticket which will be entered into a draw for your chance to win a goldfinch feeder – we have two to give away.

All necessary information for the count along with other fun ideas for engaging with butterflies can be found at http://www.bigbutterflycount.org/

We’ll also have some butterfly colouring sheets and dishes to decorate so you can put water or food out for the birds.

For other species we’ve got leaflets with ideas to be more wildlife friendly, and information on our Orchard Park Summer Safari event next Tuesday evening 21st July. I’m delighted we saw bats so close last night at the Wildlife Area and hoping they will show again on Tuesday.

Let the sun shine and see you tomorrow 🙂

Common pipistrelle confirmed in Orchard Park :)

imageDelighted to have seen close up, and heard via a bat detector, three common pipistrelles together over at the far side of the Wildlife Area with Tim and Carol Inskipp this evening. Should be good at our event on Tuesday evening 21st July. We look forward to seeing you there.

For more info see: Bat Conservation Trust and Pipistrelle fact sheet

Orchard Park Summer Safari 21st July @ 6.45pm

We’re very much looking forward to our Orchard Park wildlife wander, like a mini safari/bioblitz for suburban wildlife. It’s being organised in collaboration with Sustrans and Transition Cambridge – we thank them for their support.

We’ll stop to identify wildlife of interest on the way – Tim and Carol Inskipp have so much wildlife knowledge to share. Taking in a variety of habitats and moving from daylight to evening will increase the number of plants and animals we see. Bring binoculars and wildlife guides if you have them. We’ll record any new species we find and send them onto the Cambridge and Peterborough Environmental Record Centre.21 july safari moth bat FINAL

We will depart from outside The Orchard Community Centre, Central Avenue, CB4 2EZ at 6.45pm heading over to the far east side of Orchard Park where there are older hedges and trees – we saw a bird bashing a snail against a stone last night to successfully access its supper….

Next we’ll head to the area behind the Topper St play park with more older trees and hedges, plus grassland where we caught lots of spiders last year. We found a collared doves nest last night with two adults in one of the older trees.

We’ll head back past the Orchard Community Centre – have a brief look at the living roof, then onto the Circle along a route with lots of lavender and flowers for bees, plus bark chippings for beetles and a variety of trees..

From there we’ll head to the wild flower bank at Ring Fort Road which should be growing well again by then to look for more invertebrates, and a quick look in the Wildlife Area.

We’ll then cross over to look at and identify pre caught moths. Many moths are just as beautiful as butterflies when looked at close up.

After the moths we’ll have a short talk about bats before using a detector to see if we can find them in Orchard Park. Sunset is 9.07pm so we’ll detect just before and after dusk before ending around 9.45pm.

The end time is approximate. If you’d like to join us for part of the evening, please call 07902 454367 to find us.