Lush, Art, Apples, Wildlife Maps, & Bats. We’re planning our September/October Activities.

OP and map of areas for July activity

Sadly due to the imminent development of the site where the lizards are, we are unable to continue monitoring them as planned for August. We hope to be able to resume monitoring next year over at the balancing pond where at least part of the population are likely to be translocated to…

For September/October activities we are excited to be collaborating with North Cambridge resident artist Isabella Martin. We thank Karen Thomas of Kettle’s Yard for putting us in touch. We are planning to run an event over at the Orchard when the apples ripen where we’ll explore the Orchard habitat and creatively contribute to signage for the area. We hope to collaborate further to map Orchard Park’s habitats and species in an interactive and novel way – more info to come 🙂

From the Kettle’s Yard website:

YOU ARE HERE – Isabella Martin Artist in Residence 2016

Open House Artist-in-Residence, Isabella Martin, is working with local residents to explore the area and create a new map together in a project called You Are Here. Isabella will work with local groups to share stories and knowledge and develop creative skills to turn these stories into artworks. The artworks will be part of the alternative neighbourhood map. The map will show and celebrate what is unique about North Cambridge. You will find Isabella and her team of artists out and about, running art activities and collecting stories and thoughts about the neighbourhood. You Are Here has been inspired by Kettle’s Yard, celebrating all the individual and unique things which make a place special.

Isabella Martin is an artist who works with different materials to make work that interacts with specifc places and the stories they tell. Using drawing, performance, writing and sculpture, Isabella creates inventive, playful, outdoor artworks in collaboration with people to explore our relationship to the landscape in which we live.”

Lush Cambridge are also very kindly holding another Charity Pot Party fundraising event for us in late October. We’re very grateful to Lush for their ongoing support. We’ll be encouraging people to take part in this year’s Wild About Gardens Week – this year it focusses on bats. Apt, as a Lush Charity Pot Party funded our bat detector which we’ve used over at the Wildlife Area and around Orchard Park ^v^

Dates for events are being confirmed and will be announced soon.

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Juvenile Goldfinches

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Two fledgling Goldfinches with parent showing red face mask and special Nyjer seed feeder. Photo was taken through the window, so not top quality.

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Fledgling Goldfinches, Orchard Park garden, showing their bright wings. They don’t yet have the red face masks of the adults.

Goldfinch video from RSPB

Goldfinch call

On Sunday I spent an hour or two watching the to-ings and fro-ings of four Goldfinches, three juveniles, and their parent. It’s gratifying to see the adults that have fed in my garden bringing their offspring to feed. The juvenile fledglings still dependent on their parents pleaded urgently for food through wing-fluttering and loud begging notes. By this age they look as though they weigh as much as, or more than, their parent ( for more information see: Smith 1980 ). After being fed, one of the youngsters felt comfortable enough to sleep.

Goldfinches can be seen easily in Orchard Park, they move around in groups drawing attention to themselves through their liquid twittering call. Wild food includes teasels and thistles, but in the garden they’ll take Nyjer seed and Sunflower hearts, both requiring a specialist feeder. It’s worth it to put food out for them and to be patient, as you’ll be rewarded by seeing this highly coloured bird up close, and hearing their lovely twittering song.

Goldfinch information from the RSPB