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Wildlife News

Wildlife news winter


Winter 2015  

During the winter, Tatton’s ranger team feed the deer daily to ensure they remain in good condition when the grass becomes scarcer. They are fed with carrots and haylage, the amount depending on the severity of the weather. The rut seemed to go reasonably well and only clamed one casualty. Of greater concern during this time is the amount of disturbance caused by some photographers getting too close and altering their natural behaviour.

Opportunities to watch Tatton’s deer feeding at close quarters are being run in December and February. (Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd December, Tuesday 16th and Wednesday 17th February, 9:30am – 10:30am). Enjoy a trailer ride through the parkland to observe the spectacular sight of the Red and Fallow deer enjoying their daily feed of carrots. (Pre-booking essential – please call 01625 374428 for further info).

Our winter bird migrants have now arrived. Redwings and Fieldfares can be seen in good numbers in the park. Beech Walk is always a good place to see Bramblings as they feed on beech mast, this winter visitor is a close relative of the Chaffinch. The large meres provide refuge for visiting wildfowl species, Tatton Mere is a good place to see the very distinctive Goldeneye. There is always a chance of seeing the rare Smew as Tatton is one of their favoured places. Join members of the local Knutsford Ornithological Society and a Tatton Ranger at the ‘Allen Bird Hide’ (from 11am – 1pm on Sunday 17th January) for a drop-in session looking at winter birds. An excellent opportunity to ask the experts! Interesting birds seen in the park recently include Green Sandpipers, Black Tern and Hobby during September. The first migrant Fieldfare was seen on 14th October over Melchett Mere and more than 100 Pink Footed Geese were flying over the mansion on 13th November. Large numbers of Migrant Hawker dragonflies could be seen around the edges of Tatton Mere on 5th September.

South Lancashire Bat Group have been continuing with their survey of the park. In September they had a particularly good find when they managed to catch Tatton’s first female Nathusius Pipestrelle. A tiny radio tracking device was fitted, which allowed them to trace her roost site to a tree near to Tatton Mere. At the time this was the only known tree roost in the UK. BBC Countryfile filmed a piece here about this rare find and Tatton’s important policy of preserving dead wood habitat and veteran trees. They then documented the bat group catching bats during one of their trapping sessions.

On Wednesday 10th February (10am – midday), work up your appetite and join the rangers for a guided walk of the winter parkland, observing Tatton’s deer in their natural surroundings, finishing with a light lunch at the Stables restaurant. (Pre-booking essential – please call 01625 374428 for further info).

Complied by Tatton’s Ranger Team

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Free Parkland Explorer Booklet - Compiled by Tatton’s ranger team

Download your own copy of the Parkland Explorer Booklet (PDF, 1.5MB), designed by Tatton's Rangers!

Learn how to be an expert tracker, twitcher and observer of all the beautiful, natural elements of Tatton Park. This is a fantastic way for children and their families to explore the Parkland, with 16 pages of fun activities. The booklet can be downloaded here (link through to parkland explorer page). You can also pick up a free copy of this booklet.

Volunteering with the Rangers

For further information on volunteering, please contact the ranger team: mark.sills@cheshireeast.gov.uk or call 01625 374414 to chat to someone.

The work undertaken by all our volunteers is extremely valuable and much appreciated, allowing us to undertake a wide variety of tasks and projects.