Friday, 10 April 2009

Who Lives In A House Like This?

In the words of Lloyd Grossman "Who lives in a house like this?" As you wonder around the college grounds at this time of year, the wildlife are busy creating their homes for the Summer. Within the lawns, the mines of the Tawny Mining Bee, Andrena fulva, can be found. Their homes easily recognised by the miniature volcano shaped mounds of the excavated material and an entrance hole. They are solitary bees, so each mine is inhabited by one russet coloured female bee and one grub. This mine is stocked with pollen and nectar for the grub which will remain underground until emerging next spring.
So who lives in a house like this? Found in one of the Holm Oak trees, Quercus ilex, the nest is currently being built. The answer, our returning pair of Sparrow hawk, Accipiter nisus. For the last two summers, the Sparrow hawks have successfully reared their young and have returned again. Hopefully they will be successful again and will give joy to the twitchers amongst the gardening team watching their progress. To listen to their call use the link:

Lastly, the box that Ali built is still available. Maybe next year, heres hoping!

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