Wildlife Articles 2018

30-05-2018 Article from Philip Buddell. Tresillian Wildlife – General Topics

‘Current News’ – excuse the pun but I thought this an appropriate heading! The river swans have failed with their nesting this year, probably because the pen laid her first egg on the river bank from where it must have floated into the river on the next spring tide while we were away). In recent years we have always provided a floating platform and transferred the nest and any eggs onto it, but this is now a task for those younger than myself and Linda, and it would be good if some others could take on this responsibility, otherwise no cygnets for future years.

Having failed to take over last year’s nesting platform on the small headland west of the Wheel Inn, it was promptly taken over by a pair of Canada geese which hatched three young some 10 days ago; two of the goslings have survived and are growing well, taking wholemeal bread and some poultry corn from us and other frontages of the river. The swans seem to be respecting them most of the time.

I haven’t seen any swallows yet, and am generally concerned at the declining numbers of these summer visitors. Perhaps their food sources are in decline or they may be suffering predation, but out is noticeable how the skies are no longer filled with their wonderful cries during the summer months, at least here in Tresillian.

Fortunately the same cannot be said about the house martins. They successfully reared last year from a clay cup erected at the apex of our gable wall, and this year have returned in such numbers that a skyscraper is being built on the clay cup; currently they have a pair of semi-detached residences, but with the large numbers flying in and out each day there may be more before summer is out. I see that others in the village have also erected clay cups on their gables – a great idea to help sustain wildlife.

Last year at least 5 hedgehogs were flattened on the A390 in the village. These creatures are voracious slug eaters and need to be encouraged, so do please try to avoid them when driving in the evenings and at night. Hedgehog numbers have declined in recent years, and again this is something we can reverse if we care about our gardens and countryside; please avoid putting slug pellets in the garden and revert to natural remedies – gravel and sand will generally deter slugs and snails. I am told that coffee grounds also do the job.

Philip Buddell

13-07-2018 Article from Philip Buddell. Tresillian River Swans Update.

Yesterday evening (12th July) Gerald Bennetts, Linda and I set about saving the swans’ nest from the on-coming high tides of the coming days by moving the raft we had built last year from the promontory below the Wheel Inn to the small nearby island on which the birds had decided to make their second home for the year. We then provided additional dried grass nesting material from the allotments and carefully moved the nest wholesale onto the soon-to-be-floating platform. All went exceedingly well and the pen went straight back onto the nest and her two eggs.

This morning all is calm and peaceful; the nest is now well above high tide levels and of course can float when the high tides of this weekend would otherwise have covered all their work and probably resulted in the loss of the small clutch.

The swans had failed in their earlier attempt at nesting this year, having chosen a site near the nesting platform’s original position which was then washed away in the spring tides of April when we were away.

Philip Buddell