Wildlife at Lyme
Lyme is home to an abundance of wildlife. From the mightiest stag to the smallest tadpole, the residents of Lyme are great in number and personality.
Over the winter, our bird numbers are swelled by migrating Scandinavian birds who are coming in to devour our berries and escape the harsh Scandinavian Winter. Redwing and Fieldfare have arrived in good numbers and the latter can usually be heard before they are seen moving between feeding sites. Look for big flocks of mixed tits including Great, Blue, Long Tailed and Coal tits as well as possibly the odd tree creeper swooping through the woods searching for insects.
Keep your eyes peeled around conifers and you may spot our smallest bird, the Goldcrest, hopping through the branches eyeing out any tiny spiders to feed on. Other birds you may see include Bramblings in Knightslow Wood, Kestrals hovering over the grassland and Buzzards soaring on clear days.
The changing weather creates perfect conditions for fungi to thrive and its presence is another sign that autumn is on its way. Keep your eyes peeled for Bracket fungus on the stems of trees, Wax Caps amongst the grasses and species like Chicken of the Woods which can live on either living or fallen trees. are some of the species you can see at Lyme.
There have been deer at Lyme for over 600 years and their presence has played a pivotal role in the history of the estate. Come and see them during the rutting season in October and witness the stags showcasing their prowess or visit in June as we welcome baby deer to Lyme.
We are currently playing host to some beautiful birds who come to the UK in order to breed and make the most of our feast of insects and caterpillars. Birds who have travelled from as far away as sub Saharan Africa include, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Swallows and House Martins.
Waxwings are one of Britain’s most flamboyant winter migrants, with their distinctive call, distinguished outline and tell-tale crest. Waxwings are normally seen in the North East but occasionally appear at Lyme until March.
Picture below courtesy of http://northeastwildlife.co.uk/
Conservation is key
We check nest boxes around the estate so that we can get important data on the health of our bird populations. All chicks are fitted with a unique ring which causes them no harm and allows them to be identified if they are ever found by another bird ringer. This box was occupied by ten Blue Tit chicks which, all being well will fledge this week. Shortly after putting them back in the nest mum returned with a mouthful of juicy caterpillars.
The Rangers are currently being trained, as a license is required to carry out nest box checks, doing so without the right training can cause the birds to abandon the nest.
Thi essential conservation work that is carried out by the Rangers and their dedication and your support helps it continue.
Lyme is home to a number of veteran trees of different species. The oldest oak tree is 550 years old. The reason these trees are so important is because they support so many animals, insects and fungi - sometimes up to 260 species.