Winter wildlife at Tattershall Castle
During winter time we love to wrap up warm when outside, enjoy indoor time, hot drinks and comfortable sofas. What Tattershall Castle fauna do?
Great Crested Newts
Newts leave the water as temperatures drop and day length shortens to find suitable sites to hibernate for winter. During moat wall repairs three specially constructed ‘newt hotels’ were placed into the moats, to provide a safe haven. Maintenance of long grass areas such as the banks of the outer moat and islands of vegetation in the moats themselves are essential to provide foraging areas for the newts.
At this time of year staff and volunteers are carefully removing any newts found in the basement and placing them back into the moat for safety.
Tattershall Castle supports a maternity roost of Daubenton’s bats and also supports pipistrelle species and Daubentons bats in hibernation. Daubenton's bat always chooses roosts close to water sources such as rivers or canals. Daubenton's bat hibernates in the same type of locations from September to late March or April. Daubenton's bat often eats its prey while still in flight. A seven-gram Daubenton's bat often returns weighing 11 grams after a one-hour feeding, increasing its body weight by 57%. Mating occurs in autumn and fertilisation takes place the following spring. Females gather in maternity colonies of 40 to 80 bats during June and July. Daubenton's bat is able to fly three weeks after birth and reaches independence at 6 to 8 weeks of age.
Egyptian geese breed at sites with open water, short grass and suitable nesting locations (either islands, holes in old trees or amongst epicormic shoots on old trees). During the winter they are widely dispersed within river valleys where they feed on short grass and cereals.