During the course of a year the weather changes with the months and seasons, so the wildlife changes progressively. In the winter many insects and plants appear to die back and disappear like the leaves on the trees.
Here at Edenbrook Carp Fishery we are a natural home for winter visitors. Flocks of heron-like white birds can be seen in the grazing fields on the drive and approach to the fishery. You may be lucky and see Long-eared Owls in the ash trees when the leaf is off.
During the course of a year and with the seasonal the wildlife changes progressively. In the winter many insects and plants appear to die back and disappear like the leaves on the trees.
As you enter the fishery and on your approach in the wet weather you’ll often see the Hares that stay in the fields along with Flocks of Field Fare with their orange breast and dark flecks which are common visitors.
Other regular visitors include Green Woodpeckers and Pheasants, Sand Pipers and Snipe can also be seen around the lakes. Flocks of Brambling mixed with Chaffinch are a common sight at this time.
When spring arrives you’ll see the winter birds migrate. As the blossom on the bushes and trees decorate the landscape with colour, so the spring arrivals of many woodland and marsh birds fill the air with their pleasant sounds and happy chirping. They feed on the tremendous numbers of emerging insects, butterflies, nymphs, beetles and bees and ants.
Other interesting finds are the Great pond snails which are common and can be seen in the surrounding ditches, as can whirligig beetles, which often gyrate on the surface of the water before diving and hiding in shallow water debris.
There are many winged visitors to the lake including Damsel and dragon flies. These delicate creatures arrive in a range of sizes and colours. The difference between the damsel and dragonfly is the wings. The damsel’s fold their wings back when they rest and are smaller while dragonflies rest with their wings outstretched. Both spend their early life in the water and feed on other small animals.
Meadow Brown Butterfly
Butterflies arrive like the Peacock butterfly often seen along the banks of the River Eden where there are some large areas of nettles. It has a wing span of some 60-70mm with distinctive four blue like edges patterned on its wing tips.
The Comma butterfly has a ragged edge to its wings which are formed in brown with an orange centre and are often seen along the bank of the River Eden.
Probably the most common butterfly seen around the Lakes is the Meadow Brown. It has a wing span of about 40 to 50mm and is often banded in lighter shades of brown and displays a small eye at the tip of each wing. There are many others.
At dusk you may be lucky to see Pipistrelle Bat that fly low over the water and can be seen most evenings over the Main Lake. Pipistrelles are active between March and November. They hunt and eat insects on the wing in open spaces between vegetation. A variety of insects are taken, including small moths, midges and lacewings. Mating generally takes place in autumn at mating roosts, females then congregate in maternity roosts between May and August. One young is usually produced between June and mid-July, which will start to fly around three weeks later. Wingspan: 180-240mm – Head-body Length:35-45mm – Weight3-8 g
Other animals often seen at dusk are the Roe Deer. Most days you’ll see foxes, badgers, hares, squirrels, weasels and the odd stoat that are all present around the fisheries 20 odd acres.
Around the fishery you may come across several different species of frogs present although the most often seen is the common frog and the bull frog. During the months of March, April and May, some males croak some squeak while others whistle.
You may see the occasional Newt which can be found around the wetlands of the fishery. These are smooth newts. The breeding males display, in the spring months, their long continuous crests and orange stomach, and frequently the whole of their body is covered in back spots. Smooth newts grow up to 90mm long; between mid-Octobers to February the newts hibernate.
Whilst walking around the fishery grounds you may be lucky to see Grass snakes, these are very shy and like to swim across the lakes and enjoy sunning themselves on either of the two main lake islands. These often misunderstood creatures are very pretty and should be admired for displaying many different markings and colours on their bodies. Please note, if you are lucky enough to view one close to you then be assured that the grass snake will most likely want to get away to the safety of the bushes. The grass snake is the largest species of British snake, and is identified by its olive green body and darkish spots or streaks on the flanks. However, colouration can vary. Grass snakes have a distinctive yellow and black collar behind the head and have round pupils.