Creatures of the Mosses
Curlew, lapwing, meadow pipit and skylark survive on the Mosses whereas spring silage-making and drainage have barred them from modern farmland.
Sparrowhawk, buzzard, peregrine, kestrel and, in restored areas, wildfowl and waders including mallard, teal, widgeon, shelduck and shoveller.
Song of tree pipit, wren, robin, whitethroat, garden warbler, blackcap, chiffchaff, willow warbler and yellow hammer fills the spring morning air in scrub and woodland on the outer Mosses.
Common toad, great crested, common and palmate newt, slowworm and grass snake also hug the Mosses’ margins.
Out on the central Mosses, common frog, common lizard, small mammals and birds’ eggs are welcome food for poisonous adders, whose females, fat and black, are camouflaged to sun themselves against the peat.
Water voles hide deep in the Mosses, to escape decimation by marauding mink.
Foxes, polecats and badgers hunt out common, pygmy and water shrews, bank and short-tailed voles and rabbits, but setts and dens must stay in the drier peat around the Mosses’ edge.
On central areas in spring and summer, brown hare nibble and seek cover in purple moor-grass. Watch them box in fields around the bog in March.
And as dusk falls and flocks fly in to roost upon the Mosses, the eerie two-tone churr of nightjar betrays the race with pipistrelle and Daubenton’s bats for moth supper!