Knowing that not everyone is on Facebook, here is the latest naturestimeline imagery in all its glory or not, as the case may be.
A naturestimeline Facebook page production – some further randomness
Wow, having looked back through some recent photographs, I can’t believe I’ve managed to capture this. After all, I am a truly amateur photographer unlike some.
Look towards the middle left portion of the first image and just above the telegraph wires, a lightning bolt is revealed. More usually my captures end up like the following image (click on link for full-sized image).
And when it wasn’t raining over recent weeks, a walk in a local private woodland managed for pheasant shooting revealed this beautiful creature, a Silver-washed Fritillary butterfly. Again, click on link for full-sized image.
Occasionally there comes a time to reflect on past knowledge of a subject and then to test it further as new evidence comes to light, some months or years later. I’m not having a Google “Right to be forgotten” moment, but it could be suggested that most people will on occasion, make a judgement quite naturally or unnaturally with or without intent and then upon reflection, realise they were misguided on a certain topic. This would of course simply be human nature and I guess we all need to accept this fact as new thoughts and ideas come to the fore. We are often told to assess the past, in order guide our future prospects. At risk of rambling, where exactly am I going with all this?
Well, could it be that these same thought processes, applied to our relationships, career prospects, friendships etc. might actually also apply in a debate about nature conservation? If I also put it to you, that our country’s wildlife future is in your hands, could you as an individual truly make a difference?
Let me now remind you of two naturestimeline postings from a year ago (click on the links to access original content) which once again poses the age old question of how best to conserve this nation’s wildlife.
Do we need a change of direction?
Or perhaps a new holistic approach to effective conservation practice?
So with yet still unanswered questions and *in light of many of the latest incentives coming out of the scientific community approach to nature conservation, are we now making the right kind of progress for our non-human inhabitants of this good earth at last?
Naturestimeline hasn’t ceased to be, in spite of what some might wish or hope for and on the outside chance that you may have missed me, I’ve had PC issues and well, I’m back.
On the 12th July, I was out and about supporting a local farming enterprise recently, hence the post title* *click on the underlined link for further information regarding the Farm Fest event. Nature and farming practices are inextricably linked so I found this day out, particularly enthralling. As a farmland bird researcher, it is crucial that I continue to learn the link between farmland practices and its effect on the sadly often declining farmland bird species**
Below are some of my own pictures of the event, which is one of many that each and every one of us can attend, so search out an event near you.
Just to add, I have no personal involvement with the farm in question but I do hugely value the farming community. I did however, get to taste some local brews once I had returned home.
Let us not forget that even the brewing process of Ales or whatever happens to be your tipple requires a little help from Mother Nature, so much respect to her.
** unless perhaps you’re born a generalist species such as a Jackdaw or Woodpigeon, whose numbers take up the bulk of available farmland bird food biomass
As stated, some photographic captures from my bird research activities from recent years. Should I receive welcoming feedback, more images will follow over the coming weeks and months.
Please click of the link below to see the relevant imagery and commentary on this and past debates.
As promised, how is the phenology looking against a backdrop of a very wet but reasonably mild Winter. One notable thing for me were the number of Thunder days, four in total, all of which occurred before the 16th January. This is quite exceptional under any circumstances and as a consequence there is a notable shift towards earlier day numbers.
Now onto the flowering plant and shrub species. The flowering plant species witnessed for the first time in Winter were Woodland Snowdrop, Winter Aconite, Daffodil (cultivated type), Primrose and Lesser Celandine. The flowering shrub species were the Hazel with its catkins and the Blackthorn in blossom.
Several of the above events are generally regarded as not suitable for accurate phenological tracking by certain well-known naturalists, can you guess which ones?
Two insect species were seen on the wing for the first time before the end of February and these were the first Bumblebee, presumably of the genus bombus terrestris as well as Brimstone butterfly. Below are the respective day numbers and rolling averages over a succession of years for those seasonal treats.
There were some other bird related sightings occurring for the first time this year, some of which will be apparent when looking at MY NATURAL EVENTS CALENDAR. I hope to blog about these over at ukbirdingtimeline soon, in the meanwhile, I will leave you to ponder any determinable trends in the data alongside some images of the above phenomena.
Click on the following underlined links in the blue text for other folk’s images of Primrose and Lesser Celandine in this previous posting.
Best Wishes and more updates soon
*the warmer start to March has accelerated some events yet further, keep watch on the events calendar for updates
After the Winter we have witnessed here in the United Kingdom, I think most would welcome a human type gestation period of calm before the rebirth of a Winter anything like the one we’ve just witnessed. By way of example, just how wet was it? Here is the view from the UK Met Office. To add a personal perspective, here’s the Davis data for my locale from Berkshire in England.
When viewing the above charts, I have put in a false red line which shows in my view at least, the days you would normally describe as soakers, i.e. those producing 10mm or more, which is the equivalent of approximately 2/5ths of an inch. In actual Meteorological terms, a “wet” day is where precipitation exceeds 2mm and a “very wet” day is classed as a day on which 20mm is exceeded. So yes, you can safely say Winter 2013/14 has been wet in my patch with only 20 out of the 90 days registering as a day without precipitation*. However, it wasn’t necessarily my region which made the headlines. The attached link from the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) shows the devastating effects of the flooding from Somerset. On there you should be able to view other reports, complete with video clips, from other UK regions which were affected by the odd Winter weather. We should not forget that it was also very windy on occasions, although my own readings are lower than most, you can see from the attached images, where winds have exceeded the 38mph mark as indicated by my red line. This dates can be described as Gale days, although perhaps not strictly under Meteorological definition. Any wind gusts which exceed the green line shown would normally represent a windy day for my location, based on my own experiences of past events.
As for snow, well, Scotland nicked it all, this article again from the BBC being typical of highland Scotland’s Winter in 2013/14. For the rest of the British Isles, it had been a very poor one for those who wanted to see some wintry ice crystals, in fact I barely saw two days of sleet throughout the whole Winter. The Air Temperatures weren’t especially noteworthy with the mean for the Winter as a whole, somewhere around 1c above the long-term average, based on the 1981-2010 CET series. The lack of Air Frosts was notable for my location however, with only nine (9) being achieved in total and not all of these were before dawn due to my 24 hour reporting periods. As for the effect on the Natural World by way of phenology, more reports on that are forthcoming.
*only one dry day in January and this fell within a period of 33 days with only the one dry day in total