No, you did not imagine it, it has been miserable for far too long so I haven't ventured out much. This is partly the reason for my lack of posts, alongside a busier working life. More news to come, honest!
Posted in news, Scientific, weather
Tagged April, climate, climate change, cool, England, environment, Environment Agency, Met Office, meteorology, naturestimeline, news, Rain, showers, spring, united kingdom, weather
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Some belated highlights of mine were further Brimstone Butterflies seen on the wing during the sunnier days. On the local downs, some gatherings of Northern Lapwings (Vanellus vanellus) hereby shown courtesy of Finn Holding’s thenaturephile. In addition, a couple of sightings of Grey Partridges (Perdix perdix) being very special as both of the aforementioned iconic bird species were frequenting potential breeding areas. Whilst undertaking my March WEBS survey, I also saw the amazing structure that is a Long-tailed Tit’s (Aegithalos caudatus) nest being built. You can see a typical Long-tailed Tit’s nest illustrated here. Woodland Snowdrops which were mentioned in a previous post of mine, are generally going over now but new plant and tree life is on its way. I will elaborate further on this, below.
As of 15th March, I observed my first Wood Anemones (Anemone_nemorosa) in flower. Intriguingly, the first instances of Wood Anemones were on this exact date last year. In 2010 they were a full two weeks later. The flowering Wood Anemones returns an average date of 14th March, based on a strong sample of 16 records. Of the trees, showing signs of springing to life on my countryside patrol were the Horse Chestnut (Aesculus_hippocastanum). One particular Horse Chestnut was in budburst and the more usual date for this to occur is the 21st March, based on 13 records. There have been reports of Ashes (Fraxinus), Oaks (Quercus) and other specimens of trees and shrubs being further forward than is normal for the time of year. Therefore, it does seem that many trees will unfortunately be budding earlier this year adding further stress to nature’s imbalance.
That is about all the news from me as the phenological year continues unabated.
naturestimeline – courtesy of Tony William Powell
Posted in butterflies, Environmental, insects, my calendar, Nature's Calendar, news, phenology, Scientific, Uncategorized
Tagged Ash, Birding, birds, British Wildlife, budburst, buds, butterflies, butterfly, Citizen science, climate, climate change, environment, flowers, Grey Partridge, habitat, Insects, Long-tailed Tit, Nesting Birds, news, Northern Lapwing, Oak, phenology, plants, research, seasons, spring, trees, united kingdom, Wood Anemone, woodland, Woodland Snowdrop
A weather related post again from me.
Here’s the latest advice for the upcoming working week, from those in the know, in the world of meteorology.
Wild Week Ahead – Latest Weather News – Netweather.tv.
Enough said and confidence is very high as its been on the weather forecasts since Friday Night.
The unseasonal autumn weather has left me feeling miserable, desperately waiting for some active weather and on top of that, I now have a cold. Looking back at autumn, here are the official UK statistics - UK has a warm autumn – Met Office
So, as we are now moving into meteorological winter, what is on the cards? Interestingly, the weather is cranking up a gear or two. During recent days, there have been several inches of snow in Scotland and on the northern hills. Next up, for tomorrow and in the forthcoming days, there will be a series of very active storms, see below for this very newsworthy story.
Severe Weather Incoming – Latest Weather News – Netweather.tv.
- Stay tuned to the media sources if in the affected areas; this is potentially life threatening for some.
Keep safe and best wishes.
Now where’s that hot toddy!
I’ve just been sent the latest wildlife headlines from around the world via the wonderful Wildlife Extra newsletter and one news item in particular, has caught my eye. See a fruitful year for more on this.
These trees are so valuable and I’ve heard it said that the UK possesses only 12% tree cover in terms of its overall land coverage so more needs to be done.
Well some conservation is taking place and the ideas coming from the Woodland Trust are really promising. Click on MoreTrees MoreGood for further information this positive news story.
Well that’s enough ranting from this environmentalist for one day.
Well if the latest headline from netweather is accurate, then us folk in the United Kingdom, had better watch out.
First Widespread Frost – Latest Weather News – Netweather.tv.
In terms of my phenolgical tie-in, based on a small sample of 10 records, I return a mean of 31st October, for the first Autumn Air Frost. Who knows, what this might be telling us, in terms of the rest of Autumn and into the forthcoming Winter.
Defra have recently released the following news. If, like some, you are unaware of Defra, it stands for The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. They are a British Government department, whose main responsibility is looking after our precious environment. The current minister who represents them is my local MP, Richard Benyon. Being a keen naturalist and environmentalist, I am always keen to hear what he has to say. Below is a link to the latest Defra news release.
Latest Defra News Release
More next time.
Well, just yesterday (9th October) a fair few Redwings and some Fieldfares had started to invade parts of the UK. These birds coming over from the more unusual direction of Germany and Belgium, due to suitable weather conditions both there and here. More tracking of the migrants can be undertaken via the Trektellen website.
Other news. Just the other day I read an enthralling post on hoslist, a forum to which I subscribe. The hos bit, signifying Hampshire Ornithological Society.
The post was from a chap called Michael. My fascination came from his account of raptors and their interactions with corvids. On many occasions, I, myself, have seen Kestrels, Red Kites, even Barn Owls, all coming under insistent bombardment from Magpies or Crows. However, as Michael suggests, if you take the viewpoint that the “nuisance” corvids are preventing the Birds of Prey (raptors) from hunting, then the prey on which they feed, are being spared from a near certain death. Apart from the aforementioned, certain raptors such as Kites, are on the whole, just wanton scavengers but there are some, such as Sparrowhawks or Goshawks who kill many individual bird species. However, if confirming Michael’s rather rose-tinted view (his words, not mine) then the episodes illustrated above, widely witnessed by us each and every day of every year, indicates yet another event of natural selection taking place.
Images courtesy of BWPi
I am currently off work but that certainly doesn’t stop me from being uber-busy. Aside from updating my Linked In profile, I’ve continued the analysis of my best birdsound recordings amongst a plethora of tasks.
On Friday 16th September, I ventured out over our local downland and collected many windfall apples and pears (Thanks to Ex Hurricane Katia) and saw a few birds whilst at it. The usual suspects were about, with large gatherings of Swallows and House Martins. On this particular day, these were to be seen in the valley areas and the 2 species were mostly present in separate flocks. Other notable birds were Kestrel, Red Kite and Buzzard.
Saturday 17th September was time for me to visit the Royal Berkshire Agricultural Show (aka Newbury Show). I was able to visit many stalls and watch a few different events. The Wildlife Trusts i.e. Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, F.W.A.G (Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group), Songbird Survival were among those visited. These were of special interest to me as I am looking for new contacts in this field.
The Sunday 18th September saw my sister and I visit Crookham Common, which is due east of Greenham Common for a walk hosted by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust. Again, it proved a most entertaining day but also, more importantly for me, an educational day out as well. The purpose of the event was to explain to the locals (of which I am one) the nature of the work that is taking place in this area. A restoration program is currently ongoing in this heathland area and is given the wonderful title of “Heathland and Beyond”. The ongoing work will and already has, made use of volunteers, to help improve the habitat. To give it’s other catchy title, the West Berkshire Living Landscape project.
Until next time!
Posted in Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust, birding, birdsound, Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group, friends, Songbird Survival, The Royal County of Berkshire Show, The Wildlife Trusts
Tagged birds, friends, news, research
Hello all, some more Batty news for you.
In appreciation of bats.