Hello, Firstly I want to advertise shamelessly, two amazing information sources of British Wildlife news.
H a b i t a t – Daily wildlife and environment news from the British Isles.
*Should you decide to subscribe, please inform the recipients of my situation, as there is currently an offer in progress.
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
Thanks for the update, fascinating as always. I was keen to link to the Long-tailed tit nest but couldn’t get to it – something about authorisation required? Best wishes, Theresa
Thanks Theresa, yes, that link does not appear to be working now. Here is one – http://www.geopark.org.uk/blog/_archives/2009/7/12/4253171.html is from the same source.
That’s very interesting about the Wood Anemone: I know of a group in a wood with a near exact same flowering time!
By the way, of the regarding your comment on my blog (nice one!), of the c. 850 plants in Ireland, only 16 are not found (or are quite uncommon) in Britain. 15 of these are know as the Lusitanian Flora, and are found in the south-west coast of Ireland as well as the Iberian peninsula.
Yes, I do hope others also see the patterns emerging in the data. As for your Lusitanian Flora, here is a link well worth reading – http://www.irishwildflowers.ie/lusitanian.html
Ireland certainly does have its specialities of which you can be very proud. You learn something every day, do you not?