Nature Blog Network

Year end

This year this blog has started to describe some of the natural history of the land and field. Data from this study has been submitted to the following surveys - I hope it contributes to the broader picture of wildlife in Britain.

BTO Birdtrack. A second site records the birds on Saunder Height.
BTO Garden Birdwatch
BTO Winter Thrush Survey
BTO Blackcap survey - even though there weren’t any
RSPB big garden birdwatch
Bat Conservation Trust Bat watch
Bat Conservation Trust Daubenton survey (actually for the Irwell at Cloughfold)
Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count
Plantlife (Sand Beds Lane)

Much more remains to be covered, particularly regarding the lower plants, insects and invertebrates. This may be done via a ‘square metre’ blog, the problem is finding a square metre which is accessible all year round (no nettles), not walked over and without people dumping their garden rubbish on it. I will also record the progress of the seasons via a ‘first xxx’ page. The blog probably won’t be weekly next year.

species totals

Richard Jeffreys, in his superb ‘Wild life in a southern county’* writes of a farm in 1860s Wiltshire that it is ‘constantly visited by about thirty five wild creatures, and, in addition, five others come now and then, making a total of forty. Of these forth, twenty six are birds, two bats, eight quadrupeds and four reptiles.’

So how does the Lane compare?

birds: 43
bats: 2
‘quadrupeds’: 11
reptiles: none seen

so we need to look harder for reptiles - the lack of stream/pond might play a part here.

* p. 145 of the 2011 Little Toller edition

second tortoiseshell

a second small tortoiseshell is attempting to survive the winter in our house - hope he has better luck than the other one.

casualty of winter

Sadly the small tortoiseshell butterfly noted on 19/10/13 didn’t survive the winter.

winter thrush mark II

A second trot round the winter thrush survey route yielded very different results but still no thrushes actually feeding. It was just above freezing on the day of the walk and had been sub zero in the days preceding and many of the bushes which had berries in October were now stripped of them.

This visit saw:
4 blackbirds in woodland
1 blackbird in a private garden
2 blackbirds in amenity land
1 blackbird in pastoral farmland
2 song thrush in private gardens
2 mistle thrush in woodland
16 starling flying over woodland

Maybe next time there will be some thrushes feeding - or maybe not...