Nature Blog Network

Big Garden Bird Watch

With a thick coating of snow we expected a good turnout on the feeders for the RSPBs’ ‘Big Garden Bird Watch’. In our hour’s slot (09.09-10.09) we managed:

wood pigeon 2
meadow pipit 1
starling 7
robin 1
dunnock 3
blackbird 3
coal tit 1
great tit 3
blue tit 1
chaffinch 4
goldfinch 4
siskin 2
greenfinch 5
house sparrow 6
jackdaw 2
magpie 1
crow 4

Also a lesser spotted woodpecker, strictly speaking outside the hour but hey!

54 birds and 18 species, sadly no new species for the list.

velvet shank

The rotting stump of a common lime felled some years ago has sported a crop of velvet shank fungus this winter. Velvet shank is one of a small number of fungi which can survive frost. It is relatively unusual to see it on lime as it is said to favour elm, ash and oak.

It is edible (and cultivated in Japan), but I think these will be left alone.

velvet shank cropped thumbnail velvet shank on log thumbnail velvet shank underside thumbnail


Hard frost this morning so lots of birds on the feeders, including a couple of jackdaws, with two blackbirds enjoying scrubbing around collecting the bits which dropped to the ground. Its the first time I’ve seen Jackdaws on the feeders.

ash buds

There are four ash trees on the lane. Usually the last to leaf, they were in bud in the first week of January. Sadly we await the arrival of ash dieback.

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the boys are back!

Having only seen a few starlings over the winter, it was pleasant to see (and hear!) 70-100 on the trees this morning, with a couple of wood pigeons to keep order. Five minutes later they were gone, leaving the woodies in peace.

starlings b and w 2 Jan thumbnail

'The Lane' wildlife blog

This blog attempts to describe and record the wildlife of ‘the lane’, the strip of land leading from Newchurch Road east of no. 420 and running northwards (ish) for about 100 yards. It originally led to the rear of the Springhill properties and now leads to four houses.

Although tarmaced, the lane is boarded by wide grass verges which are pretty much untended. It opens out to the west into land behind the houses on Newchurch Rd, formerly known as ‘the Paddock’ or ‘New Croft Meadow’.

A secondary hope for this blog is to improve my photography!

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