St Nicks Wildwatch blog post, April 2020

Centre for nature and green living

Category: Spotlight on...

Wildwatch April 2020

Wildlife at St Nicks has been flourishing this spring. Wildwatch volunteers would normally be meeting every week to record – and enjoy – this. Alas, this is impossible right now. However, several Wildwatchers have been able to visit individually and share their sightings with us all. And of course staff members continue to do essential […]

Posted 11 May 2020 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: apple, bee fly, Bird Cherry, blackbird, blackcap, Blackthorn, Brimstone, Bullfinch, Bumblebees, butterlies, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, comma butterfly, cowslip, cuckoo bee, fritillary, gall, Goldfinch, Gorse Shieldbug, Grey Squirrel, Hawthorn, Hoverfly, kingfisher, ladybirds, mussel, nature, newt, orange tip, Otter, owl pellet, peacock, plant galls, plastic, Rabbit, robin, snail, solitary bees, Song Thrush, sparrowhawk, Speckled Wood, spring, tawny owl, Treecreeper, Violet, volunteer, wildlife, Wildwatch, willow warbler, wren, York

Spotlight on… Tawny Mining Bee and Bee Fly

The Tawny Mining Bee (Andrena fulva) and the Bee Fly (Bombylius major) have a story to tell. The first is a solitary bee while the second is not a bee but a fly impersonating one. Both can be seen on the reserve at St Nicks from April to June. The Bee Fly tries to stay as […]

Posted 14 April 2020 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: Andrena, bee, beefly, Bombylius, fly, solitary bee, spotlight, spring, wildlife, Wildwatch, York

Spotlight on…how and where do St Nicks butterflies spend the winter?

Visit St Nicholas Fields on a sunny summer day and your heart will surely be lifted by the attractive sight of the butterflies on the reserve. Up to 20 species appear regularly each year, some of them in abundance, others harder to find but worth the search. But come Autumn and the show is almost […]

Posted 19 February 2020 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: butterflies

Crayfish on the Foss

Written by St Nicks’ Natural Habitats Manager Jonathan Dent. This autumn, thanks to funding from the Postcode Local Trust, we have been privileged to assist wetland ecologist Martin Hammond to survey the upper reaches of the River Foss to determine to state of native white-clawed crayfish populations. White-clawed crayfish are the UK’s only native freshwater […]

Posted 11 November 2019 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: crayfish, Dales to Vales Rivers Network, Foss, river survey, white-clawed crayfish, York, Yorkshire

Spotlight on… Winter Buds

This months spotlight, written by Wildwatch volunteer, Kaye, is all about winter tree buds —proving we can identify trees without leaves and flowers!  Many people believe deciduous trees are hard to identify in winter.  Not necessarily so!  Some of our native species have very distinctive twigs and buds. Get to know these, and even without […]

Posted 7 February 2019 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: Alder, Alder Catkins, ash, buds, hazel, Hazel Catkins, Horsechestnut, lime, oak, Sycamore, Wildwatch, willow, Willow Catkins, winter

Spotlight on… Woodland structure: One year later

In January 2018, our Natural Habitats Manager, Jonathan, wrote a brilliant spotlight blog about the woodland structure, focusing on the understory. In this blog, Jonathan discussed the background of St Nicks woodland and talked about our plans for improvement as we launched our exciting new project; St Nicks community woodland, funded by the Postcode Local […]

Posted 20 December 2018 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: bats, Bluebell, coppicing, Dunnock, finches, Hawthorn, hazel, hedgehogs, hedgelaying, Holly, Otter, robins, volunteering, water voles, wild garlic, wood anemone, woodlands, wren

Spotlight on… Alder Buckthorn: Brimstone Bush

This month’s spotlight has been written by our incredibly knowledgeable Park Ranger, Sean Garvey, revealing revelations about native shrub species, Alder Buckthorn. Let me introduce you to one of St Nicks’ scarcest shrubs: Alder Buckthorn , Frangula alnus. It’s an unassuming plant that is easily overlooked; but it has a fascinating, and literally explosive, back-story. […]

Posted 27 November 2018 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: alder buckthorn, Brimstone butterfly

Spotlight on… Tawny Owls

Our brilliant Meadow Keepers intern, Eithne Phillips, has written Octobers spotlight, giving us insight into the wonderful world of Tawny Owls. The Tawny Owl is one of Britain’s most familiar species of owl and has been heard throughout our forests, woodlands and parklands for thousands of years. Our relationship with owls has often been a […]

Posted 30 October 2018 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: ecotherapy, tawny owl, wildlife, woodlands

Spotlight on… Orchards

Written by Maria Gill, our Volunteer Co-ordinator, drawing on information from Traditional Orchards: A guide to wildlife and management Change is afoot here at St Nicks as temperatures begin to cool and autumn moves in. Nights are getting longer and sunshine is becoming soft and hazy. Plants and animals alike are beginning to make preparations […]

Posted 28 September 2018 | Categories: Bearing Fruit, Spotlight on... | Tags: apples, autumn, autumn fayre, mistletoe, orchards, Wildwatch

Spotlight on…Thistles

28 species in the Collins Flower Guide have the word “thistle” in their name. They are all members of the large and often confusing family of Asteraceae.[1] Sixteen of them are classed as true thistles, and at least ten of these are native species. For the purposes of this spotlight, we’re going to concentrate on […]

Posted 30 August 2018 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: Creeping Thistle, Spear Thistle, thistles, Welted Thistle, Wildwatch