Winter Tit Feeding Flocks at St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Category: Spotlight on...

January 2016: Spotlight on.. Winter Tit Feeding Flocks

In the Spring and Summer, members of the Tit family – Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit and Coal Tit – pair up to breed at St Nicks. Some of them occupy the numerous nest boxes scattered around the reserve. But, in the Autumn and Winter months (October through to February) members of this bird […]

Posted 20 January 2016 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: Chaffinch, Coal Tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, Tit feeding flocks Blue Tit, Treecreeper

December 2015: Spotlight on … Goldcrest

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) is one of Europe’s smallest birds, equalled only in size by Firecrest. Weighing in at just 6 – 6.5 grams, the weight of a 10p coin, this tiny bird makes some astonishing journeys. Every winter, many thousands make the journey across the North Sea from Scandinavia to spend the winter in the […]

Posted 21 December 2015 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: goldcrest

November 2015: Spotlight on … Ash trees

Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) is a native tree, but it’s one on its own. It belongs to the Oleaceae, along with the Olive and Lilac, and its only native relation is a form of wild Privet. Two or three Mediterranean and American forms have been introduced as ornamental trees, but you’re unlikely to find them outside […]

Posted 19 November 2015 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: ash, ash tree, tree

October 2015: Spotlight on … Grey Wagtails

The Grey Wagtail (Motacilla cinerea) is an occasional visitor to St Nicks, seen more often in the Autumn and Winter months (but see below). This attractive grey and yellow bird is nearly always found near running water, so all the St Nicks sightings have been along the Tang Hall and Osbaldwick Becks. Typically it is […]

Posted 28 October 2015 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: Grey Wagtail

September 2015: Spotlight on.. Bindweed

If you’re a gardener, the name sums it up: an irredeemable weed that’s more than a bit of a bind if you’ve taken over a plot where it’s well established. The thin but strong, flexible stems twine round any vertical support, potentially strangling other plants, and the deep roots produce rhizomes that enable the plant […]

Posted 21 September 2015 | Categories: Spotlight on... | Tags: Bindweed, Field Bindweed, Hedge Bindweed, Large Bindweed

June 2015: Spotlight on … Ladybirds

Ladybirds are probably Britain’s best-loved insects. They are believed to be named after ‘Our Lady’ – the Virgin Mary – whose seven joys and seven sorrows are said to be depicted in our commonest native ladybird, the seven-spot. The 7-spot was also the most numerous at St Nicks until the arrival of the Harlequin. Ladybirds […]

Posted 22 June 2015 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: ladybirds, spotlight

April 2015: Spotlight on … Dunnocks

The Dunnock (Prunella modularis) is a common bird at St Nicks. It’s also known as “Hedge Sparrow”, “Hedge Warbler” and “Hedge Accentor”. The latter is the most accurate of names, because the Dunnock is neither a “sparrow” or a “warbler”, but is a member of the Accentor family of birds. But most people call them “Dunnocks”! […]

Posted 20 April 2015 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: Dunnock

March 2015: Spotlight on… Coltsfoot

Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara One of the earliest wild flowers of spring, Coltsfoot is very easy to identify. It’s a member of the Asteraceae or Composite family, and the bright yellow flowers look a bit like miniature Dandelions, to which they are related. Each flower grows on its own separate stem, but unlike Dandelions the stems […]

Posted 24 March 2015 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: coltsfoot, spotlight

February 2015: Spotlight on… Creatures found under logs and stones

Ground level at St Nicks reserve offers a sheltered home for many creatures, particularly in the leaf litter or under stones, bricks and decaying logs. Over the past year the Wildwatch group has spent a little time exploring this hidden world, whose inhabitants include worms, slugs, snails, woodlice, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, ground beetles and various […]

Posted 18 February 2015 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: Centipede, Ground Beetle, millipede, Springtail, Woodlouse

January 2015: Spotlight on… Wrens

The Wren – which has the intriguing scientific name of Troglodytes troglodytes – is a common bird at St Nicks, although it is heard more often than it is seen. The Wren is Britain’s third smallest breeding bird, after Goldcrest and Firecrest (sharing 1st= place). For such a small bird, just 9 – 10 cm […]

Posted 16 January 2015 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: feeding, nesting, spotlight, wren