St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Category: Wildwatch

Adventures in the Becks

We have spent a lot of time in and around the becks this year. In a year when we’ve all had to keep our distance from one another, spending hours exploring Tang Hall and Osbaldwick Becks from the water, as well the overgrown banks, has been a thoroughly rewarding but responsible activity to keep us […]

Posted 18 November 2020 | Categories: Inspiration, Natural Habitats, Wildwatch

Wildwatch May 2020

The wildlife of St Nicks buzzed and bloomed in May as always, regardless of human troubles. The regular group of Wildwatch volunteers could not, of course, meet up as usual for their weekly walk around the reserve. But a few of us could enjoy St Nicks during our legally-sanctioned local walks. We recorded what wildlife […]

Posted 16 June 2020 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: 2020, alderfly, Batman hoverfly, be fly, bee, beetlre, Birds foot trefoil, blackcap, Blue Tit, Brassica Shieldbug, Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly, bug, Bumblebee, chalcid, Chiffchaff, Cinnamon Bug, Cocksfot moth, common frog, cow parsley, Cranesbill, damselfly, dragonfly, gall, Garden Warbler, great tit, green longhorn moth, Grey Squirrel, Hawthorn, Hoverfly, Ladybird, Large Red Damselfly, long-tailed tit, moth fly, newt, oak apple, Rabbit, Red Campion, robin, Shieldbug, Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, spring, Torymus, Wasp Beetle, Whitethroat, Wildwatch, willow warbler

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

Wildwatch March 2020

New life sprung forth this March at St Nicks – as always. Despite inevitable difficulties, the Wildwatch team was still able to enjoy some great wildlife sightings. Wildwatch groups met as usual on the Wednesday mornings of the 4th and 11th of March – seventeen of us on the latter date. (What a long time ago this […]

Posted 17 April 2020 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: bee fly, bees, blackbird, Blackthorn, Brimstone, Bullfinch, Bumblebees, butterflies, Centipede, Ceriporia, Chiffchaff, Chionodoxa, coltsfoot, comma butterfly, cowslip, flowers, fox, fritillary, fungi, goldcrest, Goldfinch, Gorse Shieldbug, Great spotted woodpecker, Hoverfly, long-tailed tit, march, millipede, newt, Otter, owls, Primrose, robin, slugs, snails, Song Thrush, sparrowhawk, spiders, spring, tawny owl, Treecreeper, volunteer, volunteering, water vole, wildlife, Wildwatch, woodlice, 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

Keeping connected to nature: even during lockdown

Hard times for us all. So many pressing concerns. Not least of these, for many of us, is the way in which our access to the natural world has suddenly become so constricted. Absence, it is said, makes the heart grow fonder. How true this seems now, regarding not just family and friends, but also […]

Posted 31 March 2020 | Categories: Ecotherapy, Opinion Piece, Wildwatch | Tags: blackbird, Bumblebee, butterfly, Celandine, Chiffchaff, coltsfoot, comma butterfly, cowslip, ecotherapy, Goldfinch, Hoverfly, kingfisher, Ladybird, magpie, Otter, poplar, robin, Shieldbug, volunteer, wildlife, wildlife gardening, Wildwatch, Woodlouse, York

Wildwatch February 2020

Headline Early spring blossom brings out the queen bees, while some winter bird visitors depart. Plenty to see under logs, too.   Weather February 2020 was officially the UK’s wettest February since records began 160 years ago, but happily every Wildwatch Wednesday at St Nicks in February dawned frosty and sunny.   Birds 27 bird […]

Posted 20 March 2020 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Abraham-Isaac-Jacob, Alkanet, aspen, Beetles, Bumblebee, Celandine, coltsfoot, Comfrey, cowslip, Daffodil, Elfcup, fungi, Grey Squirrel, hoverflies, kingfisher, ladybirds, Lungwort, Mammals, millipedes, plants, Primrose, redwing, Shieldbugs, Slime mould, slugs, Snowdrop, Song Thrush, spiders, springtails, teasel, Violet, Wildwatch. February 2020, woodpecker, yew

Wildwatch January 2020

Highlights Still very few wintering bird visitors or migrants, but lots of invertebrates seen under logs and stones. A surprising number of insects above ground too. First flowers spotted as well as fresh evidence of otter presence.   Weather Wednesdays in January were kind to Wildwatchers, with chilly starts, frequent sun and no rain.   […]

Posted 24 February 2020 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Alder, Cherry Plum, cow parsley, fungi, gorse, Grey Squirrel, hazel, Hogweed, Lungwort, Mammals, Otter, plants, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Turkeytail, Velvet Shank, Wildwatch, Wood Avens

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

Wildwatch September – December 2019

Highlights Winter birds disappoint, but many new invertebrates found and nine shieldbug species liven up the reserve. Plus a botanical oddity, plenty of fungi and galls.   Weather A mixed bag. The wet Autumn’s heaviest rain fell on non-Wildwatch days. September walks were mainly cloudy following overnight rain. October, November and December brought us a […]

Posted 31 January 2020 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: ash, autumn, berries, Candlesnuff, Chiffchaff, Deadly Nightshade, Earthstar, fungi, galls, Godlcrest, gorse, Grey Squirrel, Grey Wagtail, Hawthorn, hazel, House Martins, ivy, Lamproderma, Oak Bush Cricket, Ragwort, Rowan, Shieldbug, Slime mould, Strawberry Blossom Weevil, teasel, Toadflax, Treecreeper, Wildwatch