St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Category: Wildwatch

With a little help from our friends: St Nicks volunteers making a difference

Our hard working and hardy volunteers have been at it again, day and night, come rain or shine. Apart from our regular weekly sessions, we offer plenty of drop-in opportunities if you’d like to volunteer with us to look for wildlife or to help York to bloom and buzz. Here is a summary of recent […]

Posted 18 October 2019 | Categories: Stories, Volunteers' diary, Wildwatch | Tags: meadow, student action, volunteer, wildflowers, wildlife

Heworth Holme BioBlitz results

Our 24-hour BioBlitz in Heworth Holme revealed signs of over 200 types of wildlife, including otters, bats, frogs, owls, foxes, mice, beetles and water scorpions as well as trees, grasses and other plants. We have been working at Heworth Holme for three years to improve its habitat for wildlife after many years of neglect. The […]

Posted 26 June 2019 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: bats, bioblitz, fox, Heworth Holme, Otter, water scorpion, Wildwatch, wood mouse

Wildwatch spring (March – May 2019)

Highlights Summer migrant warblers put on a good show while Red Kite surprised everyone. Beetles, Hoverflies and Bees were the stars of the insect world. St Nicks’ trees sprung into leaf and flowered as beautifully as ever, whilst cowslips and fritillaries led the way in brightening up the meadows.   Weather After an exceptionally warm […]

Posted 26 June 2019 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Abraham-Isaac-Jacob, Birds foot trefoil, cow parsley, cowslip, cranesbills, fritillary, Garlic Mustard, legumes, newt, Primrose, Red Lungwort, shrubs, trees, White Comfrey, Wildwatch

Wildwatch winter (December 2018 – February 2019)

Highlights Over-wintering Chiffchaffs are followed by St Nicks earliest ever Chiffchaff song. Other bird winter visitors disappoint, but the reserve’s Gorse Shieldbugs, Sage Leafhoppers, Seven-spot Ladybirds and Rosemary Beetles defy winter and appear most weeks.   Weather Winter Wildwatch began (on 5th December) with heavy rain, but that was the last we saw of it, […]

Posted 25 March 2019 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: ferns, gorse, Hogweed, Mock Strawberry, Winter Aconite

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

Wildwatch autumn 2018 (September-November)

Highlights The year’s butterfly showing continued to disappoint, but lots of bugs and hoverflies brighten up Wildwatch mornings… Unusual bird visitors included a Common Snipe and Water Rail… Two new plant gall records.   Weather Wildwatch days in September were disappointingly overcast and often windy, but brightened up for October which gave us a number […]

Posted 18 January 2019 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Birch Catkin Bug, Blue Shieldbug, Cinnamon Bug, Common Snipe, Common Toadflax, field scabious, fieldfare, Grey Wagtail, oak galls, Pemphigus spyrothecae, redwing, sparrowhawk, Twin-spot Centurion, Water Rail, Wildwatch

Wildwatch summer 2018 (June-August)

Highlights An early winter visitor…20 new invertebrate species recorded…a great summer for hoverflies.   Weather Except for one warm sunny day in June, indifferent and cloudy (though dry) weather greeted most Wildwatch mornings until mid-July, after which Britain’s long hot summer dominated our Wednesday walks until the last two meetings of August which were duller. […]

Posted 29 October 2018 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Adonis Ladybird, Blood Bee, Brown Argus, Callicera aurata, Cinnamon Bug, click beetle, Devils Bit Scabious, Eupeodes latifasciatus, Furrow Bee, Goldfinch, Helophilus hybridus, Hornet Hoverfly, leaf beetle, mirid bug, moths, Rose galls, sawfly Arge ochropus, Siskin, Song Thrush, Speckled Wood, Tansy Beetle, wild carrot, 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

Wildwatch Spring 2018 (March-May)

Highlights Greenfinches bounce back… eight new invertebrates…tiny member of the Rose family. Weather Wildwatch weather at St Nicks from the beginning of March to the end of May reflected the national picture, with both plant life and insect emergence held back by the cold late start of Spring. In March early frosts were followed by […]

Posted 8 August 2018 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: blackcap, Chiffchaff, redwing, Siskin, Water Rail, Wildwatch

Spotlight on… Common Carder Bumblebee

The Common Carder Bumblebee, Bombus pascuorum, is the most frequently seen Bumblebee on the reserve at St Nicks, though the Tree Bumblebee, Bombus hypnorum, is rapidly catching it up. Tree Bumblebees first arrived in the south of England in 2001 from continental Europe, and have since spread northwards, reaching Yorkshire in 2010 and Scotland three […]

Posted 27 July 2018 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: Bumblebees, Common Carder Bumblebee, insects, pollinators, Tree Bumblebee, wildlife, Wildwatch