St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Category: Wildwatch

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

Wildwatch Winter 2017/18 (Dec – Feb)

Highlights Rare mammal sighting.. visiting Winter geese and an early Summer visitor.. camouflage in the Environment Centre Pond.. and a tiny, tiny new plant! Weather A colder than usual three months (December to February) with many frosty mornings and, especially after Christmas, several snowy ones, meant that wildwatching at St Nicks was a rather chilly […]

Posted 12 April 2018 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Alder, blackcap, fox, Gorse Shieldbug, grey alder, Grey Wagtail, hazel, Ox-eye Daisy, pink-footed goose, Red Campion, redpoll, redwing, Rose Leafhopper, Tree Bumblebee, Tree Creeper

Wildwatch Autumn 2017 (Sep-Nov)

Highlights Golden swimmer in Tang Hall Beck, butterflies in November, a galling season and a big “charm”! Weather Autumn weather for Wildwatchers included two completely sunny calm mornings, but was otherwise mostly dull and cloudy with a few sunny spells. There was little or no rain on our walks, and windy days were rare. These […]

Posted 19 December 2017 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Chiffchaff, fieldfare, gold fish, pink-footed goose, red admiral, redwing, Rosemary Beetle, Sheetweb Spider, Shieldbug, Treecreeper

Wildwatch: August 2017

Highlights Plenty of galls.. Nine new insects for St Nicks.. Woodpeckers and Kingfishers brighten up the month. Weather One or two showers and the 23rd was a washout! A rather cool and damp August, but with a few sunny intervals on the 9th and 16th. Invertebrates With August Wildwatch Wednesdays often dull and chilly, insect […]

Posted 2 October 2017 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: bugs, chick, galls, hoverflies, moorhen, moorhen chick

Wildwatch: July 2017

Highlights A mouse and a mouse-like bird.. best month ever for hoverflies.. we seek him here, we seek him there – but we didn’t find him! Weather Dry, 16C – 20C with some sun on the first three Wildwatch Wednesdays.. rain on the 26th. Birds Our summer visitors were recorded every Wednesday in July. At […]

Posted 30 August 2017 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: blackcap, Chiffchaff, Earth Star fungus, Hoverfly, Long-tailed Mouse, Song Thrush, Whitethroat, wood mouse