February 2020 Wildwatch blog

Centre for nature and green living

Category: Wildwatch

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

Wildwatch summer (June – August 2019)

Written by St Nicks Wildwatch members who meet every Wednesday to record wildlife in the nature reserve. All photos were taken at St Nicks by volunteers, including Lewis Outing, during the given period.   Highlights Painted Ladies star in abundant butterfly summer while Shieldbugs and Hoverflies are everywhere. Warblers stay to sing all summer and […]

Posted 13 November 2019 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Bee Orchid, bees, Beetles, Burnet Moths, Buzzards, Chaser, climate change, cranesbills, Damsels, Darter, dog rose, Gatekeeper, Hawkers, Hornet Hoverfly, hoverflies, Jay, Knapweed, Meadow flowers, painted lady, Parakeet, pollinators, ringlet, Shieldbugs, Skippers, Swifts, teasel, Warblers, Wetland flowers, Woodland flowers, Yellow Iris

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

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