St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

Category: Wildwatch

Wildwatch: January 2015 Sightings

Highlights A secretive dweller in the Pond – and CCTV catches a “first” for St Nicks! Weather A dull and drizzly start to the first Wildwatch of the year, but it got colder and clearer later in the month. There was a scattering of snow on the 14th. Birds We searched unsuccessfully for the Water […]

Posted 3 February 2015 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Caddis Fly larva, Centipede, Coal Tit, fox, goldcrest, Gorse Shieldbug, Great spotted woodpecker, Hazel flowers, millipede, Song Thrush, Treecreeper

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

Wildwatch: December 2014 Sightings

Highlights: A skulking bird was a first for the reserve.. unexpected winter insect sightings, while a world of other creatures are found hiding under logs and stones.. and 15 species of flower still out! Weather: Temperatures ranged from 1C at the beginning and end of the month up to 12C on the 17th. All the Wildwatch […]

Posted 6 January 2015 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Coal Tit, goldcrest, Gorse Shieldbug, kingfisher, Water Rail, water vole

December 2014: Spotlight on… Ivy

Its distinctive lobed leaves make Ivy (Hedera helix) one of the most recognisable plants at St Nicks, but there isn’t actually very much of it on the reserve – yet. We’re starting to find young plants here and there, but to see mature specimens you need to take an often muddy little side track from […]

Posted 16 December 2014 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: ivy, spotlight

Wildwatch: November 2014 Sightings

Highlights: Prolific fungi, fox & cubs (!), scarce visitor to the Environment Centre plus a new pair of birds, and lots of little creatures skulking under logs and stones. Weather: Temperatures ranged from a minimum of 7C to a max of 11C. Mainly cloudy on Wildwatch Wednesdays, but a sunny day on the 5th and rain […]

Posted 4 December 2014 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Centipede, Great spotted woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Jelly-ear Fungus, kingfisher, Mallard, millipede, Netted Slug, Noon Fly, Siskin, water vole

November 2014: Spotlight on… Magpies

The Magpie (Pica pica), a member of the crow family, will be a familiar bird to almost everyone who wanders around St Nicks. Noisy, large and strikingly marked with a long tail, they are easy birds to see and identify. There are probably 3 – 5 pairs of Magpies breeding at St Nicks, although no formal […]

Posted 21 November 2014 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: magpie, nest, predation, spotlight

Wildwatch: October 2014 Sightings

Highlights: Late departures and early arrivals of birds.. A new botanist, new species for old, and the start of a moss survey.. Flies still flying in warm October, and at least three new insect records for St Nicks this month. Weather: Nationally, the 10th= warmest October since 1910! At St Nicks, the highest Wildwatch Wednesday temperatures […]

Posted 10 November 2014 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Common Cross Spider, Earthball fungus, False Ladybird, galls, goldcrest, Great spotted woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, ichneumon wasp, scandinavian blackbird, Siskin, Swallow, Treecreeper

October 2014: Spotlight on… Long-tailed Tits

After the Robin, the Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus) is probably Britain’s favourite bird! Charismatically cute (!) this small bird is a frequent visitor to gardens – and to St Nicks! We possibly have between 3 – 5 breeding pairs on the reserve. Nest building starts in March, usually fairly low down in thick shrubs or brambles. […]

Posted 14 October 2014 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: Bum-barrel, long-tailed tit

Wildwatch: September 2014 Sightings

Highlights: Three new plants & six new plant galls.. more “blue flashes” and sightings of the “tree mouse”.. spiders and harvestmen abound, and grasshoppers spring a surprise! Weather: Nationally, and locally, a very dry September, but with just enough rain to keep the two becks flowing. Temperatures on “Wildwatch Wednesdays” ranged from 12C to 20C, […]

Posted 2 October 2014 | Categories: Wildwatch | Tags: blackcap, carrion crow, Chiffchaff, comma butterfly, Devils Bit Scabious, Digger wasp, galls, Grasshopper, Hollyhock, Midge Gall, Song Thrush, Tansy Gall, Tree Damsel Bug, Woundwort Shieldbug

September 2014: Spotlight on … Garden Spiders

The Garden Spider Araneus diadematus is probably the best-known member of the spider family, weaving a beautiful circular web and best seen in late summer and autumn. By no means the only abundant urban spider (it has also been found on remote seacliffs from Shetland to Cornwall) it is in our gardens and hedgerows that […]

Posted 19 September 2014 | Categories: Spotlight on..., Wildwatch | Tags: Garden Spider