St Nicks

Centre for nature and green living

10 Nov

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 […]

14 Oct

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. […]

02 Oct

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, […]

19 Sep

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 […]

02 Sep

Wildwatch: August 2014 Sightings

Highlights Pineapples, Lettuces and a lone Artichoke.. Butterflies disappoint, bugs abound, heaps of hoverflies, shieldbugs shine.. and what’s that “mouse” creeping up a tree? Weather A somewhat cooler August, but temperatures still reaching 20C. The Wildwatch Wednesdays enjoyed sunny intervals on all four days. Invertebrates Butterflies were very disappointing in number. Our August 7th blog […]

15 Aug

August 2014: Spotlight on… Oak Galls

In simple terms, a plant gall is the plant’s response to something that another organism does to it. The overall effect is a little bit like what your body does when a nettle stings it, but gall production is more complicated and still isn’t fully understood. There are hundreds of kinds of galls in Britain, […]

05 Aug

5 fantastic facts about butterflies

This week we’re celebrating all things butterfly by listing 5 facts you might not have known about this majestic metamorphic insect. We hope these facts will inspire you to take part in the Big Butterfly Count – a survey you can do in your own garden or local green space to help Butterfly Conservation keep […]

04 Aug

Wildwatch: July 2014 Sightings

Highlights A plant re-discovered after a 3 year absence.. a “protective” hoverfly, new for St Nicks.. a bird up a tree (you don’t often find this water bird up a tree!).. more sightings of a endangered mammal. Weather A generally dry, warm month, with temperatures reaching 23C by the middle of the month. Plants The weekly […]

28 Jul

Annual report 2013-14 & looking forward

St Nicks’ AGM on 15th July 2014 wasn’t just an opportunity to enjoy our patron Anneliese Emmans Dean’s wonderful Buzzing performance but it was also a time to reflect on what St Nicks has achieved since its inception as a charity in 1997. Over the past two decades or so, we have turned a clay-capped […]

15 Jul

July 2014: Spotlight on… Shieldbugs

Shieldbugs are popular and readily identifiable insects found on the reserve at St Nicks, and can be seen in most months of the year. Unlike beetles, shieldbugs tend not to scuttle away when observed but will pose for photographs. They superficially resemble beetles but are actually part of the bug tribe. All insects are sometimes […]