Saturday, 19 December 2015

December Diary

31st December - Last day of the year and the sun was still shining, I always think that the woods look a bit bleak at this time of the year and I look forward to the new seasons. Bird sightings were a bit thin on the ground also, the following birds were noted around the woodland. Robin, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Green Woodpecker, Magpie, Wood Pigeon, a few Grey Squirrels were seen today.
My intention for this blog was to record my wildlife sightings over the course of a year, it's been interesting to record the changing face of the woodland and I look forward to  the new year with a hopefully  renewed enthusiasm to improve my photography skills. and to search out some alternative views of the woodland I now look as my "local patch"

28th December - Another gorgeous day, the sun shining and the temperature quite mild, Blackbirds seem to be the most prominent bird around the woodland, mainly males with just one female seen.

Two Jackdaws were flushed from their favoured tree, one from the nesting hole, maybe some nest site prospecting taking place, One Green Woodpecker flushed from the glades, and two fly over Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Once again two Ring necked Parakeets flying over the woodland.
Still no sign of the Little Owls, Marsh Tits or any winter thrushes yet.
A seasonal Robin kept an eye on me as I walked by.

23rd December - A pleasant walk in some very mild weather and some unseasonal sunshine, greeted by two Ring necked Parakeets flying over the car park, the sunshine was encouraging the Blackbirds and Song Thrushes to sing unseen around the woodland. I encountered a fast moving Tit flock just past the Two pond area, Great Tit, Blue Tit, a Nuthatch could be heard calling but I could not pick it out, and a surprise sighting of a Treecreeper, not seen for quite a few months now, It stayed high in the treetops, so a very bad record shot only.

Other birds noted were Robin, Chaffinch, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie,Wood Pigeon. and a pair of Dunnocks feeding on the track.
Some more evidence of the unseasonal mild temperatures was seen in the form of Bluebells shooting through the leaf litter.

Bluebell shoots in December

I read on one of the birding sites that the Gatekeeper butterflies One of our most abundant species,  has experienced a 44 per cent decline in abundance in the last decade,
This track with its hedgerow running through the glade area of Jeskyns park hosted really good numbers of Gatekeeper Butterflies, I am not sure if this drastic hedge cutting is going to help or hinder their cause. Next spring will tell.

A good site for Gatekeeper Butterflies

19th December - Temperatures improving with some very unseasonal weather, the usual birds seen around the woodland included, Blue Tit, Blackbird Carrion Crow, Wood Pigeon, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker. Still no sign of the Little Owls,or a sighting of a Marsh Tit yet, a small flock of possible winter thrushes turned out to be Mistle thrushes (5)
Not much happening now on the Fungi scene , some new growth on the Polypore fungi, a few Jelly ear's seen.
Polypore fungi
Some White Dead-Nettle was seen in flower, not sure if this is a late flowering ( April to November) or early flowering due to the mild temperatures.

White Dead-Nettle

17th December - Another uneventful walk with very little seen, Ring Necked Parakeets(2), Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird.
Some seasonal Holly berries seen around the glades.

15th December - A few days ago I was basking in temperatures of 33 degrees, a reality check today with low temperatures, damp , muddy footpaths and mist, glad to be home, not.
Not much seems to  have changed since the end of November, a couple of Ring Necked Parakeets flew over, at least five Green Woodpeckers were flushed from various areas of the woodland. Several Jackdaws and one Carrion Crow in the dead tree near the car park, the usual Magpie, Robin, Great Tit, Blue tit, Chaffinch. 
A single Nuthatch was seen in the old Oak tree where  I watched a nesting pair back in the summer.
A charm of Goldfinch ( 17) flew up from the meadow, feeding on the Knapweed flower heads.

1st December to 14th December -  Unfortunately no reports due to a very nice holiday in Thailand.