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Jane Louise

Observations Of Nature Through The Seasons.

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Posted Image A pleasure for me to start this thread. Studying nature is a favorite hobby of mine. Noticing the changes from year to year and seeing how nature differs with regards to wildlife, plants, weather and much more.

Please use this thread to post up any recent observations you'd like to discuss and any noticeable changes that may be of interest to fellow observers.Posted Image

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I don't know if its a nationwide thing but I noticed about a month or so ago that we had an influx of redwings and fieldfares and they completely stripped the trees and shrubs of berries. Haw berries were quite plentiful but within a few days the hedgerows were bare. So if you have bird feeders, tables etc please put some food out.

I'm not sure of any weather related connection but I've never seen the berries get eaten as quickly in previous years whatever winter has thrown at us.

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Last year with the mild weather changeover period from 2011 to 2012 everything kept growing notably the strawberry plants and I have never seen "so many" ladybirds during 2011.

In contrast to now a year on the strawberry plants are still going but hardly a ladybird in sight this year and as autumn approached they seemed to fade away ?

Edited by flyer

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Ive noticed this week the first shoots of daffodils starting to spring up. I dont understand this,i know its been pretty mild recently but the Autumn was a fairly traditional one and the first half of this month was chilly.

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Best me too it above, I've also got daffs coming up, first noticed these on the 23rd, they are now a good 4" out of the grass.

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The Blackbirds around here are pretty convinced Spring is here, the males are constantly squabbling whilst the females are in full on flirting mode. The Ivy which usually sustains lots of birds through the harsher months still hasn't developed full berry and currently still flowering (having started in September), the Primroses are out and the Snowdrops are up, they're at least a couple of inches tall and if this weather keeps up, should be flowering in a couple of weeks - that's a month earlier than usual.

All in all, I think things are a little confused in Somerset.

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Have small group Roe deer that I observe daily from bedroom window, There rutting takes place July/August with fawns being born end May, after mating the female holds embryo till december/early Jan when protein released to promote growth, ensuring birth for when weather favorable and plenty food available, Fawns usually born end May, Last year Fawns born much earlier following the mild December, The year before when we experienced very cold December of 2010. fawns born rather later around second week Iune, Considering growth protein released December, I think the cold 2010 December delayed protein release, Due to very mild weather around last winter. reasonable to suggest protein released early, I think that we should have early births again for spring 2013,

Edited by cerneman

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With the very wet early summer we experienced 2012 the Kingfisher lost fledglings due to flooded nest site, All I know is that the territory Kingfisher held is now abandond, The ecology of area of river I care for been badly affected by our wet year, Will recover but water vole population badly hit even fish impacted by flooding and fast flowing water

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Small trees starting to bud here already. I have now removed all my plants from the greenhouse and placed them back into the garden due to the lack of cold weather. The corn fields are flooded next to me so it's going to be a bad year for farmers I feel. Plenty of bird feeders are up. One great tit and one blue tit roosting in two of my camera nest boxes since September . My other two camera boxes are unoccupied at present. I have one more blue tit cam box and one robin cam nest box . I'm going to be doing a nest box survey for the BTO in spring which I'm looking forward to. Have only seen a few field fares so far this winter no redwings and sadly no waxwings. Two robins are pairing up but this is usually normal. My black caps have disappeared but I've been rewarded with flocks of long tailed tits who are visiting up to three times a day.Posted Image

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Blackbirds are sparring, Collared Doves are displaying and Sparrows are taking the plumes from the pampas grass....all more usually associated with the earlier parts of spring.

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Seen no redwings or fieldfare this winter which is unusual, Barn owl been out hunting in day time,think taking advantage of any dry weather,

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Seen no redwings or fieldfare this winter which is unusual, Barn owl been out hunting in day time,think taking advantage of any dry weather,

I think that all the fieldfares and redwings have come to live with me as we have really big numbers this year. Also Starling numbers are very good. They come to the farmland around here from Westhay during the day before going back to roost. I saw a barn owl out hunting during the day last week also.

The wet spring and summer has had a big effect on wildlife this year. Cerneman has mentioned the birds and river ecology and I noticed it most with the insects. Bees couldn't get out and so plants were not pollinated and so low fruit production. Butterflies had a really bad time of things, 2 butterflies that I see a lot of normally ( common blue & brown argus) I didn't see a single one all year. I did see more holly blues this year than previously but it seems that the darker butterflies that are more cloud tolerant did ok. really good numbers of meadow browns, gatekeepers and ringlets.

I haven't seen any spring signs here yet but shall be keeping an eye on things.

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The Flora around here seem to be acting in season, Maybe the gloomy days still telling it's winter

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In our garden there are Daffodils and Bluebells showing their green leaves above the ground. The Robins, Pigeons and Blackbirds are displaying and pairing. The Bay tree has new green leaves and a there are few new sprigs of Lavender opening up. It feels as though Spring has sprung but I am not sure that this is out of synch with last year or not. I think this is a fascinating thread by the way, thanks for posting it :)

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small apple tree in back garden started to bud.sparrows looks to be collecting moss.family of nut hatches frequent to bird table as do long tail tits,blue tits,great tits,black birds,starlings.ect.

daffs also sprouting out of ground.

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This year I haven't seen the Nuthatch Posted Image.We have sparrows galore here, no sign of nesting yet. We have put a sparrow terrace up which my partner made but no camera installed in that one yet.I'm running out of TVs and computers with all these cams lol. The great spotted woodpecker is a daily visitor too.The pied wagtails hang around the back fields and my two roosters the great and blue tit have just flown in to their boxes now.I do have names for them but wont reveal Posted Image Would love to see photos if anybody has any.Posted Image

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Back from a short walk round the village with the dog about 5 and heard three different Robins singing their little hearts out. Possibly simply happy that it's stopped raining!

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I created wildlife pond in garden, Leaving unmowen area with hope of seeing what developes, Sown buttercup seeds and read that they need cold weather to germinate, Wondering what other wildflower seeds could try adding to my grass patch, Also wondering if could grow seeds in tray and plant seedlings into grass when developed, Gardening not my strong subject, any tips to help attract insects and butterfllies would be good, Planted couple Buddlia,

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I created wildlife pond in garden, Leaving unmowen area with hope of seeing what developes, Sown buttercup seeds and read that they need cold weather to germinate, Wondering what other wildflower seeds could try adding to my grass patch, Also wondering if could grow seeds in tray and plant seedlings into grass when developed, Gardening not my strong subject, any tips to help attract insects and butterfllies would be good, Planted couple Buddlia,

Hi cerneman, I have a nature pond close to a hedge by a field.I made this small pond in April this year. I'm hoping it may attract frogs and dragonflies. Regarding the wildflowers I know they can be very hard to grow. Certainly where I live on farmland we have horrible thick boggy clay soil which isen't very apt for a variety of plants and seed. But to attract insects I would suggest Yarrow which is wonderful for attracting bees and hoverflies also cowslip and oxe-eye daisies will provide plenty of pollen and nectar for most insects.Buddleia is a particular favourite of butterflies

not forgetting cornflowers, foxgloves, bluebells, crocus and globe thistle.

Wild Marjoram is a good plant for butterflies and bees as is Buddleia

Common Knapweed

Wild Carrot

Lady's Bedstraw Oxeye Daisy

Red Campion

are amongst others which are very beneficial for insects.

Take a look here for more info ! I found this site quite interesting.

http://www.wildflowersuk.com/mixcontents.asp?headingID=10Posted Image

Edited by Jane Louise

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Another good site for plugs, seed collections and mixtures is this one http://www.wildflowershop.co.uk/index.html

Different butterflies are attracted to different flowers and grasses for feeding and egg laying (caterpillar food plant) so it depends on what you want to attract and what sort of location your garden is in. I'm hoping to create a mini meadow in my garden and at the village primary (the weather has hampered me this year). We have meadows nearby and I've seen meadow species of butterflies along the railway embankment so I know we could get them here.

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The weather is making the seed in the hoppers sprout...Had to give them a clean and a good wipe...Corvids are enjoying the seed on the lawn..

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Thanks for tips on my wildlife garden project, With forecast more settled weather hope to get out and move project foreward, Did anyone have issues during summer with bites? Up by wildlife pond had swarms mosquitos, The bites from them very nasty this year, My wife finished up casuality and being put on antibiotics, Did see item on news about the subject, I installed pump in pond to try keep running water, In mornings the dead mosquitos formed film over pond. Think the wet summer increased mosquitos, but why the bites caused extreme reaction is mystery, I was getting really inflammed bites and as say my wife experienced really severe reaction,

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Hares out on field today being rather frisky even witnessed little boxing between them, Little Egrets seem to love the flooded fields, Pesky comorants also around,They really do look prehistoric when outstretched wings drying,

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Oh yes, we had mosquitos here by our pond. I got bit quite badly it was horrible.My other half didn't suffer as bad as me he only had a couple bites. We also bought a pond pump which helped a little.But it's these damp wet summers that are the culprit. I can't believe all this wind and rain we are having now in winter.What has happened to the frost and snow that we usually have at this time of year.It always brings a good variety of wildlife and migrants with it.I know we still have a couple months of winter to go but I've just never seen it as bad as this with so much rain.

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