MEMBERS' NATURE NOTES
At every WNHS meeting members are asked about the wildlife they have seen recently. Here is a summary of what has been reported:
WILDLIFE NOTES FROM OUR MEETINGS & EMAILS IN 2020:
November - Joan Shelton saw a kingisher at Beeston Canal on 7th, Graham Birkett saw 11 Goosander, a Teal and a Little Egret on Martin's Pond.
May - John and Celia Scottow’s ‘Mrs Duck’ had become a regular visitor in their garden accompanied bt a ‘Mr Duck’. They saw swifts 5th May and a red admiral on the 6th.
Mavis and Ian Broomhall saw and heard their first cuckoo at Skylarks Nature Reserve on Monday 4th May. They saw a skylark, possibly two, at Gedling Country Park on 6th May.
Patricia McHale saw an Orange-tip visiting her garden.
Brian & Margaret Hobby saw their first swifts on the 12th May near Straws Bridge.
APRIL - 1st April, Chris Bull saw a Lesser black-backed gull on the lake in Wollaton Park. 5th April: Graham Birkett saw his first Orange tip of the year in his garden and Dave Gilbert saw a Small White in his garden.
Betty Grimley observed on the 16th at 11.15am: “I looked up from this iPad through the patio window and saw a fox about three yards away picking up a dead baby rabbit from under a small shrub. It then carried it down the garden and through the gap at the end where we have a fence panel missing. It explains why we found a small rabbit leg on the lawn last week and a pile of grey fur at the weekend. I don't know where it finds its rabbits. We live on the top of Bramcote Hills and the old golf course is behind the houses opposite and there are lots of rabbits on the school fields too”. Betty forwarded a photo, which showed how close the fox was; “just between the bronze bush and the pale green one which had the dead rabbit under it. I looked under the shrub and there was a shallow depression as if something had been dug up. I have seen a similar one before in the open ground nearer to the house. We have had foxes before but usually travelling from garden to garden but never so close to the house or mid morning”.
Chris Bull saw a pair of Red Kites ‘quartering the ground around the edge of Bramcote Wood on the side by the schools. One of his photos showed a Red Kite eating whilst flying. He also observed plenty of Speckled Wood butterflies.
Kathy Revell observed lots of Ashy mining bees at Sandy Lane Nature Reserve.
Nigel Downes was pleased to see that Red Mason bees had emerged from their cells in a home I made for them. He also noted from his garden survey, that his first Orange-tip was seen on April 8th last year and he happened to see the first this year also on April 8th!
On 22nd April, Chris Bull saw his first two swallows for this year near Moor Farm, Strelley. Aslo a Bee fly. Brian and Margaret Hobby had seen swallows near Dale Abbey on the 25th, Alan Watson observed his first swallow, at Beeston canal, on the 26th. Graham Stamper and myself photographed some swallows with house martins at Straws Bridge on the 29th. More seen near the Nottingham canal, Awsworth on 2nd May.
MARCH - Dave garden visitors in addition to a pair of Blackcaps, included (14th) the first Ring-Necked Parakeet since November 2016 (a male) and the first Collared Doves since 2018. On Monday,16th, the first day when the temperature rose high enough to tempt out a few butterflies, he saw a single Peacock and two Commas on the wing. Also a male Chaffinch badly affected by the Fringilla Papillomavirus, but otherwise it is perfectly healthy. Nancy Briggs reports seeing a Jay for the first time in her garden and a thrush’. Patricia McHale, Chris Bull & Nigel Downes saw Brimstones in their gardens.
Another story from Dave and Angela Gilbert’s garden today: “By chance, we heard a small thud on the kitchen window this afternoon. When we checked outside, we found a tiny Blue Tit, which had bounced off the window and had landed in a bowl of rainwater. Though it was still floating at the time, it was dazed and probably would have drowned had we not rescued it. We dried it with kitchen roll, allowed it to recover, and in due course, it sat on Angela's finger, then flew to her shoulder, and finally flew off. Our good deed for the day!”
Max Winslow was surprised to see a wheatear in his garden on 25th February. The records show that the earliest previous record, for Notts, was on 26th. February. If my record is accepted by the Notts. Bird Recorder then it will confirm the belief that arrivals are getting earlier. Chiffchaffs were calling on 16th March behind his house, on Bramcote ridge and one was in his hedge on 19th. He said he always thinks of the Chiffchaff as the herald of spring.
Nancy Briggs, reports seeing a Jay for the first time in her garden and a thrush.
FEBRUARY - Ian & Mavis saw 2 Kingfishers at the far end of the Lake at Lakside, Nottingham University.
JANUARY- Cattle Egrets, Little Egrets and a Slovanian Grebe have been seen at Attenborough NR. Nigel brought in a piece of Cork-Winged Elm & the nests of 3 solitary wasps.
WILDLIFE NOTES FROM OUR MEETINGS IN 2019:
NOVEMBER - Graham Birkett had observed around eight Goosanders on Raleigh Pond including some very handsome male birds.
SEPTEMBER - Nigel Downes had seen several Broad-headed Digger Wasps in his garden, they were egg laying in piecses of old cherry wood. A new species for him, one actually landed on his shoulder.
JUNE - Graham Birkett observed some Orange Tip Caterpillars on Garlic Mustard near Martin's Pond. He revealed the location to several members of the photograhic group, who observed one about to pupate. 2 of the 7 caterpillars were actually those of Green Veined White butterflies. Ian observed a hedgehog scurrying across his back lawn, and several Meadow Browns & Red Admirals on walks and the Goldfinch was still paying an occasional visit. Other member had seen a Crow eating someone’s goldfish and Magpies having a battle royal on their lawn.
MAY - Ian saw a lot of wild garlic at Ilam Hall. Dave has seen & photographed foxes, hedgehogs and badgers mating in his garden. Nigel has seen a lot of male Orange Tip Butterflies including in his garden, also a Bishop's Mitre Shieldbug at the Old Friar Gate Station Nature Reserve.
APRIL - 2 Ferrunguinous Ducks seen at Attenborough N.R by Joan Shelton, 3 Goldfinch seen in Ian & Mavis's garden on a couple of occasions also Blackbird with beak full of insects/worms either to feed youngsters or for a pregnant female, lots of Orangetips about, Graham Birkett saw Holly Blues in his garden.
MARCH - Max Winslow heard Chiff Chaff in his garden, Mavis and Ian had a brief sighting of a Goldfinch in their garden, they had seen Scarlet Elf Cup in Harrisons Plantation, more and larger specimens than previous years, Brimstone and Peacock butterflies on the Erewash Canal. Brian Hobby had seen Snakeshead Fritilliaries.
FEBRUARY - Graham Birkett found eggs of Purple Hairstreak butterflies on Oak at Toton Fields
WILDLIFE NOTES FROM OUR MEETINGS IN 2018:
JANUARY- Various blackcaps seen. A large starling murmuration in Attenborough.
APRIL - Spring has finally sprung, about a month later than normal. The first Small White has been spotted on the cabbages (where else?) and Orange Tips and Small Tortoiseshells are around. One member has had a pair of mallard and a moorhen visit her garden. A lesser spotted woodpecker is in Wollaton Park.
MAY - Some really good sightings this month in the local area: a Dingy Skipper at Toton Sidings, the first Common Blue of the year in a garden and two otters at Attenborough!
JUNE - Ian's garden has been a hive of activity: blackbirds feeding their young, a squirrel climbing the washing line in search of food, and a goldfinch. A rare cuckoo was heard near Grantham Canal, Cotgrave. Graham has goldfinches and greenfinches in his garden.
DECEMBER - Nigel displayed an image of 'Witches Broom', various causes, can be due to a fungus.
WILDLIFE NOTES FROM OUR MEETINGS IN 2017:
JANUARY- 13 shovelers were spotted at Martins Pond and Harrisons Plantation had longtail tits and a bullfinch. An increasing number of jays are frequenting gardens. Other sightings: a blackcap and a green woodpecker.
FEBRUARY Large murmurations of starlings are seen regularly at Attenborough. 4 waxwings were spotted on a roof top on Ascot Drive
MARCH The 15th was the warmest day of the year so far and a brimstone butterfly was tempted out. In Wollaton, Dave Gilbert reported many butterfies including a peacock, a small tortoiseshell and numerous commas. In Sellars Wood there were coltsfoot, celandines and wood anemones. Frogs have started mating.
On the 18th a juvenile sparrowhawk was seen sitting on a fence. March 31st, another very warm day, saw a first holly blue butterfly and both buff-tailed and red-tailed bumble bees.
APRIL The first swallow has been seen so summer is nearly here. On Easter Monday an amazing 74 smooth newts were counted in a spot of pond dipping. Hedgehogs, now increasingly rare, have emerged from hibernation. Another rare mammal, a water vole, has been seen in a pond near Coventry Lane. Mike reported that the usual frog road-crossing project in Strelley had helped about 1000 frogs.
JUNE Two hedgehogs spotted - a rare sight these days. Two juvenile blackbirds in a garden. A lapwing was seen in Gedling Country Park.
NOVEMBER A live hornet (in a jar!) was passed around -found in a car park. Another hedgehog has been seen. A late red admiral was spotted on November 14th and a mistlethrush eating berries.