5th (and final) "garden wildlife report".

September 20, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

This (as described at roughly the same time last year) will be my 5th and last "garden wildlife report" for this house.

Primarily because it takes an awful lot of time and effort (and memory each day!) to record some of my more interesting or notable thoughts each day and then compile them into a report of sorts.

I am ashamed to say that for my final report (this one) I don't even have time to compile my notes (which I've made all year) into a summary - the below is EXACTLY how I've made my notes for the past 5 years - unedited.

It's (always has been) coloured coded  - Weather in normal coloured text, birds in blue, insects/arachnids etc in yellow, mammals in pink, plants in green, reptiles in bottle green and anything else of note in grey.

So, I do apologise for presenting my 5th year notes in note form here, but here they are anyway...

 

My 5th and final "garden wildlife report" (notes) from September 2015 to August 2016 inclusive.

 

________________________________________________________________________________________

 

September 2015.

Weather:

Week 1: Unsettled. Frequent rain. Cool.

Week 2: Jet stream loops north for 5 or 6 days giving a few days of warm, settled weather (up to 21c). Doesn’t last long though – jet stream moves again near the end of the 2nd week producing wind and rain for almost a week.

Week3:  Jet stream moves north again to make for mainly warm and sunny weather (up to 20c and sunny for example on Sat 19th and Sun 20th  - like summer again) but with a little rain here and there earlier in the week. Week ended with a shift in the jet stream again and a return to breezy and often wet weather with sunny spells.

Week 4: Jet stream moves again producing a large loop with a blocking high pressure system for the entire week. Chilly, dewy nights (5c ish), sunny days, quite warm (around 20c) and an easterly breeze which was pretty strong. Lovely weather for the last week of the month and indeed much of the first week of October.

 

8th sept – 2 goldcrests calling from and exploring garden.

8th Sept – swallow low through BH Golf Course.

10th Sept – first of the “winter flocks” of long-tailed tits in morning sun in garden (11 birds)

10th Sept – first of the “autumn yellow” chiffchaffs singing in the garden alongside the long-tailed tits above

11th Sept – swallow low(ish) south, seen from garden

12th Sept – 3 swallows (at least) moving south over garden in cool, damp, windy, morning weather.

13th Sept – another (or the same as the 10th)  “winter flock” of long-tailed tits in morning.

14th Sept – lots of hirundines (both martins and swallows) moving west over BH golf course in windy squalls.

16th Sept – chiffchaff in “ivy tree”.

16th Sept – flock of long-tailed tits in garden again.

17th Sept – young heron flies over garden at 7am in clear sky

17th Sept – lots of swallows flying south over BM golf course in the sunny afternoon

18th Sept – 14 swallows flying south over garden in a flock

19th Sept  - cormorant flies low over garden at around 8am. Not seen that before here.

24th Sept – lots of green woodpeckers on BM golf course with 2 buzzards and good numbers of swallows and martins still.

24th Sept – chiffchaff singing in garden during dawn rain.

28th Sept – sparrowhawk at BH driving range

28th Sept – chiffchaff singing in garden at dawn again

28th Sept – first redwing heard tseeping overhead at night? VERY early if that was the case – think it was.

29th Sept – buzzards, kestrels and woodpeckers at BM golf course.

8th Sept – what looked like a southern hawker exploring garden during warm afternoon

9th Sept – 2 brimstone moths and a silver Y in side passage.

11th Sept - #mothnight produces an “Old Lady” and lots of (various) yellow underwings. 1st Old lady of 2015 I think.

11th Sept – southern hawker still in garden, checking out pond in warm sun.

12th Sept – 2nd generation (south of England only) Light Emerald in side passage on last #mothnight of 2015 after a warm, sunny afternoon and a clear start to the night.

14th Sept – HUGE house spider in side passage and again on 16th Sept

17th Sept – Silver Y moth in side passage

19th Sept – three Megachile leafcutters still building nest in the “new” bee hotel in the warm sun

25th Sept – THOUSANDS of crane flies on BM golf course – press call it an “invasion” after wet summer.

25th Sept – new species of moth in side passage – FROSTED ORANGE.

28th Sept – three leaf cutter bees STILL nesting in the bee hotel in the warm sun

17th Sept - 2 roe deer on BM golf course on sunny afternoon

10th Sept - Frog seen in pond.

First week of Sept - Lots of white mushrooms appear under large Leyland Cypress – over by the end of the 2nd week. 4th Alba water lily flower of year.

Second week of Sept – ceanothus and both valerian types (red and white) flower again. Buddleja pretty-well over. A couple of mock orange flowers re-appear too!

28th Sept – last grass mow of the year?

Anything of note not covered by the above: Bloops urinary problem ongoing for first two weeks of September

Pond netted on 28th Sept.

Super blood moon photographed on clear night of 27th/28th at between 3am and 5am – what luck to have clear skies.

 

 

October 2015.

Weather:

Week 1: First half of the first week of October really nice. Warm (chilly nights) but sunny, up to 19c, gentle easterly light breeze – superb. All changed on the night of the 4th with the first significant rain for a fortnight or so (thanks to a blocking high pressure, static over the UK for over 10 days, moving off). Very wet on 5th and 6th of October too.

The end of the first week was like the start really – settled, warm(ish), dry, with a gentle easterly and good amounts of sun, if overcast at times.

Week 2: Second week began with a good amount of settled, fine weather – chilly, dewy nights but pleasant enough during the day (good amounts of sun and dry with a gentle easterly). As the week progressed the easterly wind became brisker, chillier and more from a northerly direction. Really pretty chilly during the days (in the wind) and chilly at night too. The week ended in a quiet fashion – a bit of sun, quite a lot of cloud and a gentle wind – on the 27th for example a southerly wind pushed temperatures up to 20c – pretty good for the end of October.

Week3: Mainly settled and dry and cloudy if a little cool.

Week 4: A little sunnier than week 3, mainly dry too. Last few days really quite warm at around 18 or 19c.

 

First coal tits for months seen and heard in big leylandii on 2nd – and from then on regularly in the month.

Chifchaff regularly singing in or near garden during first few mornings of October.

Long tailed tit flock regularly in garden in first few mornings of October and all month pretty well.

Three parakeets on top of yellowing poplar on evening of 5th October

10th Oct – coal tits again seen in garden (leylandii closest to house) – really nice to see – I do like these interesting wee birds.

27th – male sparrowhawk explodes out of brown beech hedge by school and missiles a foot over my head when we walked Ben to the playground at about 4pm.

13 parakeets seen flying in large (for here) flock on morning of 17th October.

Carder bee on one of two remaining buddleja flowers in warm sunshine on 2nd October.

Wasps still busy in and out of nest in first few warm, sunny days of October – all week in fact.

Big female false widow spider makes her home above back door in first fortnight of October.

Hornet through garden on afternoon of 27th in warm(20c) sunshine.

Melanic green brindled crescent moth (NEW SP?) in side passage on 30th and 31st,

Noctule bat hunting high over BH driving range just before sunset (around 18:30hrs).

Bloops eats a young woodmouse on night of the 11th.

Frog seen hopping across lawn into pond on 2nd October in broad daylight – luckily hens were right at the back of the garden and missed it!

Ceanothus and red valerian both flowering quite well again in the first week of October.

First real leaf fall from poplar in first few days of October  - first raking of leaves on 3rd, again on the 11th and 17th and 25th.Very yellow leaves by the 14th – the most yellow they’ve ever been (in 5years).99% of poplar leaves down by 27th.

Large white fungi reappearing around large leylandii and into lawn (under chicken fence) during wet weather of 4th (night), 5th and 6th October

 

Back lawn aerated (at the cost of a garden fork) on morning of 10th of October.

 

 

November 2015.

Weather:

Week 1: First week very mild for November (around 17c ish regularly) with very warm nights too – around 14-15c! Gloomy though. Hardly any sun. A few days of rain, a few foggy mornings when the wind dropped off, but mainly just gloomy with a SW breeze.

Week 2: Week 2 starts in the same vein – incredibly mild for November, with the warmest November night on record on the 9th. Still gloomy and breezy. All week it (pretty well) remained gloomy, warm (for November) and breezy.

Week3: Gloomy, mild, quite a bit of rain and always with a strong SW (ish) wind. Ending with a reasonably quiet, reasonably bright day on the 20th.

Week 4: Gloomy (REALLY gloomy), quite a bit of rain again and breezy… ending in a particularly windy fashion. Just one or two frosts but mainly pretty mild again for the last week of November.

 

Redwing and Fieldfare both coming in strong in first two weeks of month.

Male first winter blackbird engaged in soft subsong in largest leylandii on 19th (don’t think I’ve ever noticed that before).

THREE goldfinches in garden on morning of 19th, Most ever at one time I think.

Fieldfare in garden in last week of month (especially the 28th – a good view on the Ash tree in the morning).

Parakeets in garden often – one stole one of the few wee apples on the morning of the 29th (when Kath and Steve were over and ate it in the poplar tree.

TWO kingfishers seen at mill pond, popes meadow (at same time) on 30th.

Queen buff-tailed bumblebee in garden on 18th (Yala attacked it but it got away).

Mammals

Amphibians/reptiles

Photinia flowering quite well during the last week of November for some reason?!

Anything of note not covered by the above: Cleared pond again on 28th – lots of scum and quite a few leaves.

 

 

December 2015.

Weather:

Week 1: Windy. Very windy. Gloomy again. Mild again. Bits and bobs of rain. The odd bit of bright sun or clear sky but will go down as windy, mild and gloomy.

Week 2: Ditto for week 2 –silly mild for mid December really.

Week3: Even milder for week 3 – Almost 10c above average temperatures!

Week 4: Mild again (13 or so degrees). Wet in parts too (but not as wet as up north where record rainfall has led to flooding across Lancs, Cumbria, Yorkshire and Dumfries and Galloway).

 

Barn owl seen for first time in months on night of 1st in “big tree” at farm and again both in small tree and large tree (mid month) and a great view in large tree before dawn (at around 6am on 20th). Buzzard seen over popes meadow at dusk on 5th.

Blue tit checks out house box on 27th Dec.

Chestnut moth in side passage on night of 4th/5th

Winter moth seen in side passage on night of 17th

Angle shades moth adult seen in cat litter tray in second week, followed by a large yellow underwing caterpillar (green type) on evening of 19th.

Ophion obscuratus active in side passage.(photo).

Cats caught adult woodmouse in garden (hid near conservatory)  rescued by lobbing it over the fence,

Amphibians/reptiles

Photinia still flowering quite well?! Rampantly by fourth week of Dec?! (About 5 months early!) Great swathes of daffodils also around town (on roundabouts etc … very weird to see in December).

Daisies flowering on front lawn. Ceanothus still flowering a bit. This is all very weird.

Anything of note not covered by the above:

 

 

January 2016.

Weather:

Week 1: Same as the last two weeks of December really. Very mild. Windy. But very wet too.

Week 2: As week 1.

Week3: Finally a bit of “coolth”. Much colder. (Several frosts) and finally some winter sunshine. Not as windy either.

Week 4: Back to wet and VERY windy again with the odd, very rare day with any sun in it (like the 30th when we went to Marwell zoo).

 

Blue tits busy checking out next door’s (traditional) box each day of the month.

A dozen or more stag beetle larvae were killed in the front garden as below.

Segestria in side passage certainly slowed down in January but still had the odd leg out during warmer nights (not common at ALL in January).

Bastard fox dug out the tree stump in the front garden on the night of the 9th/10th January, killing perhaps a dozen or more stag beetle larvae in the process.

Amphibians/reptiles

1st crocus starts to flower in back garden near apple tree on last day of the month! Almost certainly the earliest ever.

1st dandelion flowering near herpe habitat on last day of month too. Probably the earliest ever.

Anything of note not covered by the above: Bastard fox then pulled off one of our hen’s heads from OUTSIDE the run?! On the morning of the 12th January (to check – see calendar). What a freak incident. RIP girl.

 

 

February 2016.

Weather:

Week 1: Feb started very windy AGAIN (its pretty-well constant these days, these high winds) and mild. 10c plus at night and the same sort of temperature during the day. Blustery showers too.

Week 2: Blustery winds again, dull. One day of stillness and sun (beautiful – played golf at BH in short sleeves). A day of constant drizzle and an easterly wind (13th) then the constant westerly changed to a north easterly bringing a better “winter’s day”.

Week3: Began with a couple of days of cold, crisp winter’s days with a north easterly wind.

Week 4: ?

 

Goldcrests singing in garden each day during the month,

Blue tits VERY busy in and out of next doors’ box.

Long tailed tits building their nest somewhere south and nearby (often in garden in a pair, collecting nesting material).

Jay occasionally in the garden.

Redwing in the garden (a nice view) on the 13th.

Insects

VERY loud fox mating bickering sounds for a few minutes on 13th evening (coming from West Jocks Lane Park somewhere).

Big, gravid female frog rescued from side passage on 22nd and put in pond – watched by a waiting blue-throated male!

Plants/Fungi

Anything of note not covered by the above:

 

 

March 2016.

Weather:

Week 1: A right mix to be honest. Some warm days (well… warmish at up to 13c, some sunny days, regular rain and a few frosts. Notably on the warmer side of average though

Week 2:  Windy, and wet (VERY wet on 9th). Cool overnight (couple of mild frosts) but ending in double figures and dry. (So mixed again!)

By the 11th though – a HUGE blocking high pressure system had set in meaning very light easterly winds (almost non existent), cool nights (2c), heavy fog in the mornings (until about 11am) and quite warm sun in the afternoons – really quite nice!

Week3: Gentle NE breeze foe entire week. No rain to speak of. Cool. VERY settled.

Week 4: As above until the 26th – when everything changed. Blocking high pressure moved orf, allowing wet and windy weather in for the easter weekend (after a glorious good Friday) to end the month – including STORM KATIE!

 

Goldcrests (pair) daily in garden – singing constantly too.

Long tailed tits still visiting.

Male green woodpecker on ground in garden on 4th March and 25th – first time I’ve seen that in YEARS!

3 buzzard first thermal soar above house in cool, clear skies (but quite warm sun) on morning of 6th March.

Woodpecker drummings begin on 12th March in area.

House sparrows starting to nest build in the cedar swift box on 24th and 25th and 26th to the end of the month.

Redwing heard overnight on the 25th – returning home?

 

Wolf spiders visible running over front patio in warm sun on 12th.

1st Hebrew Character flew into back bedroom on 12th March. PHOTO.

First queen bumblebee of the year spotted in back garden on 13th (not close enough to identify to sp. level).

First brimstone and peacock butterflies of the year in garden on 25th (good Friday) along with first drone fly and first andrena mining bee on a stunning, sunny (quite warm in the sun at around 15c) day.

Mammals

Frogs in pond during March but no obvious mating signs yet.

Lots of frogs in pond by 9th after very wet day.

1st lump of frogspawn laid in pond on night of 25th – WELL after singing had commenced and a few days later than last year,

HUGE amount of spawning activity starting after Storm Katie (from the 29th onwards. Ridiculous numbers of frogs (40 plus?) PHOTOS

Catkins appear on poplar by the end of the 1st week of March, first tiny leaves unfurling from one bud at the end of the 2nd week.

Huge Oak tree just up road felled in the week before Easter weekend – used some of the logs for the garden.

 

 

April 2016.

Weather:

Week 1: April begins (for first 4 days anyway) with settled warm(ish) bright weather (very sunny for a couple of days) with temps up to 16c and rain at night.

Week 2: Pretty warm really (up to 17c for a couple of days) and relatively dry (only 14mm rain in 1st two weeks of the month).

Week3: April showers after a very warm start to the 14th and a day of thundery heavy rain on the 15th. From the middle of week three a cold north-easterly wind started (see week 4).

Week 4: Cold northerly or northish continued until the end of the month, continuing the cool feel (in the wind), with April showers and really quite warm periods out of the wind in the sunny spells.

 

Sparrows, after nest-building in the cedar box for the last 7 days, inexplicably stopped (or disappeared) on the 4th April. No further activity?!

First 7 spot ladybird of the year spotted (hur hur) on back lawn on 1st and again on the front door mat on the 3rd. Lots from the 13th onwards  - including the 1st Harlequin in back garden.

First speckled wood butterflies of the year in the relatively warm sun on the 5th.

First queen wasp on the 5th too – on the dead apple tree in the sun.

Red mason bees noticed for the first time on 13th April.

First tawny mining bee in warm sun in the garden on the22nd.

First blue butterfly (I assume a holly blue) in garden on 27th in a bit of warm(ish) sun.

First bat of the year seen over garden on 12th.

Frogs still singing AND spawning until the 4th, when like the sparrows, almost all the very visible frogs disappeared. A couple of males were present on the night of the 4th/5th, occasionally singing – but a HUGE change from the nights before where there were dozens visible on pond cam.

Frog removed from behind the fridge on the morning of the 15th.

Good numbers of tiny leaves appearing on all trees and shrubs in the 1st few days of the month.

First marsh marigold buds yellowing up quickly in the pond by the 3rd and sort-of flowering by the 5th. Well up by 14th and knocked to bits in the rain on the 15th.

Ceanothus starting to flower quite well on the 14th.

Bluebells in front garden flowering quite well by the 5th April.

Anything of note not covered by the above: Girls (only 2 left now, (‘Ttila and Norris) let out onto grass again on the 2nd April in the warm sun).

First lawn mow of the year on the 13th.

Bluebells out in force in Stratton’s copse by the 23rd April.

 

 

May 2016.

Weather:

Week 1: At the beginning of the month after a week or so of northerly winds and very cool temperatures, the wind changed to a southerly and then a southeasterly and the weather dramatically “improved” with lots of warm (HOT!) sun and temperatures up to 26c for about 3 days. A tiny heatwave of sorts.

Week 2: On May 9th and 10th and especially the 11th the rains came. Still over 20c during the day but quite a bit of rain, especially on the 11th when we had over 20mm – quite a lot for the SE of England in one May day. Rest of week 2 was pretty sunny really, quite warm but with a gentle(ish) northerly wind.

Week3: Pretty warm and quite sunny really.

Week 4: As week 3 all in all but the month ended with 5 or 6 days of overcast cool conditions with a northerly wind.

 

First swifts seen over the garden on May 4th – coming in with the great weather and southerly winds.

Young 1st gen starlings feeding in garden in 1st week of the month (fledged already!)

Only the 2nd cuckoo ever heard from the garden heard at 04:50am on the morning of the 14th (from a spot somewhere well north of the garden).

Swifts checking out house a LOT in third week of May. REALLY good to see.

Rose chafers in garden during the hot sunny weather of the first week of the month.

Red mason bees active (and destroying old leaf cutter bee nests!) in first week of May in the good weather.

More holly blues in garden during 1st week of May, and common blues at the end of the first week.

First painted lady seen at the golf club on the 4th.

1st red damselfly on pond on 12th. 3 weeks later than last year but about the same as 2014.

Demoiselles in garden three times in the sun in 3rd week of May.

First stag beetles of the year also in 3rd week of May.

A colony of mining bees checking out bare ground under big Leylandii on 26th – NEW SP?

Hornets through garden and checking out swift fascia hole (once) in last week of May.

First blue damselflies and mason bees (blue) seen in last week of May.

Hedgehog poo? In middle of lawn on 30th May?

All the tadpoles completely cleared the pond of blanket weed during the 1st week of May in the sunny weather. Many adult frogs still visible in the pond too in May.

Flowers flowering by May – red valerian, white valerian (mid month), purple irises (10th), lilac (first week), yellow archangel (10th). Ceanothus rampant but jusssst going over by the middle of May.

Oak and ash beginning to leaf in earnest by middle of May.

By then (middle of May), poplars pretty-well fully leafed.

Ceanothus and Lilac well over by the start of the 4th week of May.

Caught magpie pecking girls’ roof eggs on 11th.

Apple tree clearly dead this year – no leaf buds by May.

 

 

June 2016.

Weather:

Week 1: 1st week very good really. Warm (hot even at 27 or so celcius). Humid and muggy. Not much wind at all. Bit of a brief thundery downpour on the 8th but other than that, no appreciable wind at all.

Week 2: Started with a very muggy few days and some pretty hefty downpours. Remained unsettled all week with lots of heavy downpours and bits and bobs of thunder (but we got off lightly compared to surrounding areas of the country).

Week3: Carried on as week 2. “Very mixed” in two words. Wetter than average undoubtedly.

Week 4:Mixed. Not cold (quite warm really) but windy and often wet but with warm sunny spells.

 

Swifts (after spending all of May it seemed screaming at the house), took a few days off in the first week of June.

Goldcrests and wrens both seemed to fledge from somewhere into the garden in the first few days of June, followed it seemed by coal tits on the 9th.

The young goldcrests seemed to roost each night (noisily!) in the big leylandii for many nights of June.

MASSIVE stag beetle night on 8th June (and 9th, and 10th) after the brief downpour at 5pm. LOADS in front garden all fighting and a few in the back garden too. Incredible to see (videos).

First big dragonfly of the year (female broad bodied chaser) hunting over pond (and perching on ivy damson) on 9th (PHOTO).

In the first week of June the insect life in the garden was rampant with wasp beetles, jewel wasps, mason bees, icheneumons, honey bees etc all very obvious in the garden – the only thing that seemed to be somewhat missing were moths – I ran the trap on the 6th and 7th and hardly got anything – apart from a very early Setaceous Hebrew Character which are found in much higher numbers at the END of summer, not the beginning!

First two big dragons in the garden on 9th in the warm sun – a hawker (migrant or southern I presume – couldn’t tell from distance) and a beautiful female broad bodied chaser (photos) – NEW SP?

LOADS of insects in the garden by 11th, in the muggy conditions – lots of ichneumons, honey bees, bumblebees and tree bumblebees feeding on the globosa buddleja, first 22-spot ladybird on marsh marigold plants on 11th, first ruby tailed wasp photo on the same day and first orange swift moth on the night before (still no moff trap being set though as I couldn’t guarantee a dry night at that time).

Speckled bush cricket nymphs photographed in the garden on the 12th.

First garden chafers of the year buzzing around the large leylandii (as they tend to do here) on the evening of the 18th.

First blood vein moth of the year arrived in the side passage on th1 17th – followed by the first silver Y on the 19th.

24th June – first poplar hawkmoth of the year with first common emerald too.

30th June – first adult cinnabar moth (photo).

More hedgehog poo (perhaps?!) noted on back lawn in first few days of the month – with a fox turd on the 9th in the front garden – next to a half-eaten male stag beetle.

What LOOKED like a mouse (or vole) was obviously nesting or resting in the long grass by the pond when I cleared a little foliage from the pond on the 9th – as it shot off away from my loppers! (But STAYED in the long grass).

Bat (singular this year?) still present over garden at dusk most nights.

Noted some tadpoles had their back legs on the 9th June.

First froglet (that I saw!) left the pond on the 24th June.

First yellow flag iris to flower did so in the first few days of the month.

Chives WELL flowering by the middle of the 1st week of June.

Nigella flowers by the front door which had flowered for quite a bit of May were over and forming seed pods by 6th June.

First mock orange flowers jusssst about starting to come through and flower on 8th June – and flowering well at the back for the first time ever!

Solstice on 20th – a entire morning of constant rain followed by a clear(ish) evening and a full “strawberry” moon.

BREXIT on 23rd.

Barn owl (nesting?) visible in farm tree all month.

Four spotted chasers at WMH all month – being chased themselves by hobbies.

 

 

July 2016.

Weather:

Week 1: Very mixed. Often cool, regular showers. Often windy. Some long periods (or days) of warm sun. Changeable would be the best way to describe week one and two!

Week 2: As week one.

Week3: Generally hot, humid (yet windy?!) and sunny. Up to 35c on Tuesday 19th for example and 30c on Wednesday the 20th with night time temps of no less than 20c on both those nights.

Week 4: Slightly cooler after the 23rd (23rd was still 30c and sunny!) with more cloud and even a little rain.

 

Swifts still over house regularly but as I hadn’t played my swift call for a month or so, less interested in the house than say, May.
Swifts still calling at house most evenings through the 17th July.

MASSIVE amount of swift activity around box when I set up my Bluetooth call on 19th,20th and 21st in the mornings (early as 0630am). Great Photos.

Big drop off in swift activity around house on 23rd. Still some, but nothing like the 19th,20th,21st and 22nd. Swifts still visible in sky passing over on 23rd.

Female hawk got young starling on the lawn at lunchtime on 13th.(PHOTO)

SWALLOW landed on our fence during a sudden hail storm at lunchtime on 13th! A first for our garden for sure! (PHOTO)

Thought the swifts had disappeared on the 24th but back they came on the 26th, in a smaller group of 2 or 3 admittedly but were still checking out the boxes and call regularly throughout the morning. 26th July WAS the last day of 2016 this happened though. Very sad.

Leaf cutter bees carrying leaves into bee hotels in earnest by the 2nd week of July and all month – great photos.

Ruby tailed wasps around in first week of July.

Two poplar hawk moths caught in moth trap on early July nights (when it didn’t rain!).

One hornet buzzed me in garden at dusk on evening of 8th July.

Several 6-spot burnet moths emerged and mated in bluebell patch in front garden on 12th (MANY PHOTOS!)

First migrant hawker (male) over pond and captured unfortunately by Bloopy on 21st July. Photos.

First cinnabar moth caterpillars appear from nowhere on the 18th July on the ragwort.

Moths of note in July (in trap): Herald, nut tree tussock, small ermine, early thorn (2nd gen), august thorn, buff arches, buff tip, ruby tiger,rosy footman (NEW SP), scalloped oak, shaded broad-bar, common carpet,sycamore. (Lots of photos).

HEDGEHOG appears for first time this year on night of 10th July! (PHOTO)

Possible hedgehog mating dance sounds coming from Joan’s garden at about 10pm on 12th.

First water lily flower of the year in first week of July.

Black Knight buddleja flowering properly by 10th July.

Ragwort jussssst about flowering by 11th July.

Mock orange flowers over by mid July.

Goldenrod flowering by end of July.

 

SHED erected at the end of the first week of July.

Black tailed skimmers, lizards and broad bodied chasers all visible at WMH in July.

Barn owl still in farm tree in July.

 

 

August 2016.

Weather:

Week 1: Mixed. We were in Devon for first week which was VERY rainy for 1st 3 days of August and then pretty warm and sunny really.

Week 2: A bit better to be honest. Mainly sunny and warm (24c plus) if a little breezy still.

Week3: Started considerably better than the 1st 2 weeks of the month with a few days of pretty-well wall-to-wall blue skies, sun and temps of 24-26c with a light easterly (yes easterly!) breeze as high pressure built across the UK.

Week 4: Similar to week three really (really quite warm, hot in fact, and sunny  - minimal rain and light winds). Temperatures peaked in week 4 on the 24th with temps in the low to mid 30s! (Car read 35c!)

 

Last “Swift Half” swifts of year on Saturday 6th  (2) and Sunday 7th (1 – very low) August 2016?

Grey dagger in moth trap on 8th.

Other moths during August – Light emerald, poplar kitten, copper underwing, August thorn, Dusky thorn and plenty of others. Ran the moff trap for quite a few nights in August due to the settled conditions.

Rose chafer spotted on 29th and 31st August in warm (hot) sun.

Southern hawker female and migrant hawkers in garden all month – the migrant hawkers flying as late as dusk and as early as 0600hrs (dawn) late in the month.

Mammals

Amphibians/reptiles

Goldenrod pretty well over by the end of August.

Cleared brambles and scrub throttling ceanothus in first week of August.

Anything of note not covered by the above: Southern Hawkers and brown hawkers at wildmoor heath on 11th. Bell and ling heather at peak.

 


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