Friday 13 November 2015

Tree Following - October to November 2015

Welcome to my Tree Following post for October and early November.

These tree posts form part of a wider project initiated by Lucy Corrander from the Loose and Leafy blog. I am based in Suffolk, UK, where I am following an Acer negundo (aka a Box-leaf Maple). I am also continuing to keep an eye on my Silver birch, B. pendula.

You will find the other Tree Follower links by clicking the Mr Linky link on The Squirrel Basket blog, run by Pat English, here ... so do take the chance to have a look!

Perhaps I should begin with my Silver Birch. If we take a flashback to my early November post from a year ago, we can see that the tree still had plenty of green leaves. This year it still has leaves, though for every leaf on the tree there is at least one on the ground below. This year about 97% of the leaves are yellow. I wonder what accounts for this marked difference. I can only speculate: too much rain? too little rain? climate change? too much rain or drought (was there any drought this summer?) at a critical time?

Who knows ... and if you do, please leave a comment!

Silver Birch ... hardly a tint of green left in sight

My Acer negundo has four (green) leaves left. The seed-keys hang from branches that look very bare.

The birds have been very quiet this month. I don't know whether there are better pickings in a neighbouring garden or sufficient berries and grubs in the nearby Nature Reserve, but the only regulars to the coconut feeders on my Silver Birch have been the faithful Blue tits and Great tits. There have been pigeons hanging around, but I wonder what has happened to the feisty Robin, the Long-tailed tits (I miss their chitter-chatter) and the Blackbirds.

On a more positive note, the Jay reappeared, strutting along under the Silver Birch one day, and past the window. I am assuming this is the same bird who has put in occasional appearances, usually to bury or dig up an acorn.

I'm not sure what the Jay has in its mouth here ... Not quite acorn-shaped?

The highlight of this last Tree Following month was a new 'first' for me. The Wren, a semi-regular who hovers in the trellis at the back of the garden, flew over to the wooden feeder that hangs by the coconuts. It flew inside the feeder through one of the holes to find the fat-ball, and after a little while flew out from a different one. It took me by surprise and I was unable to take a photograph, so here is one from an earlier visit to the garden.

Wren near the Silver Birch

Insects have been few on the ground, though there have been sightings of the occasional Ladybirds (largely Harlequins trying to come inside for the winter) and Lacewings. The spiders' webs were superb, particularly on 1 November, but they were draped over the bushes of Box rather than on the trees.

As I write, a storm is on the way, which will doubtless shift some of the remaining leaves. The initial squalls have arrived and I hope that leaves will be the only things to be 'shifted'!  

I will keep my sighting lists for the next Tree Following update (they are becoming rather long and a little unwieldy!). I will leave you instead with the links to my earlier Tree Following posts. Enjoy your arboreal encounters as we race on (here in the UK) through the short days towards December.

STOP PRESS: Within an hour of posting this, the feisty Robin was back on the coconuts after an absence of some weeks! Perhaps s/he is stocking up before the storm.



eileeninmd said...

Great post! I love the Jay and cute Wren! Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Is the jay nibbling on some beech mast? They are rather narrow.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to compare the two years. I always tell myself to be systematic about checking like with like, but it always ends up with a vague feeling of "Autumn is early (or late) this year..."
This time it seems to me to be both early AND late. The lindens went yellow and lost their leaves early but the sycamores seem late. And apart from maples, I am not seeing much red, only yellows, like your birch.
I wonder what the weather is like over your way - I hope the robin's stocking up for a storm was unnecessary. Here we have had squalls and hail all day, with sunshine in between.
All the best :)

Ragged Robin said...

Lovely post. Our garden feeders have received few bird visits too - I suspect there must be plenty of natural food available locally (the blackbirds are certainly tucking into our rowan berries!).

Hollis said...

Somehow the wren is an elegant looking little bird -- neat photo.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I'm envious of your jay sighting, I always find them so elusive!