Friday, 11 December 2015

Tree Following November to December 2015

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

The feisty Robin on my feeder

These tree posts form part of a wider project initiated by Lucy Corrander from the Loose and Leafy blog and continued by Pat at The Squirrelbasket. May I express my thanks to you both.

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 here ... so do take the chance to have a look!

First snow of winter ...

What a change there has been in the weather since my last post. The evenings have drawn in and the mornings are dark as well. Here in these eastern extremities we have had our first hint of snow. Others in the north-west of the UK have had devastating floods, and my heart goes out to them. 

It seems important to round up my Tree Following year, so this post will largely consist of a list (no surprises here!). I have particularly enjoyed using my trees as the focus for the ecosystems in my garden. It is not possible, of course, to link all sightings directly to the trees, but many other living things have definitely been living their lives around my arboreal neighbours in some way or another, often on account of sap, shade, root systems, seeds, leaves and perches.

The most active creature on the Silver Birch this morning is the Grey Squirrel, who is stocking up on berry-impregnated bird food. 

Acer negundo, December 2015
Both the Acer negundo and the Silver Birch are devoid of leaves as you can see. The Silver Birch is full of tight catkins, a reminder that we will soon be past the shortest day here in the UK.

Silver Birch, December 2015

The feisty Robin sings on in the Silver Birch, December 2015

(Largely) Silver Birch Sighting Update
The few Acer negundo entries have been marked as such.    

Avian sightings (on, in and around the Silver Birch, seen at any time since I began the Tree Following project over a year ago) are shown in pink.

I have marked the 'wild things' seen during this last month in yellow.

To date, the only birds seen on the Acer negundo are TFb13 Goldfinch and  TFb19  Chaffinch

  • TFb1   Great Spotted Woodpecker (highlight of the last month: a male and female together)
  • TFb2   Great tit (several, often on feeder) 
  • TFb3   Long-tailed Tit (large family, including juveniles)
  • TFb4   Blackbird
  • TFb5   Song Thrush   
  • TFb6   Blue tit (several frequently on feeder)
  • TFb7   Robin (the feisty Robin has put in frequent appearances)
  • TFb8   Magpie
  • TFb9   Wood Pigeon (up to ten perching around the feeder area)
  • TFb10 Dunnock (two occasionally below the feeder)  
  • TFb11 Starling (one or two)
  • TFb12 Carrion Crow 
  • TFb13 Goldfinch 
  • TFb14 Jay
  • TFb15  Green Woodpecker
  • TFb16  Wren 
  • TFb17  Bullfinch
  • TFb18  Sparrowhawk
  • TFb19  Mallard
  • TFb20  House Sparrow
  • TFb21  Chaffinch
No new bird species this month.

Mammal sightings include ...

  • TFm1 (?Wood) Mouse
  • TFm2 Bat ... first 2015 garden sighting 7 May 2015 [Apr/May 2015]
  • TFm3 Shrew
  • TFm4 Grey Squirrel (this morning, enjoying the fat-and-berry food on the Silver Birch)
  • TFm5 Stoat
 No new mammals this month.

Insect sightings include ...

  • TFi1 Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly [March 2014]
  • TFi2 Buff-tailed Bumblebee [March 2014] 
  • TFi3 Brimstone Butterfly [April 2014]
  • TFi4 7-spot Ladybird [April 2014] [October 2014] [Apr/May 2015] [Jul/Aug 2015] [Sept/Oct 2015]
  • TFi5 Skipper Butterfly [July 2014]
  • TFi6 Meadow Brown Butterfly [July 2014] [Jul/Aug 2015]
  • TFi7 Large White Butterfly [July 2014]
  • TFi8 14-spot Yellow Ladybirds [July 2014]
  • TFi9 Small White Butterfly [May 2014] [Apr/May 2015] [Sept/Oct 2015 - caterpillars]
  • TFi10 Orange tip Butterfly [May 2014]
  • TFi11 Harlequin ladybird  [May 2014] [October 2014] [Sept/Oct 2015 - on three on Acer negundo!]
  • TFi12 Garden Chafer (Phyllopertha horticola) [June 2014] 
  • TFi13 Ruby-tail Wasp [June 2014] [May/June 2015]
  • TFi14 Blackfly [June 2014
  • TFi15 Marmalade Hoverfly [July 2014] [Jul/Aug 2015]
  • TFi16 Shield bug [July 2014] [Apr/May 2015]
  • TFi17 Migrant Hawker dragonflies [July 2014]
  • TFi18 Unidentified Damselfly [August 2014]
  • TFi19 Comma butterfly [August 2014]
  • TFi20 Red Admiral butterfly [August 2014] [October 2014] [Jul/Aug 2015]
  • TFi21 Peacock butterfly [August 2014] [Jul/Aug 2015] [Nov/Dec 2015] - flew past window
  • TFi22 Green bottle flies [August 2014] [May/June 2015]
  • TFi23 Ants [August 2014] [Apr/May 2015]  [May/June 2015] [Jul/Aug 2015] [Sept/Oct 2015 Acer negundo]
  • TFi24 Squashbug aka Dock Bug, Coreus marginatus [August 2014]
  • TFi25 Birch Shieldbug (late instar?) [September 2014]
  • TFi26 Lacewing [October 2014] [Sept/Oct 2015]
  • TFi27 Cereal Leaf Beetle [Apr/May 2015]
  • TFi28 Moths [Nov/Dec 2014] [Feb/Mar 2015] [Jul/Aug 2015] [Sept/Oct 2015]
  • TFi29 Rosemary Beetle [Sept/Oct 2015]
  • TFi30 Hawthorn Shieldbug [May/June 2015] 
  • TFi31 Forest Shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes) [Sept/Oct 2015] 


Great Spotted Woodpecker

And finally ...



eileeninmd said...

Great report, I love the cute Robin and the awesome woodpecker. Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

My feeder visitors are still a mystery! I had a very spiky robin in the garden yesterday, scolding away rather than singing, which they are doing at night, very loudly!

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, as usual.
It's particularly striking, the difference between the branches of the Acer and the birch. The Acer is so fine and elegant.
You are very methodical with your wildlife observations - I must think about that, as I am a bit haphazard.
I don't think you have a nuthatch on your list? One of those is the keenest visitor to my bird table at the moment (apart from the grey squirrels).
I do hope you will stay with us and follow a tree or two in 2016, too.
Merry Christmas :)

Ragged Robin said...

Fascinating post Caroline and so interesting to read of the wildlife you see. Keep an eye on the silver birch for Redpolls - the catkins in our garden attract flocks of this species most winters :)

Hollis said...

So snow and a butterfly in the same month!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely photos, such a cheeky squirrel you have!

Great lists too, specially the butterflies.