Friday, 8 January 2016

Tree Following 2016: December and early January

 Happy New Year!
 Welcome to my Tree Following post for December and early January. 

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 at the new posts!

Here is my latest photo of the Acer negundo, looking very bare and wintry ...


The following three photos of the Silver Birch were taken this morning. You can see the profusion of catkins. 

The main activity this last month concerns the birds who live around my home patch. I have yet to see a bird perch on the Acer negundo (no surprises here, but *why* is this tree so unattractive to so many species, I continue to wonder?).

The Silver Birch has had a constant stream of visitors in the last month, although there have been no new 'firsts' to report. I have noted the following ...
  • The faithful feisty Robin (and another Robin)
  • Blue tits, a cluster
  • Great tits, again a few of these
  • Long-tailed tits, always in a small group
  • Starlings, every so often
  • Blackbird, around the tree, rather than on it
  • Magpies
  • Wood pigeons, the usual suspects 
  • Carrion Crows, three noisy ones!
  • Greater Spotted Woodpecker - one visit noted to date in 2016

 On the mammal front, there have been many visits from the
  • Grey Squirrel (possibly just one squirrel, but a very hungry one at that!). S/he has been a regular visitor, perhaps due to the mild weather, and has broken a branch off the Silver Birch in a lively attempt to reach the coconut and fat feeders. These have constantly ended up on the grass as a result. The Blue tits seem to have enjoyed gathering round on the grass for a change, but most of the other birds have been wary of feeding at ground level in this exposed way.  
Cute little vandal!

Blue tit with broken Silver Birch branch and coconut feeders that dropped to the ground

I have not seen any other creatures this month, but - like many of us - I have been busy with festivities and other activities.

I love the Silver Birch, but am still tempted to 'ditch' the Acer negundo: it has been a dull tree to watch. However, when I was last thinking along these lines, a host of Ladybirds arrived (and those who follow this blog will know how interested I am in these creatures); so perhaps I should hold out for the moment and try looking a bit harder!

I will add my complete list of sightings next month. Meanwhile, happy watching!

And finally ...



Anonymous said...

I still love the shape of the Acer's branches, even if they are resolutely bare!
Were they "real" native ladybirds or those pesky foreign "harlequin" ones?
Your squirrel looks so innocent (don't they always?) - ours are growing very fat on the bird food we put out. I don't usually have coconut feeders but I had one "free" from an RSPB shop recently and when I put it out the squirrels had completely ground it all out with their teeth in three days. No damage to branches, though!
I look forward to more from your wildlife garden in 2016.
All the best :)

L. D. said...

The blue tit is a new bird for me to see. It is really a pretty one, I like you calling the guy a vandal.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Lovely series of photos Caroline! the squirrel looks very cheeky!