Friday, 8 April 2016

Tree Following - March to early April 2016

 Welcome to my Tree Following post for March and early April 2016. 

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

I am based in Suffolk, UK, where I have been keeping an eye on a Silver birch, B. pendula. I really enjoy following the Silver Birch B. Pendula and have added in a small Cherry sapling for my second tree.

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!

The Great Spotted Woodpeckers seem to enjoy picking insects off the Silver Birch trunk

Last month the Silver Birch was awash with catkins, but I was still waiting for the first bits of greenery to break through. And yes, despite a flush of green on other trees in my area (notably on the Acer negundo that I followed for a while), I am still waiting for the Silver Birch to catch up.

Silver Birch, April 2016

Male Silver Birch catkins, April 2016

The tiny Cherry, Prunus avium Sylvia, had some fine buds on it last month. I am glad to say that these look healthy and are about to burst. This tree began life with us in a pot, but we planted it in the garden last year, and it seems to have weathered the winter.

Cherry tree Prunus avium Sylvia ... a month ago

Cherry tree Prunus avium Sylvia, 8 April 2016

This is an even numbered month so I will post a current list of species found in the vicinity (on, in, under, around or over) the two trees. 7-spot Ladybirds top the charts numerically, followed by Wood Pigeons. A dominant Blackbird saw off a Jay this afternoon: the action is speeding up! It has been terrific to have regular visits from the male and female Great Spotted Woodpeckers.  

We are pretty sure this is a female Great Spotted Woodpecker, but there is a tiny bit of red on her neck ...

I wonder when I will witness a first butterfly around the trees: I have at last seen one Brimstone and two Small Tortoiseshells - but these were on the North Norfolk coast at Cley.

Once again I have no new mammal sightings to report, although it looks as if a Hedgehog has been passing through and leaving a calling card en route. We saw one Hedgehog in the garden last year so I am cautiously optimistic. 

The Grey Squirrel continues to hang from the Silver Birch, in its highly successful (and expensive) attempts at raiding the coconut and berry feeders

(Largely) Silver Birch Species Update

Robin by Silver Birch twigs

Avian sightings seen at any time since I began the Tree Following project are shown in pink.

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

  • TFb1   Great Spotted Woodpecker (a male and female)
  • 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 often found feeding below the feeder)  
  • TFb11 Starling (one or two)
  • TFb12 Carrion Crow 
  • TFb13 Goldfinch 
  • TFb14 Jay
  • TFb15  Green Woodpecker
  • TFb16  Wren 
  • TFb17  Bullfinch (no more sightings since last month's single visit from a male)
  • TFb18  Sparrowhawk (no more sightings since last month's visitor)
  • TFb19  Mallard
  • TFb20  House Sparrow
  • TFb21  Chaffinch
  • TFb22 Grey Heron (one flew over the Silver Birch yesterday). 
  • TFb23 Collared Dove (a pair)
New bird species this month ...

  •  TFb23 Coal tit (who perched on our patio this afternoon to 'borrow' nesting material from our planter)

Mammal sightings include ...

  • TFm1 (?Wood) Mouse
  • TFm2 Bat ... first 2015 garden sighting 7 May 2015 [Apr/May 2015]
  • TFm3 Shrew
  • TFm4 Grey Squirrel (high up on the Silver Birch) [Jan/Feb 2016] [Feb/Mar] [Mar/Apr]
  • TFm5 Stoat
  • TFm6 Hedgehog, a single sighting ... but possible signs of a prickled visitor this last week.
 No new mammals this month.

Insect sightings include ...

  • TFi1 Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly [March 2014]
  • TFi2 Buff-tailed Bumblebee [March 2014] [Jan/Feb 2016] [Mar/Apr 2016]
  • TFi3 Brimstone Butterfly [April 2014]
  • TFi4 7-spot Ladybird [April 2014] [October 2014] [Apr/May 2015] [Jul/Aug 2015] [Sept/Oct 2015] [Mar/Apr 2016]
  • 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 Unidentified Moth [Nov/Dec 2014] [Feb/Mar 2015] [Jul/Aug 2015] [Sept/Oct 2015]
    [Jan/Feb 2016]
  • TFi29 Rosemary Beetle [[Sept/Oct 2015]
  • TFi30 Hawthorn Shieldbug [May/June 2015] 
  • TFi31 Forest Shieldbug (Pentatoma rufipes) [Sept/Oct 2015] 
New insect this month ...  
  • TFi32 Early Bumblebee [Mar/Apr 2016] 
  • TFi33 Species of Miridae [Mar/Apr 2016]  
TFi33 Mirid - thanks to iSpot help with ID!


 No new Arachnids this month. 

Silver Birch, April 2016



Anonymous said...

Fascinating post. I always admire the patterns on unopened catkins.
You are so lucky to have "native" ladybirds. Here all I ever see are the continental harlequin invaders!
Keep up the good work :)

eileeninmd said...

Hello, the birch is one of my favorite trees. I think the bark is so pretty. I love the woodpecker and the cute robin. Have a happy weekend!

Donna said...

I love birch ad this is a beauty. I look forward to see the birch behind us get their new green growth.

Hollis said...

Your photo shows how photogenic the old branch scars are, with the wrinkles--I've not noticed that before.