Monday 8 August 2016

Tree Following for July and Early August 2016

 Welcome to my Tree Following post for July and early August 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 have added in a small Cherry sapling,
Prunus avium Sylvia, for my second tree.

You will find the other Tree Follower links by clicking through to the Mr Linky button here ... so do take the chance to have a look at the new posts!

Every so often something inspires me to write a short diary post about my trees, so here is one about the Silver Birch ...

Diary for 21 July 2016
Time: 12.46 (afternoon)
Conditions: warm, dry and cloudy

I looked out and saw the mother Magpie with her single offspring. They made their way together to the base of the feeder on the Silver Birch and began pecking around beneath it, giving out the occasional squeaky call. Suddenly a Jay flew in, and landed on the coconut and proceeded to feed. After a few moments, perhaps disturbed by the Magpies, the bird flew off over our fence towards a large oak tree that borders the local nature reserve. I was about to return to my desk when I realised that the Jay had now been joined by a mate (or adolescent offspring), and the two birds disappeared together.

If we have Jays and Magpies rearing young in our neck of the woods, it can hardly bode well for the smaller garden birds, and yet the population of Blue tits and Great tits, in particular, seems healthy at the moment ...


This post is largely for an odd numbered month (July), so I will only post the sightings seen since the last round-up. My next Tree Following post (August and early September) will include the complete list.

Highlights this month have included the appearance of two new butterflies for my garden record, the Gatekeeper and the Holly Blue. The Gatekeeper made a beeline for the patch of garden around the Cherry Tree. The Holly Blue was spotted in the same patch - but, not surprisingly - on a Holly. I do not expect that my chosen trees had anything to do with its arrival in the garden, but I include this butterfly because it touched down within a metre of the Cherry.

We experienced a 'flying ant day' - pictures here.


Holly Blue
The season is turning fast. Daylight gives way to dusk at about 8.30pm. The first leaves on the Silver Birch are turning yellow. The seedhead catkins are a rich brown.

First of the turning leaves, Silver Birch, August 2016

Silver Birch (and part of the bird feeder)

Silver Birch seeds caught in spider's web on a post

Silver Birch - seed cases, August 2016

Cherry tree, 5 August 2016
Cherry tree, holed leaf, 5 August 2016

The patch around the Cherry has been weeded, and the little tree has had a growth spurt. I suspect a Leafcutter bee is taking rounded chunks out of its leaves. I rather fear that wasp season is about to begin, and last year we had a few hornets, too ...

Avian sightings

  • TFb1   Great Spotted Woodpecker (a male)
  • TFb2   Great tit (several, often on feeder) 
  • TFb3   Long-tailed Tit (large family, including juveniles)
  • TFb4   Blackbird (several)  
  • TFb6   Blue tit (several frequently on feeder, including juveniles)
  • TFb7   Robin (the feisty Robin has put in frequent appearances)
  • TFb8   Magpie (several)
  • TFb9   Wood Pigeon (up to ten perching around the feeder area)
  • TFb10 Dunnock (two)  
  • TFb14 Jay (two)
  • TFb21 Chaffinch (one, 5 August 2016)
  • TFb23 Collared Dove (a pair, one pecking directly underneath the Silver Birch)

Mammal sighting
  • TFm4 Grey Squirrel  [Jan/Feb 2016] [Feb/Mar 2016] [Mar/Apr 2016] [Jul/Aug 2016]
 No new mammals this month.

Insect sightings
  • TFi7   Large White Butterfly [July 2014] [Jul/Aug 2016]
  • TFi15 Marmalade Hoverfly [July 2014] [Jul/Aug 2015] [Jul/Aug 2016]
  • TFi22 Green bottle flies [August 2014] [May/June 2015] [Jul/Aug 2016]
  • TFi23 Ants [August 2014] [Apr/May 2015]  [May/June 2015] [Jul/Aug 2015] [Sept/Oct 2015 Acer negundo] [Jun/July 2016] [Jul/Aug 2016]
  • TFi28 Unidentified Moth [Nov/Dec 2014] [Feb/Mar 2015] [Jul/Aug 2015] [Sept/Oct 2015]
    [Jan/Feb 2016] [June/July 2016] [Jul/Aug 2016]
  • TFi39  Gatekeeper Butterfly *New* [Jul/Aug 2016]
  • TFi40  Holly Blue Butterfly *New* [Jul/Aug 2016]

And finally ...



Crafty Green Poet said...

I know that jays are bad news for other smaller birds but they're handsome crows and I've always found them very elusive

Anonymous said...

Lovely! And on the tree front I particularly like the seeds caught in the spider web. How useful! It shows their structure perfectly, which hard to spot when they are all in a bunch.
Thank you for sharing your tree following with us month after month, it's appreciated :)