Friday 7 November 2014

Tree Following ~ Silver Birch in November

Tree Following ~ The Silver Birch in November

This post is the seventh (I think!) in my Tree Following series, part of a wider project run by Lucy Corrander from the Loose and Leafy blog. I am following a Silver Birch, B. pendula, in Suffolk, UK. You will find the other Tree Follower links on the Loose and Leafy blog ... so do take the chance to catch up with happenings in the arboreal world!

My Silver Birch in the first week of November ...

... and by contrast, the 'other' birch!

General Observations

I had been holding out for major changes this month, and while the 'other' birch (B. pendula 'Darlecarlica') in my patch has lost all its leaves in the past four weeks or so, my Silver Birch (B. Pendula) is still a mass of green. Admittedly there are more shades of yellow than there were in early October, but there is still a good show of green. There are a few more leaves on the lawn beneath, but generally the changes have been much slower than anticipated. It would be interesting to know whether the variation in leaf loss between the two birches (some 20 metres apart) is largely due to the variety of birch or to the environment. The 'other' birch has concrete in close proximity to its roots, which presumably interferes with water supplies. I am writing this on 6 November, the night after Bonfire Night, and although friends on Facebook in the Midlands are reporting their first frost of the winter (night of 5th-6th November), autumn is still very much in control here in sunny Suffolk (or was at the initial time of posting. It's windy and wet today!).

Greater Spotted Woodpecker

I don't have any new sightings to report this month on the bird front, but the shorter days have been graced with visits from many of my usual suspects, particularly the male Great Spotted Woodpecker, who makes a beeline most days around lunchtime for the coconut feeder on the Silver Birch. Sadly the Green Woodpecker has not been seen since my last post.

Toadstools under the 'other' birch ...

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

Previous sightings (on, in and around the Silver Birch) are in pink.

  • TFb1 Great Spotted Woodpecker 
  • TFb2  Great tit (several frequently on feeder) 
  • TFb3 Long-tailed Tit (we saw several, two days after I posted the October TF post)
  • TFb4  Blackbird (I saw four at once, but no sign of the bald one) 
  • TFb5 Song Thrush (one brief appearance)  
  • TFb6  Blue tit (several frequently on feeder)
  • TFb7  Robin (frequent appearances)
  • TFb8  Magpie (about three frequently around below the feeder)
  • TFb9  Wood Pigeon (up to ten perching around the feeder area)
  • TFb10 Dunnock (two frequently below feeder)  
  • TFb11 Starling (only one noted this month)
  • TFb12 Carrion Crow    
  • TFb13 Goldfinch 
  • TFb14  Jay
  • TFb15  Green Woodpecker

 No mammals were noted this month. Previous sightings include ...

  • TFm1 (?Wood) Mouse
  • TFm2 Bats
  • TFm3 Shrew
  • TFm4 Grey Squirrel

On the insect front, sightings include ...

  • TFi1 Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly [March]
  • TFi2 Buff-tailed Bumblebee [March] 
  • TFi3 Brimstone Butterfly [April]
  • TFi4 7-spot Ladybird [April] [October]
  • TFi5 Skipper Butterfly [July]
  • TFi6 Meadow Brown Butterfly [July]
  • TFi7 Large White Butterfly [July]
  • TFi8 14-spot Yellow Ladybirds [July]
  •  TFi9 Small White Butterfly [May]
  • TFi10 Orange tip Butterfly [May]
  • TFi11 Harlequin ladybird [May]
  • TFi12 Garden Chafer (Phyllopertha horticola) [June] 
  • TFi13 Ruby-tail Wasp [June]  
  • TFi14 Blackfly [June] 
  • TFi15 Marmalade Hoverfly [July]
  • TFi16 Shield bug [July]
  • TFi17 Migrant Hawker dragonflies [July]
  • TFi18 Unidentified Damselfly [August]
  • TFi19 Comma butterfly [August]
  • TFi20 Red Admiral butterfly [August] [October]
  • TFi21 Peacock butterfly [August]
  • TFi22 Green bottle flies [August]
  • TFi23 Ants [August]
  • TFi24 Squashbug aka Dock Bug, Coreus marginatus [August]
  • TFi25 Birch Shieldbug (late instar?) [September]
  • TFi26 Lacewing [October] (about fifteen) 
  • TFi27 Harlequin Ladybird [October] 

seen on 4 November 2014

There have also been plenty of moths ... and a few of their maggot-like caterpillars!

Next month will bring the shortest day, and I for one, always look forward to lighter evenings, so until December, may your trees flourish in their winter glory!