WILDLIFE & NATURE REPORT MARCH – JUNE 2017
“Signs of Spring on the Carrs” recorded on the wildlife notice board showed that Spring this year was mostly slightly early, although the weather was drier than usual
MARCH Snowdrops in early February, Golden Saxifrage and ‘Pussy Willow’ late Feb, Daffodils early, Celandines early March as was the first flowers of Blackthorn.
APRIL Marsh Marigolds, Butterbur and Bluebells early as was Speedwell on the field, Starwort and Garlic Mustard. Excellent display of Fritillaries (60) in wildflower meadow, Hawthorn (May) blossom and Cuckoo Pint spathes by the month end.
MAY 7th Bird Walk – 10 people, 23 bird species seen or heard. 7 Canada goslings seen that day but they disappeared soon after.
21st Spring Tree & Flower Walk. Only Secretary and wildlife officer attended but many wildflowers seen and photos shown on Facebook. Mating Harlequin Lady birds seen, one black with red spots the other red with black spots, but both with white eye patches!
By mid-month Guelder Rose in flower, Horse Chestnut spindles and prolific hedge Parsley along the Gatley Brook path, and Flag Irises around the ponds. Marsh Orchids (17) in WFM by the end of the month
JUNE 6th Bat Walk – Led by Cheshire Bat Group on a wild and windy evening. Excellent talk (c. 20 people) then 15 people braved the wind to hear 1 Pipistrelle by Green Close ditch woodland and 1 by the pond! Mostly visitors braved the wind, members of bat group?
18th Nature Awareness Day – WFM in full flower, orchids, Bird’s foot trefoil and abundant Yellow Rattle spreading from the planted trial area. Ox-eye Daisies later here than in other localities, a usual feature.
Sadly few people attended although 1 family did pond dipping and found sticklebacks, water boatmen, leeches and 2 pop bottles!
WILDLIFE REPORT JANUARY – MARCH 2017
This has been another mild but wet winter with few days of lying snow or ice on the ponds. Water level on the ponds has remained high and several areas of carr flooded.
Hazel and Alder catkins were hanging early in the New Year. “ Trees in Winter” walk on January 15th had 4 participants after a wet morning but was complemented by displays of “Buds and Twigs in Winter “ on the board.
Our friendly fungi expert, Dave HT, recorded 37 species of fungi on the Carrs on January 16th, 23 new. A good record but later this winter than usual. He submitted his records to Fungal Conservation Trust.
RSPB Big Bird Watch on January 29th by 6 observers and a family recorder 27 species in total.
Snowdrops in flower by February 4th to be joined by Daffodils, Golden Saxifrage and earliest Celandines before the month end. Mink was seen again, this time on Gatley Brook. The annual survey of boxes revealed 45 bird boxes and 9 bat boxes in position. The planned task day did not take place as we had no new boxes to erect and only 1 to repair.
Storm “Doris” this month brought down many twigs from Crack Willows and Black Poplars and also broke off the branches of the standing dead poplar just above the woodpecker nest hole. But we had no fallen trees so far this year.
“Signs of Spring” map and photos on the wildlife display board. ‘Pussy Willow’ catkins were on the Goat and Grey Willows. Lords and Ladies, Wild Garlic, Bluebells, Hedge Parsley and Hogweed all in leaf. Black Poplar male catkins, first flowers on the Blackthorn and leaf buds of Hawthorn, Elder and Spindle Tree all bursting by March 7th.
Excellent display of Jelly Ear fungus on dead Elder logs by Lorna Grove Bridge and Scarlet Elf Cups seen near the new motorway fence.
Common toad seen by Derek Brennan on Gatley Brook path on March 12th.