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.