5 Calendar Year 2023

Happy 2022 to all my readers lets hope its a great Nature Year

January (Week 1 – 4)

The month started with rain and lots of it, so to get out and about I had to be fortunate, did manage to notch up 14 species. Highlights being the Siskin, not a big flock holding about 9 birds, Common Buzzard was seen on on the brighter days, Great Spotted Woodpecker was heard contact calling, plenty of Blackbirds still about but Redwing numbers are down with only a single bird seen first week, and a few Jays putting in an appearance.

This calmed down mid-month, with that the bird tally, with Goldcrest, Treecreepers, Wren, Robins, Nuthatch and Dunnocks making an appearance

Bird List :- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Crow, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Jay, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Nuthatch, Redwing, Robin, Rook, Siskin, Treecreeper, Woodpigeon, Wren (23) (YTD 23)


February (Week 5 – 8)

The first week of February went very quite with only 7 birds species seen, but the second week pulled out all the stops, think this may have to have done with the fine weather, it became a bit more spring like, this showed with some of the birds proclaiming their territories especially the Robins, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Nuthatch. Highlights this week were Goldcrest, Stock Dove.

Second half of the month stayed similar with the weather, on the warmer days a Common Buzzard could be seen on a couple of occasions, however a Sparrowhawk was a nice addition

Bird List :- Blackbird, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Jackdaw, Jay, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Robin, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Tawny Owl, Treecreeper, Woodpigeon, Wren (26) (YTD 30)


March (Week 9 – 13)

March I think will have to go down as one of the dullest on record and with heavy snow mid-month, I think spring wont be around the corner for a while. Having said that there were a couple of brighter days and spring did show its head a little then.

Bird highlights this month was the arrival of the first Chiffchaff of the year on the 7th, a couple of Common Buzzard calling and flying thru on the sunnier days, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch the highlights in the wooded area. A Mistle Thrush was seen this month, first sighting since 2011

Away from the birds the first Moth and Butterfly showed with Oak Beauty (First for Site) and a Comma Butterfly

Bird List :- Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Grey Wagtail, Jackdaw, Jay, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mistle Thrush, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Robin, Song Thrush, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Wren (23) (YTD 30)

Moths :- Oak Beauty

Butterfly :- Comma


April (Week 14 – 17)

First week of April brought a few highlights, mainly due too the sun playing out, with Comma and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies along with a few Dark Bordered Bee Flies, now on the wing.

Bird highlights included a few Common Buzzards flying thru, a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, mainly early mornings, a Blackcap was back on site from the 6th, and can be heard most days.

Rain and Wind moved in mid month but a glimpse of sun on the 13th had me seeing Comma and Small White Butterflies.
A couple of days of sun from the 17th brought out more on the insect front, with me finding Tawny mining Bees on the 17th, followed by Comma, Orange tip, Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies on the 18th,.The Great Spotted Woodpecker was playing hide and seek near a possible nest site, and a few Dark Bordered Bee Flies were still about.

The 20th a Green veined White Butterfly was found, making five species of butterfly for the year so far, also this day I found a Ashy Mining Bee, a new find for the site.

Cold weather returned at the end of the month, so insects were harder to find, but I ended the month finding a Melanostoma scalare hoverfly, a small hoverfly and a nice find, St Mark’s flies were seen from the 27th (these appear around St Mark’s Day hence the name), and a Green Longhorn Moth was nice to see.

Those were the highlights for April hoping now as we move into May the finer warmer weather will make a come back with a lot more species being seen, hopefully the Whitethroat and Swallows will too.

Green Longhorn Moth

May (Week 18 – 22)

The wildlife certainly picked up in May, with some exceptional highlights. The weather for the month proved to be exceptional as well, with much of the month being dry and bright.
Butterfly highlights for the first week of May included Orange tips, Peacock and Comma only. There was also a few dark bordered Bee flies still about.
Hoverflies included two new site species with Platycheirus scutatus and Rhingis rostrata being recorded, plenty of Sryphus sp. still about and Leucozona locurums as well.
Bird highlights included Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Great Spotted Woodpecker but alas no Swallows or Swifts about.
Week two highlights were a new moth species in the form of a Hummingbird Hawk Moth near the rear smoking area, a delight to find, making it the 48th moth species for site. Butterflies now included Speckled Wood and Green viened White. Hoverflies again included two new ones with Baccha elongata and Cheilosia variabilis taking the hoverfly count for site to 32 species.
Bird highlights included a new species, which was reported to me, this was a drake Mandarin on the upper pond, I did look, but unfortunately didn’t locate it, but did find a few firsts for the year, which included Moorhen, Garden Warbler and Willow Warbler.
The last week of May saw the first Dragonfly/Damselfly of the season with a single Large Red Damselfly being found. Lots of Weevils about on the Nettle patches, which I loved watching and photographing. The highlight of the Month, well really the whole time of recording at here, goes down to a calling
Cuckoo in the top car park on the 25th, sadly not seen, 69th species for site. June should be a settled month now with most things now in a breeding pattern, there should be more butterfly species emerging with the Skippers, Ringlets, Meadow Browns and Small Copper joining us for the year

Bird List : Blackcap, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Crow, Chiffchaff, Cuckoo, Garden Warbler, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Jackdaw, Jay, Long tailed Tit, Mandarin (reported), Magpie, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Phesant, Robin, Song Thrush, Stock Dove, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren (23) (YTD40)

Butterflies : Comma, Green veined White, Orange tip, Peacock, Speckled

Dragonflies : Large Red Damselfly