Pauline P on her regular patch.
It’s a good time of year to spot plants of common wintergreen (Pyrola minor) holding onto last year’s flowers. This is not a common plant but small scattered groups can be found growing in undisturbed woodland beside some forest rides in our area.
Let Pauline Popley know if you find this or anything else of botanic interest
Must be just the time for the second brood of Wall brown butterflies as there were 4+ at Rodger Trod (TA018960) on Sunday 27th Aug 2018 and 2+ at Broxa at Reasty Bank (SE9494) on Sunday 28th August.Nick G
Seven turned out to check what bats were using the Key’s Beck pond site where the spring bat box check showed a complete absence of bats. We managed to do recording at four different points around the site which consists of two ponds with a causeway between the two. Recorders were stationed at the northern and southernmost points of the pond, on the causeway and also on a forest ride through some mature trees to the west of the ponds. We started at 8.50pm and finished at 10.30pm. We were a little surprised to find access tricky due to the extensive harvesting that is going on in the area but managed to all get down to the site ready to start on time. The felling will clearly make the site more exposed in the short term but will recover after restocking.
Results are quite interesting. Common pips were very active around the causeway between the two ponds.with an average of a pass every 20secs or so throughout the survey period, whilst none of the other points recorded anywhere near that activity. The lower pond where I was was a very sheltered spot, and plenty of midges, but very little activity which was a surprise. The upper pond site and the ride site had good Common pip activity but only in short bursts which is again surprising when compared to the causeway site. Despite the large area of water only a single Myotis species, almost certainly a Daubenton’s from the sonogram, appeared to do a fly through the site without stopping being recorded at the upper pond, on the causeway and at the lower pond all in the same 5 min period but not at any other time. Colin, on the ride, picked up a Brown long-eared bat at 22.18 and 22.19 and this was the only other species recorded. It ties up with the lack of usage we have found at the bat boxes but we will see what the autumn check turns up there.
It has been a week for rescuing hedgehogs from potential road traffic. On Tuesday 1st August Rob Stark stopped when a hedgehog was wandering around the road at East Ayton. Rob stopped and moved the endangered animal into the adjacent churchyard which is hopefully where it was safer and where it had been going. Then on 7th August I was coming back through Hackness from a bat survey and noted a hedgehog in the middle of the road astride the white line. I thought it had been harmed as there was a big pool of ‘red’ around it. Stopping I found the big pool of red was actually a flattened young pheasant or partridge and the hedgehog was feeding on it. I moved the ‘remains’ to the verge and then moved the hedgehog after it. After some grumbled complaints, presumably about having it’s dinner disturbed, the hedgehog ploughed off through the long vegetation into the field.
12 turned out for the first bat box check in Dalby and Cropton forests on Sat 22nd April. We were rewarded with a great variety and number of bats. Of the 90 good boxes checked a total of 80 bats were found. Five species were found – Common and Soprano pipistrelle, Daubenton’s, Natterer’s and Noctule. In addition a further 30 boxes were removed that either had no lids or were damaged and these will be repaired where possible during the summer. The rest of the boxes will be checked on 30th April.
Pauline reports that the warm weather is bringing things out. Good to get out and about in some sunshine.
First frog spawn 28th March at 23 Barmoor Close after frogs present from first week in March. Just one clump to date but lot of activity today.
Dead badger by gate to Johnson’s Marsh at 0830 this morning (22/03/2017). Looks like road casualty. Picture is of course from a live one!
Hedgehogs are already up and about in early March 2017 in Scalby (Photo taken in 2016) as evidenced by the droppings on the lawn. Like Winnie-the-Pooh it was more of a squeeze getting out of the cage than getting in after demolishing a fat ball!