The clocks went back; the nights, which have been getting longer since the autumnal equinox, will seem extra long and especially dark now. We cosy up in front of the fire and crave stodgy puddings but out in the park, the ratio between daylight and dark triggers many natural processes.Continue reading “Daylight hours”
There are two badger setts in the park, hidden away in its quiet places; here are some interesting badger facts.Continue reading “Badger facts”
Disease resistant elm
We have precious elm saplings, resistant to Dutch elm disease, that will need to be planted out in the park soon.Continue reading
Build a hibernaculum to help the amphibians and reptiles in your garden through the winter.
Here are ten things you may not have known about Sciurus carolinensis.Continue reading “10 facts about grey squirrels”
A late-season speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) photographed last week, basking in the sunshine on the edge of the copse between Sleeper Field and Sheep Field. They are creatures of such woodland edges, camouflaged by the dappled light.Continue reading “Speckled wood”
Garden tiger moth
by Ian Bushell
David Feather found the caterpillar of a Garden Tiger Moth in the heritage orchard.Continue reading
There are silk button galls on the underside of oak leaves all over the park.Continue reading “Silk button galls”
A long tailed tit photographed last year in the park by DKG.Continue reading
Another tiny creature!
Simon Knight has sent us a beautiful picture of one of the park’s tiny creatures in the wet grass.Continue reading
More about oak galls
Yesterday’s post about oak apples prompted questions. Here is more information about some of the oak gall wasps that induce oak trees into producing such strange growths.Continue reading
More about our oaks.Continue reading “Oak gall ink”
The temperature is dropping and we have already seen the first frosts. The park’s invertebrates are preparing for hibernation.Continue reading
The picture is a cheat, taken from the internet’s public domain. We haven’t seen a mole in the park, only lots of recent molehills in The Arboretum.Continue reading
Message from Jude Summers
“I have photos of badgers eating below my bird feeding station which is on the edge of Southwick Country Park, by Lambrok stream. I thought people may like to see them. They’re not great quality but still nice. Cheers.“
Thanks Jude; brilliant picture!
A pair of jays flew over the car park as the Friends left on Wednesday after a morning’s work cutting back brambles.Continue reading “Jay”
Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, a late-flowering perennial, photographed by Ian Bushell, in the little triangular field between Simpson’s Field and Fiveways.Continue reading “Yarrow”
It’s crane fly time!Read on:
A red tailed bumblebee worker (Bombus lapidarius) collecting nectar and pollen from a meadow cranesbill flower.
Photographed in the park, Friday 11th September.
Most of our willow warblers will have left by now; they will be on their way to sub-Saharan Africa where they will spend their winter. Theirs is the longest journey undertaken by any of the park’s migratory birds. Why do such tiny birds fly so far and take such risks to do it?Continue reading “Willow warbler migration”
A Walk In The Park
by Ian Bushell
I had a quick wander round the park this afternoon to see what needs doing, to assess the ragwort situation in the fields, and look at the tree damage done by the wind. There were three Roe Deer under the Owl Oak in the Church Lane field across the Lambrok, where they are planning to build houses..Continue reading
Here is a video, taken from BBC Earth’s Spy In The Wild series, about squirrels caching acorns.
The header picture was taken by DKG
Oak trees produce thousands of acorns every year. Somebody has worked out that an oak tree can produce ten million acorns over its lifetime. In a good year, they carpet the ground under the tree.Read on:
By Ian Bushell
A male Common Darter (Sympetrum striolatum) resting on the wooden footbridge over the Lambrok tributary. At the pond, there were six male Common Darters protecting their own patches and I was lucky enough to get a picture of this pair mating.
A mating pair of common darters photographed near the pond by Ian Bushell.
Header picture: common darter, by Ian Bushell.