PANSTARRS and Wildflowers

Look up, look down.  It’s an exciting week if only the weather was better.  Excitement mounts as PANSTARRS, the first naked-eye coment to be seen in our skies since Hale-Bopp, arrives in the northern hemisphere in the west just after sundown (it is there earlier, but heading towards the sun, so can’t be seen).  Tuesday 12th should be its best chance of a good view for UK observers as it is close to the crescent moon, then still visible till until after Easter.  The current forecast for 12th March is poor. Continue reading

My wildflower patch

Although I’ve been having trouble with other parts of the garden this year, my ‘new’ wildflower patch has developed quite nicely.  I say ‘new’ since it’s been grass that got gradually taken over my ‘weeds’ or rather, native wildflowers, so having mentioned it to my neighbours in order to give them a chance to object, since we have open plan front gardens, I devoted the area to wildflowers, mowing a winding path through it and watching what came up. Continue reading

Fieldfare and Otter

The BTO web-alerts have been advising us to look out for redwings and fieldfares, as they are on their way from Siberia to winter here.  They are planning a Winter Thrush survey starting in 2012, so we’ll probably be quartering our areas searching for the flocks this time next year.  But I was doing my regular walk round my nearest favourite patch yesterday when I heard a scolding sort of ‘chuck’ noise high up in the tree.  I couldn’t see what was making it, but it sounded like something I knew but hadn’t heard for a while.  Then of course I realised, it was my first fieldfare of the season!  Hi, Fieldfare! Continue reading

Toad rescue

I was taking the netting off my raspberries since the blackbirds have now left the garden and the first and main crop raspberries have finished. The autumn ones seem to get left alone, or at least they have the last two years.

I started pulling the net away from the bottom of the raspberries, having taken it off the top, and noticed a large clod of earth hanging from it. I wondered how it had got attached so I shook it, and then looked closer. Continue reading

Dragons, damsels and bats

I went on two FSC courses at Flatford Mill in July; Identifying Dragonflies and Damselflies, and Bats: Ecology and Conservation.  Both were excellent.  I was non-resident for the first, but stayed in their accommodation for the bats course, as naturally we had some late evening field trips!  I didn’t get any pictures of those, I’m afraid. Continue reading