The recent wildly unpredictable weather may be a dampener on wildlife watching, but sometimes it can provide its own natural spectacle. During the morning of 29 January looking across the garden the sky suddenly start to darken, but for a few minutes the sun was still shining to help create an amazing full rainbow despite the heavy rain lashing against the window.
Rainbow over Wrenthorpe
Another interesting sighting on 21 January was a flock of birds visiting the fat balls in the garden, including seven long-tailed tits, four great tits and two coal tits, together with a single goldcrest which was more interested in investigating the nooks and crannies around the pruning wounds on an old apple tree.
My last report of finding wildflowers on 4th January this year all seems even more remarkable now following the recent snow. I attach a photo of our Wrenthorpe garden taken yesterday 17 January 2016. It reminded me of a similar spell of weather during 2013 and I attach a photo of a collared dove in the garden taken on 21 January of that year. This dove like many other birds were struggling to find food and were queuing at the feeders. It perhaps is also a reminder of how much wild birds appreciate our help in such changeable weather.
Wrenthorpe in the snow
Collared dove in the snow
The next meting is the AGM and so I thought I would post the agenda here in case anyone would like to print it or peruse it. There will be a bit more business than usual as the Society is applying for charitable status. However, we aim to be as brief as possible and to break for tea t the usual time followed by Colin’s presentation on Africa, so please do come along for a great evening.
Here is a PDF version of the agenda Agm2015
Roger’s previous post reminded me that on December 28th 2015, the mild weather brought a small tortoiseshell out of hibernation and it was seen flying around on the site of Nostell Long Row. On December 29th, a Walk around Nostell Priory revealed dandelion, dasiy and white dead nettle all in flower along with many hazel cactus! What a mild end to the year!
Despite the recent gloomy, wet and windy weather there are surprisingly some wildflowers to be found, including red campion and dandelion. On the 4 January in between the showers I found two plants of bush vetch (Vicia sepium) in full bloom growing in the shelter of a hedgerow along Brandy Carr Road, Kirkhamgate. A photo is attached. Its name is misleading it is not a bush but a weak sprawling perennial depending on neighbouring plants for support. The flowers are more normally seen from April onwards.
Bush vetch (Vicia sepium)
Francis has just sent one of the first images we’ve seen of the peregrine inside the nestbox – a major milestone in the Wakefield peregrine project! The camera was installed over the Christmas period and is currently recording images 24×7 and sending them to a DVR unit in the bell ringing tower. Ultimately, these images will be streamed live to the internet so that we can all watch the peregrines live in the nestbox. There is no doubt these are exciting times.
Wakefield cathedral peregrine inside the nestbox and looking at the camera in a suspicious manner!