Your Wildlife Spots

A steep decline in flying insects?

You may have seen some of the articles about this in the newspapers over the last couple of days but I have read a bit further and think we should all take note!

Firecrest in the garden today

Although we lose the sun in winter, our little valley was blissfully sheltered for much of today with the winds from ex-hurricane Ophelia, blowing all the leaves over our heads as we sat outside to enjoy the sunshine.

Hearing an unfamiliar call, I realised that there was a very small bird about a metre away in the honeysuckle and no, it wasn't a Goldcrest (which we see quite often), it had a large and bright eyestripe. Reading up and watching the BTO video, I'm sure it was a female Firecrest and there are plenty reports on Twitter from bird ringers further west. 

Autumn walks with Botanical Cornwall

Ian Bennallick from the Botanical Cornwall Group is leading a few more walks this autumn, several along our side of Bodmin Moor. Several of the walks will be over moorland and through marshy areas and some hills will be quite steep but we know all that don't we?

PLEASE NOTE THAT IAN WOULD LIKE PEOPLE TO LET HIM KNOW IF THEY ARE JOINING THE WALK , this is because he can then let people know if he has to cancel because of poor weather.

His contact details are 01726 890384 or 07714 738189 mobile and email is: ianbennallick1@gmail.com

Moth Nights 2017

The national moth nights are on October 12/13/14 which is rather late in the season but for a reason~ the focus is on the moths visiting ivy flowers. Not exclusively of course but we need ivy at head height rather that way up in the trees which is where mine is.

If anyone knows of a publicly accessible (or with owners permission) wall which will still be covered in ivy flowers in mid October, please let me know. (jenbousfield@gmail.com)

Weather permitting, I am certain that we will organise a moth evening somewhere; details will be posted/emailed when known.

The Dragonfly Challenge!

Following on from the success of the Big Butterfly Count, the British Dragonfly Society are running a challenge this year over the week of July 15th to the 23rd.

The idea being for people to go out and visit ponds, rivers and wetlands to record the dragon and damsel flies seen without an apparent time limit.

Butterflies at Penlee Battery with Cornwall Butterfly Conservation

A couple of years ago, Pete and I joined Leon Truscott and other B-Fly Conservation people to search for butterflies, especially the marbled whites at this reserve down in south-east Cornwall. Walking through the reserve, you end up at Penlee point overlooking Plymouth Sound. All are welcome, you don't have to be a member.

The event is on July 8th and all the meeting details can be found listed on their web-site. Click here to link

Big Butterfly Count starts soon, July 14th to August 6th.

The count starts on July 14th and runs for three weeks until August 6th.

Last year's count saw the lowest numbers of butterflies counted per 15-minute count since the scheme started in 2010 with numbers even lower than the wash-out summer of 2012. The greatest decline is in urban areas.

New research led by Butterfly Conservation and the University of Kent has shown that, despite the simple methods used, the data does provide sound estimates of population changes from year to year.

Fledglings?

Just a note to say how good it has been this last week to see so many healthy fledglings being fed around the garden compared to last year when we saw hardly any. Today there were three chaffinch, seven blue-tit, three marsh tit, five great-tit, nuthatches, plus well grown robins. We've even seen song thrushes earlier and blackbirds are nesting again.

Stella Turk MBE. A tribute from Mary Atkinson

Stella Turk MBE
 
‘We lived in the crevices between the books’ Stella once said. This, for me, epitomises her. You may not have come across Stella Maris Turk, icon of the recording world in Cornwall for many decades, but her influence pervades every aspect of natural history conservation and recording in Cornwall.
 

Cuckoo and Wheatears

Up on Kit Hill this  morning for a lovely walk in warm sunshine.  Heard our first Cuckoo of the year on the northern side of the hill.  Unfortunately by the time we had walked around to that side, it had ceased to call.  However, we did see several Wheatear which were very close to us, affording us some great views of them. Sadly we missed the Ring Ouzel which was reported as being seen there a few days ago.  I am yet to see one, a bird on my "bucket list".

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