This is such an important survey and is now the world’s biggest survey of butterflies. It might seem repetitive but this is the only way to compare year on year so if you have done this survey before, please go back to the old locations and repeat! If you are new to this then please look up all the details on their website where you will find all the information you need including an identification sheet to download; each survey lasts just 15 minutes and you can do as many as you want. Tip: sunny days are usually best!
Irene and family reported seeing swallows flying over the river Inny and at Trekenner yesterday on April 5th. And later they walked down the fields along the river and saw two fieldfare and flowering wood anemones, marsh marigolds, swathes of daffodils and large patches of violets. Sheltered and balmy right down by the river where they saw a pair of mallards.
~ swallows & martins, even a cuckoo. In the few days since we received our April newsletter, several more firsts have been recorded. The chiffchaffs are well and truly settled; blackcaps are singing but as far as I know, no one has yet seen a house martin or swallow. Possible cuckoo calls heard on the moor near Bearah Tor & Stowes Hill but moving on so not settled. Wheatear are spreading down off the moor; grey wagtails are moving to their breeding territories. Most of the bumble-bees and other mining and flower bees are being seen, as well as oil beetles and bee-flies. Spring butterflies, even a large white have been recorded in the last week or so and the primroses and blackthorn blossom is the best ever! So, despite the cold winds and mention of wintry showers, birds are nesting so I think spring has arrived…. enjoy.
For anyone who is interested in beavers, Devon Wildlife Trust hosted an excellent presentation about the beavers on the river Otter and the possibility of introducing them to the Culm which can be viewed from this link:
Apparently this is the world’s largest wildlife survey. Quite a few of our wildlife group take part each year but anyone can join in.
Basically, you spend an hour looking at the birds in your garden or local park. You can wrap up well and go outside (take a hot drink!) or stay in the warm and look through the window. it helps to have bird feeders to attract more birds but many birds will be looking for natural food on the ground or in the bushes. You count the maximum number seen at any one time rather than totalling up everything seen in the hour otherwise you may count some birds twice. And they need to be actually in your garden or on the boundary rather than flying over.
The best times seem to be in the first part of the morning and then early to mid afternoon.
This is a reminder to have your say about the Nature Recovery Plan for Cornwall, one of five areas in England chosen to trial this plan. Click on the link below to read the details but the important part is the survey where you can select your priorities and place a ‘pin’ on the county map for your area of concern. You will need to register but only minimal details required.
There are 10 questions which will require some thought and a chance to add comments.
If you really care about the natural environment, prove it to the county and fill this survey in before the survey ends on 31st January 2021!
Each year the Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland organises a New Year Plant Hunt between the 1st and the 4th of January. Just search for BSBI New Year Plant Hunt to find out more. Inevitably, the coastal areas do best because of the warmer climates but Gill and Katy from our group set off along their local patch near the north coast and found at least fourteen as follows: Dandelion, Dog Violet, Primrose, Alexanders, Ox-eye Daisy, Hawkweed(?), Barren Strawberry, Daisy, Red Valerian, Herb Robert, Sow Thistle, Hogweed, and Gorse. Sweet violets are in flower in her village but that’s fine because garden escapes count as do tree and shrub flowers like Hazel but they need to be in flower.
Can anyone add to this list? If so, please let us know. You can add your records straight onto the BSBI website or use their app.