Wildlife Update April 2019

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Dr Gareth Thomas, one of our Trustees regularly visits to update us on his findings. Please find below his up to date summary on what has been seen and heard at Barton Glebe over the Month of April 2019.


As the Glebe takes on the new vigour of Spring, we can see changes happening increasingly rapidly. The cold and rain finally gave way to warmer temperatures and sunshine. The trees have all started to show off their new foliage and many have conspicuous flowers. The Crab Apples have snowy white blossom and the White Mayflowers (Hawthorns) are now coming into their own. The white blooms of Blackthorn have now all but finished and the small sloes are starting to develop.

The most noticeable flora in the glades themselves has been the yellows of Dandelions and Cowslips: there has been a large expansion of the latter as they have colonised bare ground from the stock that have been planted on the burial mounds. Mixed in with them have been the paler yellows of Primroses. The expanding populations of Bluebells and Forget-me-nots have provided a startling blue contrast.

The last of the winter visitors – Fieldfares and Redwings have drifted away to their northern and eastern continental breeding grounds. Their characteristic noises have been replaced with high outputs from territory holding Robins and Blackbirds – up to 7+ of each. Other singing birds included c3 Yellow Hammers, 2 Wrens, a Blackcap, 3 prs of Blue tits – including one pair nesting in the pine end of the Lodge. There were 2 singing Skylarks in the North Glebe. This may represent a decline from former numbers as the growing trees start to encroach on the open ground where they nest. Small flocks of Linnets abounded. The spring migrants have almost all arrived back and there were 5 Whitethroats, 3 Willow Warblers and 2 Chiffchaffs holding territories.

1-2 Kestrels and Buzzards were seen over the month as was a single Red Kite. Carrion Crows, Rooks and Jackdaws all appeared to feed on larvae and insects in the North Glebe.

There were early appearing Orange Tip and Brimstone Butterflies.

Next month we will do an extensive breeding bird census so we can compare changes in numbers with previous years.