Wildlife Update October 2017
Trustee & bird expert Dr Gareth Thomas has been connected with the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds for many years. This is his monthly bulletin describing what he has seen on his regular visits to Barton.
October: the 'Winter Fylleth' Month
October is the classic autumn month but was known by the Anglo Saxons as’ Winter Fylleth’ because at its full moon, Winter was about to start.
The trees at Barton are certainly showing off their autumn colours with yellow aspen, brown oak and reddish field maple leaves amongst many others. Leaves are being shed quickly especially by the willows and silver birches in preparation for Winter. However, regeneration is never far away as both hazel and alders already have fresh catkins.
The glades in the south Glebe are largely devoid of colour. The carpet layer is grassy green with isolated primrose and mallow flowers adding touches of colour. The North Glebe still had patches of blue chicory flowers and isolated yellow ragwort flowers. There was quite a lot of late flowering red and white clovers too.
Bird species were starting to change. The first Redwings had arrived from their Northern and Eastern breeding grounds and there were c3 small groups totalling c35 birds, feeding in a variety of areas. One group fed on the ground amongst c6 blackbirds and a song thrush whilst others were tucking in to the bounteous crop of haws in our hedges.
ther birds seen or heard, 9 starlings, 8 wood pigeons, 4 magpies,2 robins 2 great tits. Singles were seen of blue tit, yellow hammer, green woodpecker, skylark, bullfinch, and chaffinch. There was a kestrel hunting on most visits.
A couple of buzzards were flying ponderously over the North Glebe towards the end of the month – frantically trying to find some warm air thermals tohelp them out. There were some late butterflies seen including a couple of gatekeepers and red admirals.