Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Monica Blake

We were sad to hear about the death, on 15th January, of Monica Blake, who was a member of Bath Nats for many years and ran holidays and walks for us.

Monday, 21 January 2013


Snow has seen a lot more birds coming into the gardens.

Click photos to enlarge

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)

Great photos,Thanks mark

Friday, 18 January 2013

 Trip Report Sunday, 6th January 2013 Claverton Down
(Leader: Lucy Delve).

Seventeen members met near Bath University, opposite the dog rescue centre.  Evocative of winter days and from beyond an enveloping mist, we heard barking dogs and birdsong, enhanced by dense, cool air; the loud wicker of Nuthatch, the high pitched double piping of Coal Tits and the repeated call of a Song Thrush. As we skirted a sports field, Redwings called from overhead and unseen, while Common Gulls flew off into the mist on our approach. Across the main road, past Rainbow Wood Farm, we walked past the walls covered in colourful lichens and soft mosses. Alan Rayner, identified a couple of common mosses. First the silvery green pincushion moss Grimmia pulvinata and then the more extensive mats of mid green Homalothecium sericeum.  Click photos to enlarge

 Along the walls bounding the open pasture on Claverton Down grows Elder, Bramble, Holly and Ivy. Mature trees mainly Beech and Ash, stood bare and silhouette along the field boundaries. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was seen flying up to the treetops. A loud honking call was found to be a Raven; this gave a more conventional “cronk” call as it flew off into the mist. The usual extensive view from here, across West Wiltshire towards the Westbury White Horse, was today completely obscured. As we reached skyline path near Rainbow Wood, the sun finally broke through and we were rewarded with excellent views across the city to the west.  A Green Woodpecker called and flew across the valley. On the sloping pasture below were hundreds of anthills, an indication of long untilled land. Also here we found several fungi on dead wood including Oyster fungus Pleurotus ostreatus Tail Coriolus versicolour and a yellow staining bracket fungus Stereum subtomentosum.,
Click photos to enlarge
Oyster fungus
Moss Grimmia pulvinata detail

yellow staining bracket fungus
 single Siskin and a Goldcrest were seen before we returned to our start point along The Avenue via Quarry Farm and Copseland.

Thank you  Phillip and Lucy Delve

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Early Bumblebee

Early Bumblebee
Bumblebee flew over the garden this morning - 9th January - Is this a little early?

This is sounds like premature emergence, could have have picked a bad  spot to hibernate and warmed up to early in the year. During hibernation if the temperature falls below a certain point glycerol is automatically produced in the queen's body. This is a form of anti-freeze and prevents ice crystals forming which would cause the fluids inside her cells to expand and her body to burst.

All the best steve

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Near Compton Dando today I heard several Mistle Thrushes singing and sighted at least two flocks of Fieldfares numbering 20-30 birds. In the lanes there were a surprising number of snowdrops in flower plus a handful of primroses and a single lesser celandine too.
Thanks to  Chris Phillips