Brookmans Park Newsletter Community Discussion Forum

General Discussion Boards => Environment => Topic started by: Mooniemad on July 01, 2002, 04:55:47 pm

Title: Local Nature
Post by: Mooniemad on July 01, 2002, 04:55:47 pm
 I have noticed  that on many threads people are so determined to tell of their meetings with local nature, such as badgers and foxes. So, I thought this topic could be opened to allow people to trade their experiences of wonderful mother nature.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Alfred the Great on July 01, 2002, 11:59:05 pm
I thought people might like to know there are some magnificent specimens of Turkey Oak on the eastern side of the Great North Road, just south of the junction with Kentish Lane and into the lane itself. One or two have blown down in recent years.

Don't know when KL was diverted to meet GNR at the present position (used to go down to the Shepherd's Way junction) but the trees must have been planted around then otherwise they would not follow the route so exactly. I estimate around 150-200 years old.


ATG
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Alfred the Great on July 02, 2002, 12:01:52 am
Nearly forgot, how about the Holm Oak beside the golf course road? You can see it (and the Wellingtonias at the end of the Drive) for miles around.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Alfred the Great on July 04, 2002, 12:19:01 am
Discovered some more turkey oaks up Shepherds Way just before the gates to Queenswood.


ATG
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on July 04, 2002, 12:23:01 am
Alfred, fancy writing a feature for the site about the different trees and we can add some pictures?  I had never heard of a 'Turkey Oak' until you posted.  I would like to know more.  I am sure others would too.  If you feel a feature coming on please mail it to forum@brookmans.com and it can be published on the site.  A bit like the local fungi (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/fungi1.shtml) and the local butterflies (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/fungi1.shtml) features.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: anna on July 07, 2002, 06:15:42 am
Can someone help?? Driving home the on Friday night, at about 1am..........As I pulled off Swanland Road, I saw the most beautiful bird, and I have no idea what it was.
It was larger than a swan, I think Grey in colour (it was very dark, so couldn't see clearly) it just stood in the middle of the road for awhile, and I just sat quietly and watched, it was such an elegant looking thing. I then got concerned it was just standing in the road, so I opened my door and it swooped away. I'd love to know what it was.....................anyone know?
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: MikeL on July 08, 2002, 04:37:35 pm
Sounds like a Heron to me. It would be taller than a swan but not as heavy.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: anna on July 11, 2002, 11:12:23 pm
thats what I thought Mike.........but I wasn't sure!

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: jet on July 11, 2002, 11:38:05 pm
Townie :P
Its tongue in cheek but its the nearest symbol.
If you want to see them in their natural habitat mail me and I will tell you where they nest.
regards,
jet
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on July 13, 2002, 11:57:57 am
Came across this in our garden.  Does anyone know whether it is a frog or a toad?  It didn't hop but waddled slowly across the lawn.  It walked like lizards walk.  And it was huge - about 5" long and 3" wide.  Didn't continued to walk across the lawn and into a hole under the shed.  What do these things eat to make them so big?
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/creature.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/creature2.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Alfred the Great on July 13, 2002, 11:39:51 pm
Looks like a common toad to me. In general, toads have very warty skin and frogs are smaller and tend to be much smoother. The markings and size appear to be of a common toad too. Also, frogs do tend to jump rather than waddle, and vice versa for toads, so this clinches it.

We don't get toads in our garden but lots of little frogs which the cats catch but don't eat - probably because they are cold and slimy.

ATG
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on August 17, 2002, 12:03:08 pm
Two pages have been created showing the herbs (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/flora/flora1.shtml) and shrubs (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/flora/flora2.shtml) which were in flower during a short survey of Gobions on April 16 this year. 49 species were recorded and pictures of most are now included on the site. They are accessible from illustrated links on the right hand side of the front page if you want an easy way of getting to them in the future.

See also earlier studies.
fungi in Gobions (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/fungi1.shtml)
butterflies seen in Gobions in 1999 (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/99pictures.shtml)
butterflies seen in Gobions in 1998 (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/pictures.shtml)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on August 19, 2002, 03:41:15 am
A four-page survey of birds, seen in a 10 km area around Brookmans Park, has been published on the site.  It includes 100 colour plates and is based on the research carried out by Rupert Pyrah and published in one of the Gobions Woodland Trust's annual report. It might help people trying to identify birds they see in the area. When viewing the pages you can click on the thumbnail images of birds to reveal larger images. bird survey (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/birds/birds1.shtml).
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on August 22, 2002, 11:27:46 pm
Just seen a couple of bats flying around at the bottom of our garden in the fading light. They looked a bit like a small bird but the flight was faster and more erractic.  Is anyone an expert on bats?  What species are we likely to see here in Brookmans Park?

Update:  Someone has since messaged me suggesting it could be a Pipstrelle Bat, described here (http://www.mammalstrustuk.org/bats/frameset_pipistrelle.html) and here (http://www.bats.org.uk/batinfo/pipis.htm). I found out, from the second of these links that, if it is the Pipistrelle bat, it eats mosquitos and midges, which can't be a bad thing this time of the year. Here is an image on another site (http://www.hamfist.co.uk/batty.htm)
(http://www.hamfist.co.uk/images/pip.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on August 28, 2002, 10:08:25 pm
Just had about 40 Canada Geese fly over our house flying south east towards Gobions.  They do it quite frequently but I have never seen so many making such a row.  Does anyone know where the come from and where they go to each day and why?
(http://www.birdsofbritain.co.uk/images/canada-goose2.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: jet on August 28, 2002, 11:13:49 pm
They go from the golf course, to the pond, depending on where they want to **** next, they naturally gather in larger flocks as September looms as instinct to migrate, they generraly stay around yhough as the climate and food is not that bad here.
regards,
jet

P.S. greenkeeper loves them :'(
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Mary_Morgan on August 28, 2002, 11:57:59 pm
It is not kids, it is the Canada geese that make a row now ;)

Hope they don't land, or the fox might get them :(
M
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on September 05, 2002, 12:48:31 pm
Does anyone know why there are so many fields of what look like dead broad beans around the area?  They look as though they have been on fire but they haven't.  Have they been deliberately left to go off. The bean stalks are about four foot high and the pods have all gone brown and the beans inside are speckled with black spots.  And it is not just one field but dozens.  Is it a disease or some sort of crop rotation programme?
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Mallow on September 05, 2002, 04:09:24 pm
Dear Ed,

Not sure what it is but I asked the same question a couple of years ago.  A farming friend told me what it is but I can't remember, however it will be harvested and used for cattle fodder during the winter.  And yes, it is a form of crop rotation.

Regards,
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Swan on September 05, 2002, 05:38:09 pm
To change the tack slightly, is anyone aware of wild boar abroad in BP (I know there are some in Essex)

The reason that I ask is because, one night a couple of weeks ago I passed a large flattened lump in the road that appeared to be a pig

Although, being realistic it was probably just some poor hapless dear that had met a vehicle while it crossed the road
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on January 05, 2003, 12:00:52 am
It is a good time of the year for spotting fungi in Gobions.  Does anyone know the scientific names of these?
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/photos/fungi1.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/photos/fungi2.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on January 12, 2003, 10:46:10 pm
For those who might have missed a lovely frosty morning over Gobions today, here are some pictures of the Leach Fields, taken at 9am on Sunday, January 12.
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/photos/lf1.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/photos/lf3.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on January 16, 2003, 04:22:04 pm
Can any ornithologists identify this bird. It has been sitting in my garden all afternoon and looks very tired, as if it has travelled a long way. Apologies for the poor quality images but I had to use telephoto to avoid disturbing the bird.  It has a blue/grey body and a brown cap. It is about the size of a Great Tit.  Could it be a female Blackcap?

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/photos/bird1.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/photos/bird2.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/photos/bird3.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: jet on January 16, 2003, 05:02:49 pm
The female black cap, has in fact got a brown cap. (sylvia atricapilla)
Or it could be a form of warbler ie the willow warbler (phylloscopus trochilus)
Mind you female  Erithacus rubecula, look a bit like that (work it out) :)
regards
jet
who has swallowed a Latin tome ;)
P.S. It would get more response if you posted, identify the 4WD :o 8)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on January 16, 2003, 09:31:15 pm
I think you are right Jet, a female Blackcap, as shown at www.birdguides.com (http://www.birdguides.com) (I have linked to the picture here) is very similar.
(http://www.birdguides.com/html/vidlib/assetPictures/136342k001_j2.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on May 31, 2003, 08:15:28 pm
Just had to move a very frisky grass snake off our patio and down to the shade at the bottom of the garden.
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/grasssnake.jpg)
This one was only about 30 cm long, but they can grow up to 150cm (5 feet). One website I looked at (http://www.wartsoc.co.uk/nn.html) said that grass snakes are completely harmless to humans, but if disturbed or handled can bite.
The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust site  (http://www.lincstrust.co.uk/species/amphibia/grass-snake.html) has some more pictures.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on June 01, 2003, 07:23:05 pm
Site user Gill Humphreys wanted to share a photograph she took of some scarlet cup fungus (Sarcoscypha coccinea) which she spotted in Gobions in March. The fungus is widely distributed in hardwood forests, and grows from rotting wood. Click here (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/fungi1.shtml) to see more images of fungus found in Gobions in this site's environment section.
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/sarcoscyphacoccinea.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on February 10, 2004, 08:30:08 am
Rupert Pyrah has published his latest survey of local birds and full details are now on this site.

Thanks to Rupert for making this research available to everyone through allowing this site to publish the data.

You can contact Rupert by using the site's internal messaging system (http://www.brookmans.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl/YaBB.pl?board=;action=viewprofile;username=R%2EPyrah) if you see any birds not mentioned in his lists.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on February 15, 2004, 10:24:18 pm
I was walking along Kentish Lane yesterday and noticed the body of a Muntjac deer (http://www.deer-uk.com/muntjac_deer.htm) at the side of the road. Would it be worth suggesting the county council erects signs warning motorists that deers could be crossing the road in this area?
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: trinity on February 16, 2004, 01:03:17 am
Quote
I was walking along Kentish Lane yesterday and noticed the body of a Muntjac deer (http://www.deer-uk.com/muntjac_deer.htm) at the side of the road. Would it be worth suggesting the county council erects signs warning motorists that deers could be crossing the road in this area?



This presupposes that the motorists would pay any attention. Until
they hit one, that is. They can do a fair bit of damage to a car.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: john on February 16, 2004, 10:33:19 am
Trinity:  you say they would pay much attention until they hit one:  is that deer or sign ?  
An intriguing aspect of our area is the numbers of road signs that fail of old age/ lack of maintenance, don't get replaced, or "disappear" (including by wholesale dismantling, chucking in to the undergrowth ...  by "parties unknown")

best  -  john (f)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: jet on February 16, 2004, 02:01:03 pm
As the county sign for Hertfordshire is a Stag I would have thought everyone knew that the whole county is full of deer.
Mind you the place is full of townies ;) ;)
Most people would only be priveleged to see one alive just before they ran it over, like rabbits, they walk out and freeze. Splat. As usuall its driving too fast, if you hit a deer it could easily have been a human, makes you think.
Hert (Hart)/Ford= Deer/Crossing ( I think)
regards,
jet
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on February 16, 2004, 02:37:52 pm
I've just filled in a form at the HCC site  (http://www.hertsdirect.org/actweb/faultreporting/category1.cfm) and suggested a few signs with deer on to alert motorists not familiar with the area. Something like this would do.
(http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/images/signs122.gif)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Birch on February 16, 2004, 03:08:03 pm
I think a sign would be a good idea.  On the A1000 I've seen dead badgers, hares, rabbits, pheasants, cats and this weekend a fallow deer.  What a shame!!
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: trinity on February 16, 2004, 11:26:19 pm
Quote
Trinity:  you say they would pay much attention until they hit one:  is that deer or sign ?  


The ambiguity was something that it occurred to me to fix, before hitting the "post" button.

Then I thought better of fixing it, because I'm not sure, either :-)

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on February 26, 2004, 01:41:40 pm
Just found a tunnel in my compost heap at the bottom of the garden. It's the first time I have been down there since last summer. The opening of the hole is about as big as a football, but it soon reduces to about eight inches across. The main chamber is to the bottom right of the opening in the picture below. Does anyone have any ideas of what could be living there. I suppose I had better leave it alone, whatever it is.

(http://www.brookmans.com/images/compost.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Birch on February 26, 2004, 03:06:16 pm
Lair of the notorious big cat of Hertfordshire!!!! ;)

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Margaret on February 26, 2004, 04:44:09 pm
Hedgehog?
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on February 26, 2004, 06:28:04 pm
Quote
Hedgehog?


Perhaps you are right Margaret, quite a few site suggest hedgehogs live in and near compost heaps because of their warmth and the insects that live in them.

http://www.wildlondon.org.uk/surveys/hedgehog.htm

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Alfred the Great on February 26, 2004, 11:22:19 pm
We found a hedgy in the bonfire heap last November, and relocated him to a patch of leaves, etc, nearby.

Just to remind people, before having the first bonfire of the year make sure you move all the material to one side beforehand to avoid cooking a little mite.

ATG

ps What was that about bonfires?.....
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 09, 2005, 04:32:30 pm
Anyone know what this is. It was in the garden this afternoon. About the size of a bee, but it hovers and darts and has a long proboscis.
(http://www.brookmans.com/images/insect1s.jpg)(http://www.brookmans.com/images/insect2s.JPG)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Spurs fan on April 10, 2005, 11:31:31 am
No idea, but what fabulous photos!! :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: ADM on April 11, 2005, 10:13:08 am
Ed,

See site below....

http://www.gwydir.demon.co.uk/insects/bombyliidae.htm

It's a Bombylius major of course!

Carry on...
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 11, 2005, 10:16:25 am
Thanks ADM, I thought someone would know.

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 11, 2005, 11:27:48 am
Another forum user has mailed me through the site's feedback form to offer another link for this insect, which seems to also go by the name of a dark-edged bee fly.

http://www.essexfieldclub.org.uk/dark-edgedbeefly.htm

My main concern is whether they sting and, if they do, does it hurt.

 :-\
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Birch on April 11, 2005, 01:43:19 pm
Yes, very cool looking insect which resembles a hummingbird type bumblebee, but which is actually a fly called commonly a bee fly - Order Diptera, family Bombyliidae.

Lots of info here:
http://crawford.tardigrade.net/bugs/BugofMonth19.html

They're not very nice, being parasites. But being flies, I don't think they'll sting.  Harmless to humans.

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Margaret on April 18, 2005, 09:10:29 am
Have been getting a Muntjac deer in my garden quite a lot recently, first time in 26 years.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: jet on April 18, 2005, 04:41:07 pm
Strange you should mention the Deer in your garden, I had ( still is?)a herd of them living in my garden just the other side of the road from you, maybe they cross the road when everyone is asleep.
Cute creatures that eat all the plant leaves/buds.
Hence the eu directive I posted about on the 1st.
regards,
jet
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Govvy on August 05, 2005, 03:07:39 pm
I tried to take a pic of it with the digital camara, but it hardly came out, anyway, don't know how common they are, but I just saw a young one in my garden.

http://www.rspb.org.uk/birds/guide/g/greenwoodpecker/index.asp?i=2

So how many others have seen the Green Woodpecker about?

Just wondering if it is a rare sight for Brookmans Park, seems a rare site to me.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on August 05, 2005, 03:30:24 pm
Hi Govvy,

Green Woodpeckers are fairly common, but it's nice to have one visit your garden. We have a couple who peck on tree roots of a dead tree which appear near the surface of the lawn. This site's bird pages give you an indication of how common a bird is. Click here to read them (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/birds/birds1.shtml). The percentage given underneath each bird shows how many months in each year between 1996 and 2003 a bird was seen. The 100% given for the Green Woodpecker means that it was spotted every month during those years.

I am merging this thread with the 'Local Nature' thread, which is where most items about things people have seen are being kept.

Thanks

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Govvy on August 05, 2005, 08:21:25 pm
hmm, I saw one of those Bee Fly's last year, it was very much like a humming bird. I so need to use my digital camara more.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: GWTSEC on November 27, 2005, 05:03:29 pm
Some picture of Gobions in Autumn, or is it Winter?
from GWTSEC
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on November 29, 2005, 09:30:30 am
I have uploaded GWTSEC's images for her (above). She had done everything right, but there is a limit on the size for each post. I have put two on her post and here are the other two. By the way, if you want to upload pictures and they get rejected, you can always scrunch them down using this free online tool. http://www.jpegwizard.com/. You simply sign up, browse to your pictures, scrunch them and then save the compressed version you want on your computer. Then you can upload them to the site. Well done GWTSEC, lovely pics.  :)

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: NZer on November 30, 2005, 03:03:11 am
By the looks of the photos, I'll need my winter woollies when I arrive in BP on Sunday.  Great photos, but its hard to image the cold when its so warm over here in NZ!!!!
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 10, 2006, 10:58:52 am
The wood anemone and wild violets are in full flower in Gobions Woodland.

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/anemone.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/violets.JPG)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 10, 2006, 06:59:24 pm
We saw a Red Kite flying over our Brookmans Park garden on Saturday. I didn't want to post about it until I had it confirmed by two local ornathologists. Apparently there have been a few local sightings. I have been told that Red Kite's have been reintroduced into the environment in the Chilterns and Northamptonshire. The one we saw was being chased by a rook or crow. We spotted the distinctive forked tail. According to one site Red Kites have a wingspan of nearly two metres (about five-and-a-half-feet), but a relatively small body weight of 2 - 3 Ibs. This one looked like a door floating over the garden. Apparently the wing span means the bird is incredibly agile, and can stay in the air for many hours with hardly a beat of its wings. The one we saw didn't seem to be too bothered by the crow - but it was a magnificent bird. Here is an image from the BBC Wales site.

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/redkite.jpg)

Did anyone else see it?
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Cassie on April 10, 2006, 08:08:08 pm
I thought you were going to say you took the picture, I would have been very impressed.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on June 08, 2006, 01:51:16 pm
Does anyone know what this is? I just spotted it in the garden.

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/insects/bug.jpg)

David

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Susan on June 08, 2006, 02:02:12 pm
It looks like a dock bug (Coreus marginatus)

My "Guide to shieldbugs of the British Isles" (yes, really!) says it's found on docks and related plants in open sunny sites, and it likes sunbathing. It's found N to south Midlands...

Here's a picture - do you think that's it?

http://popgen.unimaas.nl/~jlindsey/commanster/Insects/Bugs/SpBugs/Coreus.marginatus.html

Cheers
Sue
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Birch on August 07, 2006, 11:36:18 am
Following on from my Speckled Bush cricket, I thought I would share a couple more discoveries with you.

This was really cool - I thought it was one of those beeflies but looking it up today it turns out to be Hummingbird moth.- I saw one at the weekend dipping into the verbena.

Not quite so nice....I went to the loo and found this hanging in a corner!  Wasn't quite so yellow, more pied! But yuck!!!

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: barnabus on October 07, 2006, 10:26:03 am
HI there!

I was visiting the ‘what’s on’ section of the Brookmans Park website and this weekend it invites us all to get involved in the BBC’s Autumnwatch and in particular the Seed Hunt events which are taking place all over the place this weekend. Sadly there are no events in Hertfordshire or London which does make it a bit difficult to do so.

However prompted by this I felt I should visit the BBC website and get a feel for what we are celebrating and looking to do.

Autumnwatch is all about admiring and being inspired by the wonders of creation – but would it be strange to look at a famous painting and not ask – who painted it? Or a wonderful building and not ask who is the architect? But when we look at creation we are encouraged to believe it has no intelligent design, no artist, no architect – just an immense accident – I admire your faith if you believe that.

At all the churches locally at this time of year there will be a harvest thanksgiving service. These services are a time when we do not just admire and are inspired but we are thankful that ‘The Lord God made them all’ as the Hymn says or ‘The Heavens declare the Glory of God and the earth shows his handiwork’ as it says in the Psalms and that 'seedtime and harvest have never failed' - He is such a faithful God . My personal belief  from the Bible is that this glorious creation is the work of our loving Heavenly Father who continues to uphold and maintain it.

As a resident of BP, I am so grateful that we live in such a wonderful environment in our village full of green space and such variety of colour, texture and form in the nature we see around us. But let us not forget The Artist, The Architect, The Creator.

I am sorry there is not a seed hunt locally I might have gone along – but why not find time to thank the one who put it all in place?

We will be giving thanks at the Brookmans Park Prayer Group on Monday evening and you would be welcome to join us in our thankfulness (see the What's On section of this BP website). 

Lost in wonder and thankfulness!

Barnabus 



 
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Mermaid on October 08, 2006, 12:29:21 pm
You're quite wrong about that, there's plenty going on locally. Friends of ours enjoyed a seed hunt yesterday in The Great Wood at Cuffley and we hope to be collecting with a group of friends in Gobions today.

 ;D
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 08, 2006, 12:46:15 pm
Hi Mermaid,

Can you keep any seeds please and perhaps take some digital photos of them?

I thought it would be nice to do another feature for the site's environment section --- a bit like the fungi feature (click here to see (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/fungi1.shtml)) with photographs and descriptions.

I have a pile I collected yesterday and one of the GWT team is collecting some in Gobions this weekend as they go about their work party work.

Cheers

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 08, 2006, 01:06:04 pm
By the way, if anyone has any seeds they want to photograph and submit for the new feature, please contact me by using the feedback form. Click here (http://www.brookmans.com/contact.php) to access it.

Here are eight pictures already taken. I will merge this thread with the Local Nature thread.

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds1.jpg) (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds2.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds3.jpg) (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds4.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds5.jpg) (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds6.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds7.jpg) (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds8.jpg)

David

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: barnabus on October 08, 2006, 02:04:58 pm
You're quite wrong about that, there's plenty going on locally. Friends of ours enjoyed a seed hunt yesterday in The Great Wood at Cuffley and we hope to be collecting with a group of friends in Gobions today.

 ;D

I am afraid I followed the link on the  Brookmans Park 'Whats on' section only to find nothing was mentioned in either Hertfordshire or North London on the national Autumn Watch website (the link suggested) as per:

8th - Seed hunting weekend
Seed hunting weekend Saturday 7th October and Sunday 8th October in conjunction with the BBC's Autumn Watch. See www.bbc.co.uk/autumnwatch 
 

So can I suggest that if people put items on the 'Whats On' section they link it clearly to the local contact to find out what is happening locally. How else would I know what is happening locally from this section of the site? The lesson is good signposting! Otherwise how would I know?

I am really glad you are enjoying Gods wonderful Creation today.

David - lovely pictures.

Barnabus
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 08, 2006, 02:50:34 pm
A massive thanks to the volunteers at Gobions Woodland Trust who collected a bucket load of seeds this morning.

Here are another eight images.

I will build a page and invite people to identify them so that we get them right.

Thanks to everyone who took part.

David

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds9.jpg) (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds10.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds11.jpg) (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds12.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds13.jpg) (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds14.jpg)
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds15.jpg) (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/seeds16.jpg)

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 08, 2006, 03:16:16 pm
Dear seed hunters and nature lovers,

I've now made a page on the site featuring all the seeds that have been contributed so far. Click here to view it. (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/index.shtml)

What we would like to do is invite people to identify the seeds, giving their colloquial name and the species. We will then add that information to the page.

So, can you name the seeds? Each has been given a number on the new seeds page of the site (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/index.shtml).

Please add to this thread if you can identify them. Any info gratefully received.

 :)

David


Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: barnabus on October 08, 2006, 06:06:20 pm
David

Just a couple of questions.

Are the seed hunts organised events that people can join in with or 'ad hoc' happenings that people do themselves with friends - possibly both!.

I found the orginal posting in 'Whats on' a bit confusing and therefore was uable to join in with the organise event previously mentioned - which was a pitty.

If the fomer and they are local would it be possible to put such events on the 'Whats On' section of the website with times, locations and dates so if any of us wanted to go along we could?

Second question - having got bucket loads of seeds - what are we going to do with them? (may be a daft question)  I remember collecting bucket loads of conkers when I was a kid which we eventually just had to throw out (several years later) - none of them grew into Horsechestnut trees.

I dont really want to grow  forest in my back garden just yet!

They are certainly to be admired and wondered at that such small apparently insignficant creations should have the potential to grow into such magnificent species.

I was over in Gobions today and it was looking wonderful in the autumn light - the fields that have been mown look awesome and so tidy.

What magnificent creation we live in - really makes one think!

Barnabus
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 08, 2006, 06:20:34 pm
Hi Barnabus,

All I know about the seed hunt is what I read after following the link from this site's What's On entry. When I read what I found I thought it might make a nice feature for the site, so went off collecting.

As for your seeds, if you have any that are not featured above, why not take a digital photo and mail me so we can include them in the page.

Cheers

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Alfred the Great on October 08, 2006, 09:35:40 pm
Well the obvious ones are ok, but here goes:

1 - Sycamore
2 - Oak
3 - Lawsons cypress
4 - more Sycamore or possibly maple
5 - Horse Chestnut
6 - don't know - looks like an exotic or garden escape
7 - Hornbeam
8 - Ash
9 - Giant Hogweed
10 - don't know
11 - don't know but looks like wild red currants
12 - Hawthorn
13 - Blackthorn (but could be damsons - can't see any thorns)
14 - Alder
15 - Blackberry
16 - not sure but could be Laurel

Any good?

ATG
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 08, 2006, 09:47:00 pm
Good stuff ATG

I have added your suggestions to the page.

Click here. (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/index.shtml)

Number 6 is Magnolia (it's in our garden).

Any more suggestions?

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Mermaid on October 08, 2006, 10:21:47 pm

Is number 10 Elderberry?
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 09, 2006, 06:48:39 am

Is number 10 Elderberry?

Not sure, I think elderberry has a serated edge to the leaf. This was submitted by a Gobions Woodland Trust volunteers. I will ask.

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: stevea on October 09, 2006, 07:52:44 am
Number 10 is an unripened logan berry which will turn to a pinky red colour when ripe.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: stevea on October 09, 2006, 08:04:33 am
Sorry - its number 14 that says alder berry which looks very much like a logan berry to me.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 09, 2006, 07:43:11 pm
Thanks Steve, I have updated the page.

Any more suggestions?

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: stevea on October 09, 2006, 11:52:46 pm
Sorry David - can't help with 10 and 11. When you first look at 10 it looks like it could be an elder berry or a very young grape. Number 11. as other people have pointed out, looks like a redcurrant but wouldn't bet my last dollar on either.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: NZer on October 10, 2006, 10:12:47 pm
Hi
I know its strange coming from so far away, but I think no. 11 is Guelder rose - Viburnum opulus (this should be in italics but I can't get the icon to work).
Growing up in BP, I remember there used to be a lot of this in the woods.
I'm working on number 10.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 10, 2006, 10:16:54 pm
Hi NZer,

Thanks for that.

I have added your wisdom to the page.

Click here to view. (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/index.shtml)

Thanks again

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: NZer on October 10, 2006, 10:35:52 pm
Hi again
I like a challenge!
I think that no 10 is Dogwood.  This keeps changing its genus name, but I have it as Cornus sanguinea.  The seeds have a high oil content and were once used for lighting lamps - according to my Wild Flowers of Britain by Roger Phillips!
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 11, 2006, 06:18:07 am
Thanks for that, I've made the changes. Click here to view. (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/seeds/index.shtml)

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 13, 2006, 03:16:26 pm
Angel, one of the forum members, has sent me some great pictures of Gobions taken in the mist this morning. I will post a few later tonight.

Thanks Angel.

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 13, 2006, 08:27:06 pm
As promised, the pictures Angel took today.

Gobions on a misty October morning.

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/gobions/angel1.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/gobions/angel2.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/gobions/angel3.jpg)

Lovely pics, thanks again, Angel.

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 14, 2006, 08:06:40 am
John Fraser has submitted the following image of a woodpecker, taken in his Brookmans Park garden recently. Thanks John. Great picture.

David

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/birds/woodpeckerjf.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Mermaid on October 14, 2006, 10:27:56 am

What lovely, lovely pictures - thanks for sharing them! 

 :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Dezza on March 12, 2007, 06:31:39 pm
Hi for all you keen ornithologists in BP.
Out in the garden this afternoon and a Red Kite flew over. Quite rare to see them so far east and pretty impressive. With a 60inch wingspan and forked tail it sailed across the village and I nearly ran over my foot with the lawnmower whilst watching it!  ::)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on March 12, 2007, 07:53:14 pm
Hi Dazza, welcome to the forum.

I have also seen a Red Kite flying over Brookmans Park. Click here  (http://www.brookmans.com/forum/index.php?topic=1178.msg8778#msg8778) for the post.

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/redkite.jpg)

I am going to merge these threads to keep all nature posts together.

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Dubhagan on March 12, 2007, 09:32:14 pm
At about 6 o'clock this evening, Monday the 12th March, I noticed some activity at the bottom of my garden in Hollways Lane.There was a great flurry of feathers and from a distance it looked as if two pigeons were fighting. However on closer inspection it was a hawk pecking and tearing at a pigeon. As I approached the hawk took off with the pigeon,still alive, firmly clasped in its claws. The hawk had a pale head and wide tail feathers. Was it a kite?
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on March 17, 2007, 07:35:06 pm
Found a nest in our shed. Clever birds, weave something together under cover in a place nobody goes (I don't do a lot of gardening).

The discovery coincided with us hearing a tapping noise on the windows. We found out it was young long tailed tits learning to fly. They would take off, land on the lead holding the windows together and then tap about three times on the glass before falling off and flying away.

Great stuff. Here are some pics.

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/nest.jpg) (http://www.brookmans.com/environment/longtailtit.jpg)

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 06, 2007, 02:45:00 pm
What do they call baby Ladybirds?  Whatever, here are some pictures taken on a shrub in my garden yesterday - Good Friday.  The finger belongs to my wife!  There were lots of them on the shrub and I just hope some survive to keep the aphids numbers down this year.

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/ladybird1.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/ladybird2.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 06, 2007, 06:35:44 pm
Great pics, Bob.

By the way, the nest pictured two posts up is occupied by a robin. Forgive this poor quality picture, but I didn't want to scare the robin as she sat on her nest this afternoon.

(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/robin.jpg)

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: John_fraser on April 06, 2007, 09:06:21 pm
I don't think there is any such thing as a baby ladybird, as they have a larva stage (click here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladybird)) I think they are fully grown ladybirds of a different species to the large one.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Susan on April 06, 2007, 09:20:15 pm
They look like sixteen-spot ladybirds (Tytthaspis 16-punctata).

Go to
http://www.ladybird-survey.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/londonla.htm
and scroll down the page for a picture just like yours.

Love the robin photo :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: John_fraser on April 06, 2007, 09:29:12 pm
Here's another example (http://www.ladybird-survey.org/UKladybirds/species_desc.asp?species=6455%2059401), but it's easier to see on Susan's. Apparently they are rare, but clearly not all that rare in your garden.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: NZer on April 13, 2007, 09:23:09 am
Trees in Gobions
I was just browsing through the trees & shrubs in Gobions pictures and under Hornbeam, the latin name is down as an anemone!  I think it should be Carpinus betulus L.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 13, 2007, 10:02:14 am
Thanks NZer, will fix when I get home. Clearly a poor copy and paste job from the flowers page. You just can't find the right quality staff anymore.

 ;)

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Bob Horrocks on April 13, 2007, 12:23:36 pm
Many thanks to John Fraser and Susan for their research.  You live and learn.  We thought that the adults had had lots of babies but it was puzzling as to why there were more spots on the very small ones.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: antondegreat on August 04, 2007, 02:16:21 pm
A Picture of the awesome sunset in Hawkshead Lane if anyones interested

(http://tn3-2.deviantart.com/fs16/300W/i/2007/215/b/0/BrookyP_Sunset_by_antonthegreat.jpg) (http://fc01.deviantart.com/fs16/i/2007/215/b/0/BrookyP_Sunset_by_antonthegreat.jpg)

Click on image for larger version.

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Cassie on August 04, 2007, 04:31:36 pm
Thanks for posting that - I did see it and remarked how lovely it looked

 :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: antondegreat on August 05, 2007, 01:46:35 pm
No Problem!

There are a few pictures of gobions up aswell if anyone is interested

i really want to get the blue bell field next year, was pretty annoyed at myself i missed it this year. Click on images for larger versions.

(http://tn3-2.deviantart.com/fs16/300W/i/2007/170/1/4/HeartOfTheWoodland_by_antonthegreat.jpg) (http://fc01.deviantart.com/fs16/i/2007/170/1/4/HeartOfTheWoodland_by_antonthegreat.jpg)

(http://tn3-1.deviantart.com/fs17/300W/i/2007/170/5/6/GobionsBridge_by_antonthegreat.jpg) (http://fc02.deviantart.com/fs17/i/2007/170/5/6/GobionsBridge_by_antonthegreat.jpg)

(http://tn3-1.deviantart.com/fs17/300W/i/2007/171/4/2/DeadWood_by_antonthegreat.jpg) (http://fc02.deviantart.com/fs17/i/2007/171/4/2/DeadWood_by_antonthegreat.jpg)

(http://tn3-1.deviantart.com/fs18/300W/i/2007/171/9/3/AlilBitofGreen_by_antonthegreat.jpg) (http://fc03.deviantart.com/fs18/i/2007/171/9/3/AlilBitofGreen_by_antonthegreat.jpg)

(http://tn3-2.deviantart.com/fs17/300W/i/2007/170/f/f/MacroFlowers_by_antonthegreat.jpg) (http://fc02.deviantart.com/fs17/i/2007/170/f/f/MacroFlowers_by_antonthegreat.jpg)

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on August 05, 2007, 04:20:10 pm
Hi,

I hope you don't mind, but I have put the links in so that your pictures show up on the thread (rather than just as URLs).

To do this yourself in future, simply use the icon that looks like this (http://www.brookmans.com/forum/Themes/default/images/bbc/img.gif) and then put the address of the image in between these tags.

Code: [Select]
[img][/img]
I've also moved this from the off topic area and merged it with the local nature thread.

Thanks for sharing the images.

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Mermaid on August 05, 2007, 04:34:02 pm

What lovely pictures, thank you!   :D
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: antondegreat on August 05, 2007, 10:20:33 pm
Cheers David, thats not a problem
Enjoy
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on January 13, 2008, 12:13:42 pm
The nest in our shed, which was occupied by a robin in the spring ...
(http://www.brookmans.com/environment/robin.jpg)
...is now the home of a field mouse.

I disturbed it this morning, but instead of running away it just looked at me. It's a cute thing with massive black eyes. Should I be concerned and move the nest, or live and let live?  I've been reading up on field mice, and there is a nice picture of one on the Wildlife Britain site (click here (http://www.wildlifebritain.com/fieldmouse.php) to see it), but I can't find any advice about what to do about them.

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: stevea on January 13, 2008, 07:58:29 pm
If it was me David, I'd leave him/her there. Totally harmless. As long as you don't have a food source in the shed e.g dog, cat or bird food etc it should be fine.  You thould think about charging rent though!!
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on January 13, 2008, 08:07:07 pm
If it was me David, I'd leave him/her there. Totally harmless. As long as you don't have a food source in the shed e.g dog, cat or bird food etc it should be fine.  You thould think about charging rent though!!

I have some seed in there and some of those balls of seed and fat that I hang on the trees, but they are in a sealed container. I thought they were going down well with the local bird population until I saw two squirrels untie two of them this afternoon and carry them away, leaving the green netting still attached to the tree.

 :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: stevea on January 13, 2008, 08:20:12 pm
We have the same problem here but with possums.  I can never catch them in the act because they are nocturnal. Night raiders!
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Birch on January 15, 2008, 02:27:30 pm
Field mice are certainly very cute and appealing. We had them for a couple of years in our loft, unfortunately we had to take measures to stop them breeding, because whilst far more appealing than the ordinary house mouse, mice are mice.....

I have seen on a couple of occasions on a lovely summers evening nibbling around the spilled food from our bird table in our garden.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 08, 2008, 04:51:24 pm
Does anyone know if I can fry this for my tea or is it poisonous? We've got several in the garden.

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october08/mushroom_or_toadstool.jpg)

David

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Alfred the Great on October 08, 2008, 09:05:27 pm
Looks like a Boletus to me and therefore should be edible, but I wouldn't risk it.  :P
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: stevea on October 09, 2008, 02:34:19 am
Looks a bit iffy to me! Think you'd be safer with fish and chips!  If we don't hear from you in a week,
we'll know why!  :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Bob Horrocks on October 09, 2008, 10:56:26 am
Check out 'Bay Bolete' on the internet.  It seems to match the various pictures and it is said to appear in Sept - Nov so that is spot on.  About 15cm high.

If you do try it and it is poisonous, let me say that it has been a pleasure knowing you  and we will all miss you >:D
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 09, 2008, 11:55:24 am
Will know at the weekend, serving it up as a Wild Mushroom Risotto (http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/database/wildmushroomrisottow_86555.shtml) to some friends (not too fond of them). I am sticking to steak and chips. Will report back Sunday morning. 
:icon_jokercolor:
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Johnny Redd on October 12, 2008, 08:50:15 pm
What happened to the "friends"????
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Alfred the Great on October 12, 2008, 09:42:25 pm
To judge by the resounding silence I reckon Dave accidentally ate some aswell as his guests. But don't forget, the problem with fungus poisoning is that by the time you realise you've eaten a death cap by mistake (about 1 day later) the damage has been done and you are a goner. At least if you eat a duff piece of meat all you do is, er, spend a long time in the bathroom. How delicate is that?

ATG
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 13, 2008, 06:16:23 am
Had a change of mind and decided on a take away. By Friday there were five more.

 :)

David


Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on November 02, 2008, 12:46:03 pm
Some great fungus in our garden today. Any experts out there?

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/fungus1.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/fungus2.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/fungus3.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/fungus4.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/fungus5.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/fungus6.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/fungus7.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/fungus8.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/fungus9.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: stevea on November 02, 2008, 11:04:41 pm
Great photo's David.  Don't tell me you were thinking of eating them as well! If you turn over a few rotten logs in the woods, you'll find plenty of bugs and snails to go with them. You'll have a right smorgasboard!
We'll have to start calling you Bear Grylls!

My nan told us that if you saw lots of toadstools in the garden it meant there were lots of fairies living there - but not to touch them as the fairies would get angry - so be warned!  :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on November 03, 2008, 05:58:16 am
My nan told us that if you saw lots of toadstools in the garden it meant there were lots of fairies living there - but not to touch them as the fairies would get angry - so be warned!  :)

The fairies should be happy, I gathered all the toadstools/mushrooms and dumped them at the bottom of the garden, where I am told the fairies are meant to live.

 :)

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on November 05, 2008, 10:34:34 am
For those unable to get out and about, here are some snaps taken on an autumn walk in the Northaw Great Wood. (if you have any pictures you want to add to this local nature thread, please do.

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/Northaw_Great_Wood1.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/Northaw_Great_Wood2.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/Northaw_Great_Wood3.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/Northaw_Great_Wood4.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/Northaw_Great_Wood5.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/Northaw_Great_Wood6.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/Northaw_Great_Wood7.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/Northaw_Great_Wood8.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/Northaw_Great_Wood9.jpg)

David

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on November 29, 2008, 07:58:30 pm
Snapped these in Gobions this afternoon, anyone know what tree they are from?

David

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/100_0836.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/november08/100_0834.jpg)

Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Alfred the Great on November 29, 2008, 09:18:04 pm
Look like Alder cones to me. When they dry out a bit more they look like honey dippers.

ATG
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on November 29, 2008, 09:47:51 pm
Hi Alfred, I think you are right, just searched for the term Alder cones and came up with this image (http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2258/2358704041_961f0b00c9.jpg).
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: chicken legs on November 29, 2008, 10:24:43 pm
Yes, definitely alder cones. A good source of food for birds, especially the Siskins which we hope will visit us later in the winter.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on February 07, 2009, 11:29:20 am
A green woodpecker was in our garden this morning. It was a long way away, so I used maximum zoom and then spent ages trying to lighten and sharpen the image. In the end the image turned out like a watercolour, but still nice to see. It seems to be digging in the lawn where the tree roots are.

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/february09/green_woodpecker.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/february09/greenwoodpecker2.jpg)

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Susan on April 23, 2009, 01:06:38 pm
I spotted either a grass snake or a slow worm in Gobions today. It was too fast for me to be sure which it was, though!

I assume it was a grass snake, as it was basking next to the path around the canal, and quickly "slid" off towards the water as it heard me.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on June 01, 2009, 09:34:29 am
Apologies in advance to any arachnophobics, but this chap just strolled into my study. It measured about 3cm and has now been released into the garden and scuttled under a bush.

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/june09/spider4.jpg)

Beautiful, isn't it, although it seems to be missing a front leg.

 :)

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Nobby on June 06, 2009, 06:40:45 pm
Hi Dave,
The Green Woodpecker is probably digging for ants - its favoured food.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: southbury on June 10, 2009, 02:13:53 pm
We had the Green Woodpecker in our garden last night .. he seems to be eyeing up our apple trees.. BB Ave.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Susan on October 01, 2009, 11:58:34 am
I saw what looked just like a kingfisher across the lake at Gobions yesterday at around 5pm-ish. Sadly, I hadn't got binoculars. However, it was a small, bright blue bird in the bushes right above the water. I couldn't think of anything else it might be. 

Do you get kingfishers round here, as I've never seen one?
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: stevea on October 01, 2009, 01:02:57 pm
Hello Susan - yes you do. I used to fish the lake in the early 70's and there were always lots of kingfishers there.
At that time the island was joined to the land. In 1976, when the lake dried up, machines started digging the lake out as it was very shallow and full of silt. They made it in to an island. Only one half of the lake was dug out properly as the rains came and filled it back up before they could finish.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: chicken legs on October 01, 2009, 04:00:07 pm
I remember walking across the lake with my young daughters in 1976.  We were amazed by what looked like lots of oyster and mussel shells on the dried-up bed.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: stevea on October 02, 2009, 03:14:21 am
That's right chicken legs. The lake was literally packed with big, plump freshwater mussels. I'd say they were probably placed there for food when Gobions House was around. I do remember one of the angling clubs, perhaps Barnet, always claimed there were no pike. When the lake dried up, there they were! All the fish were saved except for the pike.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Susan on October 09, 2009, 11:00:58 am
Thanks, Stevea, that's really interesting.

Saw the kingfisher again last weekend - I must just have been unobservant all these years!
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 04, 2010, 07:08:03 pm
Saw a large bird of prey hovering over the Woodman, Wild Hill this lunchtime. We saw another earlier as we crossed the path from Brookmans Park to Grubbs Lane, but not sure if it was the same one. I think it was a red kite.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Nobby on April 04, 2010, 11:27:30 pm
It's certainly a Red Kite. The forked tail is characteristic. There were also a couple over Hatfield Park this morning.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 05, 2010, 07:05:28 am
Thanks Nobby. Not wanting to side-track this thread, but it's amazing how detailed digital pictures are when taken with a cheap £75 camera. This is the original from which the pic (above) was cropped. The bird is the spec at the in the middle at the bottom of the image.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: epiphany on April 05, 2010, 11:04:20 am
I also saw one over North Mymms Park on Saturday - the first one I have seen in this area. There are loads a bit further west from here in Buckinghamshire, I think they were reintroduced into Wales quite a few years ago
and are obviously spreading eastwards finally now reaching here. Brilliant.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Nobby on April 06, 2010, 07:06:07 pm
The local red kites mostly come from the population that was introduced on Paul Getty's estate in the Chilterns in the late 80s / early 90s.
There's always an upsurge in sightings in Spring, as young males go prospecting for future breeding territories.
A birder in Redbourn reported last week that he had three in his garden coming down to take the fatty scraps he puts out for the crows. I'm still waiting though.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: GWTSEC on April 07, 2010, 02:59:21 pm
If you go down in the woods.
The anemones are out in Gobions. It is one of the most spectacular sites in Spring, apart from the bluebells.
To see them, go down Oak Tree path, the one at the end of the lake. Turn right at the bottom. There are quite a few there, but for this view walk about 80m and they will be on your left.
Enjoy
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 09, 2010, 08:00:14 am
Hi GWTSEC,

How long will the anemones be in bloom and worth seeing before they fade?  Will they still be worth a visit this coming weekend?

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: GWTSEC on April 10, 2010, 07:52:34 am
Hi David,
the anemones will be there for a couple of week yet. If we are really lucky there will be some alongside the early bluebells.
No sign of them yet, but fingers crossed for the two bluebell walks, Thursday 29th April and Thursday 6th May, meet at Moffatts car park at 2.00 p.m.
The walk is approximately 3 miles, everyone welcome.
Enjoy this wonderful weather. The anemones only open when the sun is shining.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on April 10, 2010, 08:28:57 am
Hi GWTSEC,

I have added those two dates to the calendar. If you have an event you want people to know about you can always use the 'link to calendar' button, which is at the foot of your post and looks like this.

(http://www.brookmans.com/forum/Themes/default/images/english/linktocal.gif)

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: GWTSEC on April 30, 2010, 08:28:32 am
A large group enjoyed the Bluebell walk in Gobions yesterday, in spite of the fact that they were not fully out.
The gardening group from U3A was very welcome.
 The coming week end should see a few more bluebells out . Next week and next week-end should see them in their prime.
For those of you who are not sure of where the best views are, there will be a guided walk next Thursday, meet Moffatts Car Park at 2.00 p.m. Wear sensible shoes. The walk is approximately 3 miles.
If you want to go independently, from Moffatts car park walk to the far end of the Lake and enter Gobions Wood via Oak Tree Path. Turn left at the bottom. Turn right at the next junction and you will get a nice view of The Folly Arch.
Walk towards the Folly Arch over the little bridge. The Bluebell wood is on your left. Please keep to the footpaths and enjoy.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on June 10, 2010, 07:32:53 pm
We planted an acorn at the bottom of our garden when we moved here 15 years ago and now it's a 10 foot high oak tree. Tonight a Great Spotted Woodpecker (http://www.rspb.org.uk/wildlife/birdguide/name/g/greatspottedwoodpecker/index.aspx) landed on it. Nice the way a simple thing like planting an acorn in 1995 can result in a stopping off point for a Woodpecker. Feels good.

 :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Silver on June 12, 2010, 08:52:28 pm
Following on from the red kite discussion earlier, I saw one flying low over Welham Green Station yesterday.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: BrookyP on June 13, 2010, 07:19:24 pm
we saw 2 buzzards circling over mimms drive...great stuff..
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Pescarese on June 14, 2010, 07:22:37 am
I see the Red Kite nearly every day in Welham Green. It seems to be resident. We've had buzzards since I moved here seven years ago but this is the first year I've regularly seen Red Kites.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on June 27, 2010, 12:03:28 pm
Just been for a walk in The Great Wood, Northaw and saw a green moth. Not sure what it is, but it was beautiful.  Sorry about the poor quality picture. I have found others like it on the web.

http://www.alaska.net/~mhallam/photos2.htm (http://www.alaska.net/~mhallam/photos2.htm)

Someone else posted that it might be an Emerald Geometer

http://www.elharo.com/blog/nature/bugs/2009/04/06/moth-monday-emerald-geometer/ (http://www.elharo.com/blog/nature/bugs/2009/04/06/moth-monday-emerald-geometer/)

http://www.fotopedia.com/en/Geometer_moth (http://www.fotopedia.com/en/Geometer_moth)

David
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Mermaid on June 28, 2010, 12:57:21 pm
The RSBP is appealing for local sightings of swifts to be reported to them, see:

http://www.rspb.org.uk/thingstodo/surveys/swifts/index.asp (http://www.rspb.org.uk/thingstodo/surveys/swifts/index.asp)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 07, 2010, 02:53:07 pm
Some great fungi in The Great Wood, Northaw.  Took some snaps today for those unable to get out or scramble through the damp undergrowth.

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f1_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f2_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f3_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f4_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f5_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f6_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f7_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f8_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f9_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f10_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f12_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f13_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f14_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f15_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f16_s.jpg)

(http://www.brookmans.com/news/october10/f18_s.jpg)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: chicken legs on October 07, 2010, 04:41:22 pm
Lovely pictures, David.  Such detail!
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 07, 2010, 05:21:33 pm
Yes, and they are compressed; the full-sized images are lovely.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Nobby on October 07, 2010, 08:02:39 pm
Some great shots - I'd like to know what species they are. The only ones I recognise are the Fly Agarics (red ones with white spots), so if there are any experts out there, please take this opportunity to educate us all.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: sasquartch on October 08, 2010, 10:01:00 am
An interesting programme on fungi on Radio 4 yesterday, still available on iPlayer

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v1pht (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00v1pht)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: peppermint on October 08, 2010, 10:05:08 am
 :) Thank you for the lovely photos.   I might even be tempted to go and have a look myself.  :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: NZer on October 08, 2010, 11:48:03 pm
Wonderful photos thank you - I did enjoy looking at them.  They reminded me that I used to make spore prints of the different fungi when I was young.  Its probably not allowed to pick them now - like the wildflowers, but the prints were lovely.
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: epiphany on October 09, 2010, 02:59:46 pm
I am probably showing my ignorance here but how exactly did you make a spore print?
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: NZer on October 11, 2010, 07:29:00 am
To make a spore print, we used to cut off the stalk to very near the cap, place the cap on a piece of greaseproof/wax paper (must be greaseproof or wax), then place carefully in a warm place.  We used to put ours in the airing cupboard.  As the cap dries, the spores fall onto the paper.  The wax/grease or whatever they put in the paper, softens slightly so the spores stick to the paper.  You get various colours of spores.  We used to do this in conjunction with attempting to identify the fungi and add notes as to where they were found. :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: epiphany on October 11, 2010, 09:09:32 am
Thanks for the info, sounds intreresting - I might just give it a go.  I trust the spores did not spread in the process and that you did not end up with an airing cupboard full of fungi???
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: NZer on October 17, 2010, 07:42:47 am
I have no recollection of any aftereffects!!  No fungi were seen growing anywhere.  Best of luck. :D :D
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Editor on October 19, 2010, 09:27:25 am
I love autumn - the season of big spiders.  This one was having a rest on our wall. From the tip of one leg to the other was 5 cm across. Click on the picture if you like hairy legs and want a close up.   :)
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Helen on October 19, 2010, 09:57:57 am
No thanks David - I get enough close-ups when they sneak under the front door & pay us a visit. The perils of living in a wooded area I guess. Anyway, for those of you who, like me, aren't as keen on these monsters as David seems to be, trying putting out nice fresh conkers at their usual access points. We started doing that last Oct when we read that spiders don't like the chemicals found in conkers.

It definitely works - instead of the previous 2 or 3 a week (yuk!!) we now only get the occasional one marching up our hallway. Only trouble is that the conkers don't stay fresh for a whole year so we noticed that the little...no, big...blighters have been starting to invade again over the last few months.

Helen
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Mermaid on October 19, 2010, 10:10:18 am
On Autumn Watch last week, Chris Packham stated that the whole story about conkers keeping spiders away was a myth. I must admit I've never tried it - we tend to catch ours and put them outside. Now I'm wondering if, like snails, they have a homing instinct .....
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Helen on October 19, 2010, 10:32:09 am
Maybe they just can't get past all the conkers piled up against the front door!!  ;)

I'm going to stick with the conkers again this year & see what happens. If it even deters one Hertfordshire Hairy then I'll be happy!
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: chicken legs on October 19, 2010, 10:57:56 am
We have to make the most of our conkers now as our lovely horse chestnut trees are suffering a fatal disease.  Elms have gone, oaks are under threat from a moth and now horse chestnuts. 
Title: Re: Local Nature
Post by: Silver on October 19, 2010, 08:23:46 pm
I have tried the conker deterrent for the past two years and I don't seem to have had as many spiders as I used to have. Despite the Autumnwatch report, I think this one is worth a try. The conkers are unobtrusive and don't make a mess.

On another nature subject: I haven't seen any daddy-long-legs this year, and they usually are a real menace around the end of September. Perhaps they're not keen on conkers either!