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Archive for April, 2011

This is named as it grows around St. George’s Day on 23rd April. It has been coming up round Greater London sites for a while, but in Abney it seems to have a calander. Bang on time it arrived on the 23rd. It isn’t in a good condition though.

Link to photos of Fungi and Slimemolds 2011.

Link to species notes.

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Buff-tailed Bumble bees.

These fellows have been very busy recently burrowing into the soft sandy soil near the Church Street entrance, nest building. They are just into the plant growth at the very edges of the pathways. I’ll be stucking carefully to the centre of the paths from now on. I’ve put the photos of them into a new group, Insects, Butterflies etc. which has only a small group pof photos at the moment, but it will grow…..

Link to photos of Insects, Butterflies etc.

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The robins have been having territorial battles for a long time, but the Great Spotted Woodpecker males are picking up the pace with their fights. A couple of days ago two males had a very spectacular battle and fell to the ground together several times during the 6 minutes (about) that they were at it. They were so obsessed with each other that an early morning spectator was totally ignored and the flights came very close to me on one occasion. The fight was observed by another bird, a female, who I did manage to get a photo of……

Link to phtos of Abney April 2011

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Yesterday and early this morning I wandered round Abney and it is totally magnificent. The hawthorn and cow parsley are the leading lacey white flowers and they are doing it magnificently. Early today it was hazy, whether from the pollution or not it looked magical. I have put the photos on flickr, with a link to them below. Here’s a sample couple of views…

Link to photos of Abney April 2011

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Sometime early this morning a Great Spotted Woodpecker was caught, probably by a sparrowhawk, and it was in the early stages of being defeathered when it was abandoned. Sad though this is, it gave a wonderful view of the feathers. The spotting on the flight feathers is on each individual feather and the red patch, just under the tail, is due to overlayering of many small feathers which just have red tips on the splayed ends.

Link to photos of Abney April 2011

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Yesterday I went for a walk in Clissold Park at the other end of Church Street (Stoke Newington) and was surprised at how much more advanced the flowers of cow parsley were then in Abney. Clissold Park is a much more open environment with large areas unshaded by trees. Abney is dense woodland and the effect of this can be felt as it is entered from the built up streets, there is a noticable drop in temperature. Various reports of the temperature reduction below a tree canopy give 5 degrees difference as fairly common. The effect on the cow parsley is noticeable. Beside Church Street where it is still warm, the flowering is about the same as in Clissold Park, but further in, where it is cooler, the flowers are more in the bud stage, just coming out on the tallest stems. There are variations to this. Near more open growth and where the sun can bake level monument stones or paths, so where the effect of the sun’s heat can be stored during the day, the flowering is more advanced. The areas where there is more dense foliage and less oppertunity for heat retention, even though light levels look to be similar, are less advanced.

The same is true of the Horse Chestnut. In general the Clissold Park trees are in full bloom at the moment, where the Abney trees are just about coming into flower.

Link to Photos of Abney April 2011

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In Abney today the bluebells are flowering well, not in full display mode yet, but in some patches they are certainly flowering with vigour. The butterflies were out and about too. Spotted woods were the only ones I managed to photograph, the orange tips, holly blues, small whites and brimstones were a bit faster on the take off, but they were much in evidence.

Link to photos of Abney April 2011

Link to photos of Butteflies in Abney

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