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Archive for March, 2014

Abney Park Cemetery 16.3.2014

Spring this year has been unusual. Winter never managed to really get going, although there is still time – I can remember Easter with snow but I hope that doesn’t happen. The results of this are that insects were active since autumn eg gnats and houseflies have been easily found all the time, so insectivorous birds like the wren were well fed. Blackbirds had enough food available, and ground soft enough to dig into for worms etc so they didn’t raid all the berries on the roadside trees. There are berries and unfurling leaf buds on the trees at the same time, which I’ve not seen before. Warm conditions early mean nesting happened sometimes early. (Last Sunday I saw a clumsy magpie that was unafraid of people – the hallmarks of a young bird but probably just stunned or unwell. Magpie young are usually about in late April).

Comma Butterfly

Anthophora plumipes, hairy-footed flower bee, 8.3.2014

Most things are exactly as expected. Butterflies are around already, last weekend seeing a variety of comma and peacock flying. Both are species that over winter in hibernation and are appropriate for the time of year. The varieties of bee are also season appropriate, the hairy footed flower bee was out by 8.3.2014, Bombus hortorum (9.3.2014), B. hypnorum (9.3.2014) and B. terrestris (6.3.2014) were out at the start of their expected season. The first daffodil for 2013 was 8th March. The first daffodil for 2014 was 6th March. So a lot is happening exactly on the usual timing.

Greenfly, slugs and other plant eating invertebrates are up and functioning, and there seem to be more of them then I remember at this time of year. As part of the food chain they are valuable, to the young leaves and flowers being eaten before they are old enough to have all their defences in place, they are a pest. The early start they seem to have may mean the usual balance between the plants and the invertebrates that eat them may be tilted a little more than usual in the eaters favour.

Daffodils 6.3.2014

Overall, after a mild winter, it seems an unusually flourishing spring. The timing is normal for the activity, but there just seems more activity than usual.

Link to photos of Abney Park Cemetery, March 2014.

Link to photos of Insects etc. found in Abney in 2014.

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