Nature Notes - September 2021

Sickleholme Nature Notes

In the September notes for last year, I reported on the invertebrate banks that Matt and his team had built. So, a year on, I took the opportunity to see what they look like now. Superficially there was little more than a few lacewings and craneflies (both provide food for larger species) but closer examination showed many small holes as the wood rots down and creatures bore into it. All good so far, then.

News from Matt also included reports from some members of a wasp nest in a bunker. This turned out to be a small colony of bees (most probably Mining Bees) so the area was given GUR status for the protection of both bees and golfers.

I review the pond on a regular basis and there is still plenty of life despite the summer growth which has reduced the viewable wet parts. I am told that the Brown China-mark moths were still on the wing until midmonth and I did see a Southern Hawker dragonfly on two dates.

Birds often advertise their presence by their calls which certainly helps people like me who have better hearing than eyesight. There was a good example on 25th when our fourball was interrupted by the sound of geese flying high overhead. The calls and flight formation readily identified them as Pink-footed Geese, about 45 in total, on a date which fits well with their annual arrival from Greenland and Iceland. See image. On other dates, 3 Grey Herons flew through, “barking” as they did so. A noisy family of Jays was present all month and Pheasants were regularly heard and seen.

Also of mention was a Grey Wagtail (not to be confused with the resident Pied Wagtails) seen on two dates and 15 Long-tailed Tits on 15th. The latter make counting fairly easy as when moving from bush to bush they tend to fly one at a time, as if the first arrival is there to give the “all clear”. As ever, the mix of golf and wildlife makes for wonderful therapy.

Bryan Barnacle