Nature Notes - September 2023

Sickleholme Nature Notes

The course took on more and more autumn colours as September progressed, although the weather varied enormously with one very hot week early in the month, heavy rain later and even a few days of decidedly cool mornings. Confusing for both golfers and our wildlife.

A feature of the warmer period was good numbers of Red Admiral butterflies seen around the course; the image shown was taken a couple of months back as the background flora suggests. The species arrives in various numbers every year, from southern Europe, to breed and spread throughout the country. One or two generations fill the summer months before reverse migration takes place in the autumn. It is fascinating to think that a butterfly seen on a Mediterranean coast in December may have started life at Sickleholme.

Apart from an optimistic Chiffchaff, frequently heard singing from the trees to the left of the 14th fairway, the only noticeable birdsong was the winter song of our Robins. Blackbirds and Mistle Thrushes were in good  numbers and took a heavy toll on the Rowan berries. Perhaps they were gorging before competition from the Redwings and Fieldfares that will arrive in October.

I had a look at some of Matt’s “Bug Hotels”, several of which are rotting down nicely now. These will provide food and shelter for the invertebrates (an important part of the food chain) as well as creating a base for various types of fungi. Some of the latter seem earlier this year, possibly because of weather conditions, but many more species will be evident during the next two months.

Many thanks, as ever, to all who submit records. If you can’t catch me at the club, then you can email me at barney.mays42@gmail.com

Bryan Barnacle