The weblog below is for naturalists to use to report interesting sightings, ask questions, report on field meetings and generally post pictures and any information or questions generally relevant in some way to the wildlife and geology of Essex. You will need to register and be logged-on to post to the forum, and you need to upload pictures first, for use in posts. Find out more
Fri 25th April 2008 17:08 by Mary Smith
Today I was getting compost from the heap in our garden and found a Common Toad. It was clearly still hibernating, as it was several inches within the heap and did not move as I saw it fall out. Having moved it to place of safety nearby, it had moved away of its own accord half an hour later. Why was it still hibernating on 25 April? Has this one missed the reproductive boat?
Thu 24th April 2008 22:00 by Mary Smith
summer at last?
Today, Thursday 24th, has been the 4th really warm day in a row, after a spell with a cold east wind and grey, chilly days before that and real snow early in the month. Suddenly everything is happening at once: loads of bees in our garden, grasses coming up into flower, hedgerow flowers all bursting out, and the dawn chorus is suddently a shout. All in 3 days! Do you remember April last year? It was hot like July, and later on, we had April in July with lots of rain. Not so this year, but I thought it was March that was supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb. This year it seems to be April. Today, in spite of warm sunshine, we had a hailstorm with thunder and lightning, then hot sunshine again. This global heating is fascinating! Also scary! What are you all doing about it?
Tue 15th April 2008 14:08 by Peter Harvey
At this time of year generally bees and other insects take advantage of the good periods amongst the changeable weather, particularly favouring sunny periods and warmer weather even when these are short. I have seen activity around my cherry today, so I hope this is occurring elsewhere as well - otherwise there might be some bad crops!
I think the trees are hardier and less fussy overall than the insects, and if there is bad weather whilst the blossom is out it is not good news for fruiting prospects. I think greengage is especially vulnerable, since it flowers earlier.
Mon 14th April 2008 17:21 by Mary Smith
My mother's greengage tree has been in flower for a month but she has not seen any bees on it. In my garden we have a pear tree and a plum tree in full bloom, and have been for about 3 weeks, but again, no bees. I would have assumed that, if it was warm enough for the trees to flower, in spite of hail, snow and frost, it was warm enough for the bees to pollinate them, but perhaps not? Anyone got any other thoughts?
Sun 6th April 2008 08:34 by Peter Harvey
Thu 3rd April 2008 20:45 by Peter Harvey
Spring is definitely here, with various insects now emerging and very active. In my garden in the last few days I have seen a number of female Andrena fulva (picture) and hoverflies including Epistrophe eligans, as well as Bombus lucorum and B. lapidarius.
Please submit your records for as many species as possible e.g. Species surveys and otherwise through our County Recorders.