The Greenfinch is a bird which is having mixed fortunes these days. Notably, none were recorded in the recent Big Forest Bird Watch in Hatfield Forest last Sunday. Having said that, we have got at least three feeding on the sunflower hearts in our garden.
This bird has been badly afflicted by a disease called “canker” or “frounce” which has been known for a long time in caged birds.
The old name for the Peacock butterfly was the Peacock's Tail because of the markings found on the tail of the bird with that name.
The caterpillars, being black and prickly were sometimes known as the Nettle Caterpillar and some people wrongly thought that because they ate nettles that the stings of the nettle transferred to the prickles of the Caterpillar making it so they can sting, which it cannot!
This year seems to be a good one for Tortoiseshell and Peacock caterpillars, please let us know if you have any sightings.
We are very pleased to have received this photograph of a Turtle Dove taken at a local farm. This bird is in massive decline nationally for a variety of reasons but it’s purring call is one that many of us will always associate with high summer.
COMMON ASH Fraxinus excelsior
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This moss is called the Grey Cushioned Grimmia, sometimes known as the Hedgehog Moss because of its prickly appearance.
It is somewhat pollution tolerant and can be found in Bishop’s Stortford Town Centre where it is found growing on basic rocks and man-made surfaces such as limestone, mortar courses, tombstones, concrete and even on asbestos roofs. AS.
This is a new bumblebee to the country and was not recorded here before 2001. It first made its appearance in Wiltshire and is steadily spreading all over the country. There is a national programme to monitor its progress.
It seems that at least part of the bee’s success is due to the fact that its natural habitat is open woodland interspersed with grassland. This in fact is a fairly good description of established housing estates with large gardens which quite rightly qualify as ‘scrub’ in habitat terms! The bees nest high up under the eaves of a house, out of harms way, and when the males embark on a dancing ‘swarm’ then it can be quite spectacular but gives cause for concern to others who are not naturalists. Please let us have any records of this bumblebee that you may have.