Monthly Archives: March 2015

Frenetic TrackaTree action at Hilhouse Wood

After today’s Trackatree visit to Hillhouse Wood someone of my advanced years needed a lie down.  Everything in the wood more or less stood still for the first half of March, due to the consistently cold temperatures, which rather took the pressure off my TrackaTree monitoring visits.  But you know that, once things warm up a bit, nature will make up for lost time. Continue reading

A bit of Spring is finally in evidence in Hillhouse Wood

So at last Chiffchaffs have fought their way back to Hillhouse Wood – they clearly haven’t found the recent cold and dull weather to be to their liking.  Me neither!  There were three singing this afternoon in just the north side of the wood.  So Spring has now ‘officially’ started, as far as I’m concerned. Continue reading

Time stands still in Hillhouse Wood – frustratingly

Down here in north east Essex my least favourite weather is when we get a low to the east, which produced cold and cloudy dull conditions.  These can last for days, or even weeks, and are mainly experienced in spring. We’ve had one for the last week, so unsurprisingly very little had progressed in Hillhouse Wood. Continue reading

Spring is arrested in Hillhouse Wood

At the moment I’m in Hillhouse Wood just about every day.  This is for two reasons; firstly, I’m keeping an eye on progress with my four trees in the Track a Tree phenology project (I recommend it).  Secondly, I’m waiting for ‘Spring to start’.  Continue reading

Breaking my back for Turtle Doves

Apparently Essex and Suffolk now hold around a third of the (dwindling) UK population of Turtle Doves.  So action to help them around here makes good sense, which is why the RSPB has set up a project to do so.  A week ago an opportunity to do this arose on a military base in the middle of Essex (if I tell you where, I shall have to kill myself).  Continue reading

Ruminations on budbreak

As the last few days have been sunny, if not exactly warm, I thought I’d pop down to Hillhouse Wood to see if there were any developments in relation to the Track a Tree phenology project that I’m a volunteer field worker for.  (I recommend it, by the way – interesting and satisfying.)  By ‘developments’, what I really mean is Hazel budbreak, as last year this was the first thing that happened, and a few days ago my Hazel coppice had some green tinged buds. Continue reading

My first Track a Tree recording visit this year – droning on about this great phenology citizen science project

Last year I found out about the excellent Track a Tree phenology project too late, in that bud break had already started to happen before my first visit to our local Hillhouse Wood.  So this year I was determined to start early enough to catch this when it first happened.  Needless to say, I nearly failed – I had meant to go early last week but my disorganised lifestyle did for that. Continue reading