Tag Archives: Oak

165 Bluebell cropped

The Track a Tree phenology project continues for a third year in Hillhouse wood

As keen readers of this blog, and my Mum, will know, for the last two years I have done field work for this project.  This involves visiting some specific trees (four in my case) more or less weekly throughout the spring to record data about what is happening.  ‘Happening’ stuff involves the stage of bud burst and leaf break, and the numbers of specific species of flower that are showing underneath the tree.  By capturing this data at different sites in the UK, the project enables differences in the timing of ‘Spring’ to be rigorously identified across the country and between years.  It ran for two years to support a PhD project at the University of Edinburgh, and I’ve been glad to hear that it is continuing for a third year, at least, even though Christine has gained her qualification. Continue reading

Leading the 2017 Winter Birds walk in Hillhouse Wood – and meeting a real life ‘Wood Monster’

Over the years this particular walk has been one of the more variable in terms of the numbers who turn up – spending a few hours watching birds in a biting wind on a cold winter’s day is not always the most inviting prospect.  So I was glad to see that the forecast for this year’s walk was for relatively balmy spring-like weather.  My optimistic view was reinforced by the amount of noisily busy bird behaviour we had observed on the previous day’s work party.

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The TrackaTree phenology project is up and running again in Hillhouse Wood

So – the wind has veered to the north, wintery squalls are scudding across the sky, and thus the obvious thing to do is a Trackatree field visit to see how Spring is getting on.  And I can report, with no little excitement, that things are stirring in the TrackaTree parts of Hillhouse Wood.  Continue reading

Track a Tree visits to Hillhouse wood in April (so far)

It’s been a slightly off month so far, phenology wise.  The weatherfolk tell us that this Spring has been relatively sunny, dry and warm.  I don’t doubt them and their instruments, but feel that this doesn’t tell the whole story – which also needs to encompass ‘cold nights’.  Continue reading

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

The 2014 berry and nut harvest on my local patch

Over the last couple of years I’ve been leading a walk around our local wood to show people the various fruits that our plants, shrubs and trees produce.  Coupled with participation in the now defunct BTO Winter Thrushes survey, this has brought home to me how this ‘harvest’ can vary from year to year.

So how’s 2014 looking?  Continue reading

Track a Tree Visit 7 – What happened to BBC catering standards?

Well, this visit was different.  In truth, it wasn’t really a Track a Tree trip at all, but I was there and so thought I’d take some readings.  It was the reason for being there that was the different bit: I was in the company of minor celebrity! Apparently. Continue reading

Track a Tree Visit 6 – I wonder if I’ve chosen a dead Ash tree?

Having spent the last two days and today working solidly on testing the Android version of the app, I badly needed an excuse to get out.  And as it had been five days since the last visit, I decided it was time for some more data.  It was immediately clear that the Bluebells had been busy since the last visit, and a pleasing number of orchid spikes were also visible. Continue reading

Track a Tree Visit 5 – Long Range Weather Forecast

Only three days since my last visit – but it’s a lovely warm sunny day and I feel like a walk.  And it’s much better to say ‘I must go and do some Track a tree survey fieldwork (for the good of the country, you know)’ rather than ‘I’m bored, anyone fancy a walk?’.  After all, the more data points the more useful the database! Continue reading