February Nature Watch, 2016

Published in Nature Watch

Steve reports from Dol - he feels there should be more to see!

Common brimstone butterfly Common brimstone butterfly Charles J Sharp

Another disappointing month in terms of species numbers. The birds continue to flock to the feeder in waves. Nothing for an hour and then all seem to descend and up to 20 of mainly the three species, Blue Tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch feeding from the ground.

Eurasian sparrowhawk. Photo by Targetman

3rd Feb: Sparrowhawk flew over the garden……….. an obvious sign to look up when the birds around disappear and go quiet.

6th Feb: On the Vrbanj road a flock of 25-30 Hooded Crows. Great Tits were calling far more frequently now.

12th Feb: a huge flock of Chaffinch coming back from Stari Grad towards Dol, I should think in excess of 100. As I was driving I suspect there could have been other species amongst them but as is often the case no suitable place to pull in.

13th Feb: Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and first time of seeing Black Redstart this year (or actual confirmation)

Buzzard. Photo by Aviceda

14th Feb: Weather really quite mild and saw a female Egyptian Grasshopper and several butterflies on the wing. Red Admiral is pretty well all year round but saw some “whites” in flight.

Egyptian grasshopper. Photo by Alvesgaspar

About 19:00 noticed several frogs on the road coming back to Dol, can only presume weather conditions had brought this on, not noticed any since.

17th Feb: Blackbird singing (see video below or click here)

19th Feb: Blackcap singing & saw my first Brimstone butterfly although my friend had seen one several days before but was unsure of the species.

20th Feb: Male Black Redstart in the garden and around some nearby ruins.

21st Feb: My first Painted Lady (Butterfly)

22nd Feb: Cirl Bunting on the road near Stari Grad airfield.

Cirl bunting. Photo by Paco Gomez
Cirl bunting. Photo by Paco Gomez

25th Feb: Opposite Konzum in a tree in Jelsa  - 25-30 birds some singing. Went back to the car to fetch binoculars predominantly Chaffinch which I could identify but amongst them were some Goldfinch and the thing that drew my attention initially were some Serin singing. Before I managed to get a picture they disappeared.

29th Feb: was in Split and saw my first Black Headed Gull in “summer plumage” or at least I am assuming it was a Black Headed Gull and nothing else but no binoculars to confirm. For those of you who don’t know, these birds lose the Black Head in the Winter.

As the weather has been relatively mild I had been expecting more migrant birds coming in towards the latter days of February but nothing that I have seen. I have heard reports of the odd Swallow arriving in February but perhaps the weather has held them back.

In the UK I generally accept the arrival of Spring as the Chiff Chaff return, on or about March 10th. So let’s hope in March there is more to report.

© Steve Jones 2016

Footnote from Steve March 23rd 2016:

Just back from the UK, I heard my first Chiff Chaff here in Dol today, I usually associate that with the first of the migrants in the UK (heard a couple last week over there, would have expected them earlier here but clearly not). Now I am back I will concentrate my efforts in the next two months. I have heard that Swallows have been seen in Dol last week.

it is interesting that one night at a hotel in Dover I counted twice as many species in 10 minutes while walking to get a paper than I have seen here all Winter.

I keep wondering am I missing something or perhaps not going to the right locations, however I will carry on.

Comment from Vivian Grisogono of Eco Hvar:

I am (sadly) of the opinion that all the herbicide spraying is responsible for the lack of birds, not to mention the definite dramatic decline in bats - almost to nothing last year. Ground feeders have no chance when the earth is dowsed in poison, not to mention what happens to the insects and micro-organisms which healthy earth depends on?

Herbicides in the Ager, March 2016 - no chance for birds, insects.... Photo: Izo Gračić

For more of Steve's beautiful nature pictures, see his personal pages: Bird Pictures on Hvar 2017, and Butterflies of Hvar

Media

You are here: Home Nature Watch February Nature Watch, 2016

Eco Environment News feeds

  • Exclusive: major supplier to brands including KFC and Nando’s used offshore companies allowing them to reduce UK tax payments, investigation suggests

    The global megacompanies supplying some of Britain’s most popular meat brands, including KFC, Nando’s chicken and Sainsbury’s organic range, appear to have been using offshore companies that allow them to avoid paying millions of pounds in tax in the UK.

    An investigation by the Guardian and Lighthouse Reports has found that two companies – Anglo Beef Processors UK and Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation (owned by Brazilian beef giant JBS) – appear to have reduced their tax bill by structuring their companies and loans in a way that allows them to take advantage of different tax systems, in what one expert has described as “aggressive tax avoidance”.

    Continue reading...

  • Nature protection rules in proposed investment zones would in effect be suspended

    There was little room for doubt about the reaction to the prime minister’s plans to scrap environmental regulations this weekend. “Make no mistake, we are angry. This government has today launched an attack on nature,” tweeted the RSPB, its most forceful political intervention in recent memory.

    Liz Truss’s proposals to create investment zones, where green rules on nature protection would in effect be suspended, represented a step too far for some of Britain’s biggest environment charities. “As of today, from Cornwall to Cumbria, Norfolk to Nottingham, wildlife is facing one of the greatest threats it’s faced in decades,” the RSPB went on.

    Continue reading...

  • Prominent members of farmers’ union express dismay after comments by Minette Batters

    Farmers are threatening to quit the National Farmers’ Union after its leader said she supported the UK government’s apparent move to scrap post-Brexit nature subsidies.

    This weekend, the Observer revealed that the government was poised to abandon the “Brexit bonus”, which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups have described as an “all-out attack” on the environment.

    Continue reading...

  • Stars of film about 500-mile trek to Scotland for Cop26 hit the road again for Bristol premiere

    There will be no red carpet, no designer outfits and definitely no limousines. In fact, the stars of the film have shunned any sort of mechanical transport and instead walked 135 miles from London to Bristol for the premiere, and are asking their audience to accompany them by foot on their last leg before the screening.

    The film, which is being premiered on the harbourside in Bristol on Tuesday evening, is Of Walking on Thin Ice (Camino to Cop26), which tells the story of a group of climate pilgrims who hiked 500 miles from the south of England to Scotland for last year’s climate conference in Glasgow.

    For more details and tickets visit the Encounters film festival website.

    Continue reading...

  • Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire:It feels like sitting in a crypt – I am surrounded by the skeletons of dried perennials

    I try not to make excuses so I’m just going to tell the truth: everything in my garden is dead. The drought was fierce and I was sick, distracted. I couldn’t bear to look at it but I’m trying to look now.

    It feels like sitting in a crypt. I’ve pulled up a damp chair and I am surrounded by skeletons, the limbs of my perennials dried, bent and snapped. The hydrangea’s flowers have turned to ghostly brown lace too soon, drooping leaves turned almost black like prayer flags. There is copper, rust and blood; piles of viburnum leaves dropped early in fright. The penstemon looks as if it has been set alight then frozen, its orange flames still and hellish. When the rains finally came, too late, the parched snails came out of hiding and ate everything that was left. Talk about overkill.

    Continue reading...

  • Movement aims to make the mass damage and destruction of ecosystems a prosecutable, international crime against peace

    California winemaker Julia Jackson has long grasped the threats posed by the ongoing global climate change crisis, from more intense wildfires and hurricanes to rising sea levels. But for her, those ideas crossed over from the abstract to the tangible when her home was razed by the Kincade wildfire that devastated her native Sonoma county in 2019.

    “I lost everything – all my belongings,” Jackson said. “It shook me to my core.”

    Continue reading...

  • The deaths within days of 11 sturgeon, a species unchanged for thousands of years, have puzzled scientists

    When the first spindly, armour-clad carcass was spotted in the fast-flowing Nechako River in early September, Nikolaus Gantner and two colleagues scrambled out on a jet boat, braving strong currents to investigate the grim discovery.

    Days later, the remains of 10 others were spotted floating along a 100km stretch of the river in western Canada.

    Continue reading...

  • Defra accused of ‘all-out attack’ on environment by wildlife groups

    The government is to scrap the “Brexit bonus” which would have paid farmers and landowners to enhance nature, in what wildlife groups are calling an “all-out attack” on the environment, the Observer can reveal.

    Instead, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) sources disclosed, they are considering paying landowners a yearly set sum for each acre of land they own, which would be similar to the much-maligned EU basic payments scheme of the common agricultural policy.

    Continue reading...

  • Super Typhoon Noru tore its way out of the northern Philippines on Monday, leaving casualties, floods and power outages. Government work and classes at schools have been suspended in the capital and beyond

    Continue reading...

  • David Malpass apologises after saying he ‘doesn’t know’ if he accepts climate science

    David Malpass, president of the World Bank, faces an uncertain future this week, after the White House joined a chorus of influential figures in condemning his apparent climate denialism.

    Malpass remains in post for now but under severe pressure, despite issuing an apology and trying to explain his refusal last week to publicly acknowledge the human role in the climate crisis.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds