The Whitley Pump

The view from Katesgrove Hill

Whitley garden wildlife in February

Male chaffinch

What a month of weather February turned out to be! We had two storms, Ciara and Dennis, as well as sleet, mild, warm, cold and windy weather. The average temperature for the month was 11ºC. 22 February was the warmest day at 16ºC and 27 February the coldest at 5ºC. Despite the crazy weather, my Whitley garden was not short of wildlife and there was an unusual level of activity for the time of year.

There was bee and ladybird activity on warm days and, on 8 February, I recorded two hedgehogs on one of my trail cameras. By 15 March (the day I wrote this), I had seen the hedgehogs every night. Although I have found areas they visit regularly, I still haven’t found their permanent living quarters.

I also recorded the pair of foxes each night and I am pretty sure the vixen is pregnant. If she is, then we should expect new cubs in April. As with the hedgehogs, I have yet to find the den they are using. I feel sure the foxes will use one of the many dens they’ve built in the garden during winter. Foxes are known to move about even with young; last year, I saw the vixen move her cubs from under the decking to an old dog kennel in the garden.

I have included a few trail camera images this month which might not be the same quality as usual, but these record activity which might be missed otherwise. The goldcrest is a good example; I had no idea this most beautiful bird visited my garden. The goldcrest is the smallest of UK birds and one of the most colourful. These trail cameras also recorded a wren, female blackcap and a sparrowhawk on bird feeders.

I photographed both a male and female great spotted woodpecker, as well as sparrows, dunnocks, a male chaffinch, a song thrush and long tailed tits during February. There was so much activity in the garden over the month that it was clear the wild weather hadn’t deterred wildlife visitors at all.

Let us hope for improved weather as we move through March, so we can spend more time outside enjoying our respective gardens. I have already recorded a yellow brimstone butterfly, greenfinches and a comma butterfly so far!

Blue tit

Blue tit


Links
  1. David Turner on Twitter and the Whitley Pump
  2. UK meteorological office
  3. Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

1 comment

  1. Richard Bradbury

    24 March 2020 at 1.31 pm

    Hi. Interesting observations. Second day running seeing yellow brimstone and peacock butterflies also bee flies

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