Viv Crump sent in a picture of courting Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula) on a bird feeder at the Wollaton RBRGHA allotments….

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The pleasure at seeing these attractive birds is tempered by the concern that the clearance of the allotments for housing will disturb any attempt they make to nest…..


Frogs in Spring

Thanks to Nic Cairns for this springtime photo….

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Nic took the picture of Common Frogs (Rana temporaria) on the St.Ann’s Allotments.


Bird feeders are a great way to attract birds to a garden, as this image of a male Siskin (Carduelis spinus) shows….

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The Siskin is the smallest finch in Northern Europe, and is often seen in garden bird feeders in winter.  Like all finches, it feeds on seeds.  Thanks to Viv Crump for the photo, taken at RBRGHA allotments in Wollaton.


Mandarin Duck

Another  fine photo from Wollaton Park, courtesy of Nic Cairns.  A male Mandarin Duck, Aix galericulata :

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Like some other ducks I’ve featured, the Mandarin isn’t native; it has been kept in ornamental parks, but has escaped and established itself in the wild.  It definitely seems at home the parkland of Wollaton.

Courting Herons

Here’s a fine picture of a pair of Grey Herons (Ardea cinerea) in courtship mode :


Thanks to Nic Cairns, who took the photo at Wollaton Park.

A Robin sings…

Thanks to Phil Norbury, who sent in a short video clip of a Robin (Erithacus rubecula) singing on his plot on Moorfield allotments in Radford…

The video captures the Robin’s song well – thanks to Phil.

Reed Bunting on allotments….for how much longer?

Vivien Crump sent in a nice picture of a female Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus), taken on the RBRGHA allotment site in Wollaton….

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Unfortunately the controversial development of the site is imminent, and some of the plots are now being cleared.  How much longer will the site provide shelter for the Reed Bunting?


Hazel flowers

Nic Cairns sent in some excellent close-ups of Hazel (Corylus avellana) in flower, taken at St.Ann’s Community Orchard.

Firstly, the male flowers (catkins), not yet fully open …..

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The distinctively-shaped buds and finely hairy twigs that characterise Hazel can be seen in this photo.

Nic also sent in an image of a spectacular (if tiny) female flower…

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Thanks, as ever, to Nic for his contribution.

Wildlife Trust launches roving conservation volunteer team

This was sent in from the Wildlife Trust’s City Local group…..it sounds like a good initiative….



The Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trusts (NWT) Nottingham Urban Wildlife Scheme NUWS) has been working with the City Council Rangers and the NWT City Local Group (CLG) to establish a roving volunteer team to support conservation work on those City Wildlife sites which do not currently have their own Friends Groups.

A Saturday morning in January saw some of us burning off the calories at Whitemoor Nature Reserve.


Led by City Ranger Simon (who is also Vice-Chair of NUWS and a CLG committee member) we cleared scrub and bramble to enable some of the grassland to recover, providing a valuable diversity of habitat.

And we had some fun, exercise and fresh air – all those involved will happily repeat the experience.

We have further sessions planned:

Sunrise Hill – Saturday 20th February 10.00 – 2.00, meet at the entrance on Landcroft Crescent, off Arnold Road in Bestwood.

Sandy Banks – Saturday 12th march  10.00-2.00, meet at the the junction of Edwards Lane/Breckhampton Road/Chippenham Road in Bestwood.

More will follow and if you’d like to join us please contact Simon or myself.


Martin Willis (Chair of NUWS & CLG)




Regular contributor Viv Crump sent in a fine photo of a Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret):


The bird was seen on the Wollaton RBRGHA allotments.  Redpolls have declined in numbers as land-use changes in the countryside have provided less suitable habitat for them, and are now species of high conservation concern.  However,  these attractive finches are becoming more frequently seen in cities, as they are finding gardens valuable feeding habitat.  They are a good example of the importance urban areas can have for biodiversity.  Unfortunately, as the RBRGHA site is threatened by development, the Redpolls stand to lose this piece of valuable habitat.