Tag Archives: Private Gardens


Another excellent picture from Nic Cairns; a male Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) enjoying a bird feeder in a garden in St.Ann’s……


This attractive warbler will have overwintered in the British Isles, and visits to bird feeders such as this one will have helped sustain it through periods of cold weather.



Green Woodpecker – video

Sue Marshall recently filmed a Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis) on the lawn near her house in Bramcote….

It’s a nice clip of the impressive bird displaying a very characteristic behaviour – digging in the turf for ants.  Thanks to Sue for sending in the video.


Long-Tailed Tits

Another fine photo from Nic Cairns – this time a great image of some Long-Tailed Tits (Aegithalos caudatus) enjoying a bird-feeder in a garden in St.Ann’s…..


Feeding birds can make a real difference to the success of garden birds in winter, and is a great way to attract birds to your garden.  There are some good sources of advice on feeding HERE and HERE.


Migrant Hawker Dragonfly

Another excellent image from Nic Cairns – this time a female Migrant Hawker Dragonfly (Aeshna mixta)…..

dragonfly lr

Thanks to Nic for the photo, taken in a garden in St. Ann’s.

Leucistic Blackbird

The blackbird (Turdus merula) is one of our best-known and easily recognised garden birds, so it’s interesting to see an unusual example that’s more of a “black-and-whitebird”…

black white bird

This male bird, photographed in a St.Ann’s garden by Nic Cairns, shows the phenomenon known as leucism, a genetic condition where cells are unable to synthesise the melanin pigment which causes normal colouration.  This individual is only partly leucistic, but all-white birds have been seen, and blackbirds with varying degrees of leucistic plumage have been recorded from gardens all over the country.

Great Tit fledglings

Nic Cairns sent in this photo of young Great Tits (Parus major) on a garden bird feeder…..

great tits

Thanks to Nic for this picture, taken in a garden in St.Ann’s.

Adventurous amphibian

Thanks to Nic Cairns for this excellent close-up of a frog, in a garden pot!  The photo was taken in Sherwood.

frog in a pot

Snowdrops coming out…

Another sign that the spring is out there somewhere and getting slowly closer….


This snowdrop was photographed by Nic Cairns in a garden in St.Ann’s.


I’ve been away from the blog for a while, mostly because I’ve been away from Nottingham a lot….but it’s good to be back!

Grasshoppers are redolent of warm summer weather, so it seems appropriate to come back with this excellent close-up by Nic Cairns.  Can anyone identify the species?


Nottingham Spring Crocus

I recently saw a good example of the Spring Crocus, Crocus vernus, in the garden of a house in New Basford :


Crocuses are a familiar sight in parks and gardens at this time of year, but these particular plants have an interesting history.  They were planted as a gift from a neighbour, whose own garden was full of them; they had originally been planted in her garden many decades previously by her son, who rescued them from a meadow near the Trent when it was destroyed for development.

This is a plant of local significance.  Although Crocus vernus is not native to the UK, it is considered an ancient introduction, having been naturalised around Nottingham since the 15th Century.  The plant (native to the Balkans) was introduced in the medieval period for medicinal uses, and was thus associated with monasteries – in Nottingham it is believed to have originated from Lenton Priory.

Its origin in Nottingham may be uncertain, but it certainly prospered here; Trentside meadows used to be well-known for their extensive drifts of the flowers.   Sadly most of these meadow sites have been built on, and the flower occurs on a much reduced scale in the wild here now.  Nottingham Spring Crocus is now the subject of a Species Action Plan by the Notts Biodiversity Action Group.

These plants are a direct link to an intriguing piece of Nottingham’s botanical history; let’s hope the species can start to prosper again and reclaim its important place in the local landscape.