Nature Notes January 2021

Total monthly rainfall: 149.5 millimetres.  Maximum daily rainfall: 25 millimetres (14th January)

Altogether there were 24 days when measurable rain fell, and 26 days with 100% cloud cover for at least part of the day. All ponds remained full throughout the month and woodland paths were frequently flooded, as were hollows in all the fields. This wet weather led to the development of fungus on many woodland trees.

Maximum temperature on the warmest day was 13°C on January 28th. Maximum temperature on the coldest day was 1°C on the 8th and 10th. There was overnight frost on 10 nights, and ponds and lake were partly or wholly frozen between the 7th and 10th and 24th/25th.


Five wildflower species were carried over from 2020, and some of these were unusual for the time of year. They were groundsel, feverfew, lesser periwinkle, field speedwell, and shepherd’s purse. White and red deadnettle bloomed on the 6th, and we found strong leaf growth on five woodland foxgloves on the 9th. Snowdrops were in flower on the 9th, dandelion on the 24th and common daisy on the 30th.  This completed flowering for January. Altogether there were 10 wildflower species in flower during the month.

No butterflies appeared at all during the month, but we had a little more success with moths. On the 17th we found a very early angle shades moth indoors. It had emerged from a potted geranium plant brought indoors for the winter, where its green caterpillar formed a chrysalis which produced the moth. On the 19th we found two winter moths flying in the wood, and these were the only two we saw during the month. Perhaps this species suffered as a result of last winter’s mass drowning in our ditches and woodland ponds.

Finally, we include a list of the 24 bird species we saw during the month:

1 to 3 at a time: Coal tit, wren dunnock, great-spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, chaffinch, collared dove (1st Jan).  Grey-lag goose (23rd Jan).

4 to 10 at a time: Blue tit, starling, blackbird, magpie, jackdaw, great tit, moorhen long-tailed tit (1st)

Canada goose (7th Jan).

11 or over: Wood pigeon, mallard duck, carrion crow, house sparrow, goldfinch (1st)