Archive for July, 2022

Juvenile great spotted woodpecker [Dendrocopos major] in the garden, its beak messy with fat from the feeder

I thought our great spotted woodpeckers had failed to breed this year as for a long time all I saw was a solitary male. But a couple of weeks ago this young one appeared – although the top of its head is now fading from bright orange to red. The adult female has no red on its head and the adult male a red patch on the nape.

The other young birds are also growing up now…

Young blackbird [Turdus merula] on the bird bath

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Fresh green fruit on the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park


We are in the middle of a mini heatwave here in Cardiff – although it is even hotter around London and the South East of the UK, where temperatures may get near to 40C over the weekend, according to the forecasts.

It was slightly overcast but still muggy when I visited Victoria Park to check up on the tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) yesterday.

This time the main feature was an abundance of new fruits. It was when I looked these up on Wikipedia that I realised I had not properly described the flowers on my previous visit. So here goes…

According to Wikipedia the flowers are 3–10 cm in diameter and have nine tepals — three green outer sepals and six inner petals which are yellow-green with an orange flare at the base. Flowers of L. tulipifera have a faint cucumber odour [clearly I did not get close enough to notice this].

The stamens and pistils are arranged spirally around a central spike or gynaecium. The stamens fall off, and the pistils become the samaras. The fruit is a cone-like aggregate of samaras 4–9 cm long, each of which has a roughly tetrahedral seed with one edge attached to the central conical spike and the other edge attached to the wing.

Here are my latest pictures… (more…)

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Tiny trees – I planted some tangerine pips/pits in the winter when they were in season in the local fruit shop and they have germinated beautifully on my study window ledge…


Well, here we are for the July tree-following get-together. Welcome to our regular tree enthusiasts – and I hope more newcomers will also consider joining us.

After a spell of lovely sunshine in early June we have had several weeks of cooler and showery weather here in South Wales, although the sun seems to have its hat on again now.

Hopefully I can get out of the house at some time in the next week to make my monthly visit to the tall tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Cardiff’s Victoria Park.

I wonder what all you regular tree followers are up to? I’m sure you will have something new to report. Point to any tree-related post you would like to share, using the link box below. And please don’t forget to leave a comment.

The link box is now open for contributions and will stay open until 7pm GMT on July 14.

If you are new to tree following, read all about the idea here, although I must update that page when I have the chance!

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