After my previous blog on the benefits of Ivy, I started to look at other plants on my local patch and how they supported the mammals, birds and insects.

The first plant that caught my eye is the Hawthorn tree (Crataegus monogyna). The Hawthorn is a native tree that can grow up to 15m tall. On my local patch there is plenty of Hawthorn, either single trees or hedges.

Hawthorn can support and feed hundreds of insects. Its flowers provide pollen and nectar for insects and bees, and food for Dormice. Its berries feed various birds such as Redwings and Yellowhammers as well as small mammals.

The insects that feed on the Hawthorn then in turn feed larger insects or birds.

The Hawthorn tree is used by many birds for shelter, nesting and roosts.

I stood and studied one Hawthorn bush for around an hour. It was the same one that a Great Grey Shrike sat on last year.

During the time I watched, many small birds were hopping around within the branches picking off insects. Other birds who were feeding in the field would quickly fly back to the hawthorn for cover at the slightest sound.

On closer inspection each branch was coated in lichen and connected by thin strands of spiders webs. Tiny midges and hoverflies dotted in and around the leaves.

Underneath the Hawthorn lay patches of flatten earth where deers had rested and badgers latrines full of seed filled poo lay close to the trunk. Just off to the side a Giant Puffball looked like a discarded football.

Overhead a Red Kite battled with a Rook and H3, my local Buzzard, that I have been following since 2013, soared around on the thermals with two other Buzzards. A flock of geese past over, struggling to keep in formation.

Yellowhammer in the rain

Yellowhammer in the rain

Long tailed tit

Long tailed tit picking insects



Female Reed bunting



Hoverfly and lichen


Badger latrine


Giant Puffball


H3, my local buzzard


Rook from nearby rookery chasing off a Red Kite


On the walk back home I spotted some fascinating fungi growing on a tree


About Alex White - Appletonwild

This is my diary of the wildlife where I live in Oxfordshire, and sometimes the places I visit. My passion is for British wildlife, especially Badgers and Hares. This year my debut book "Get Your Boots On" was published I am a keen amateur photographer. All the photographs on this blog are taken by myself unless stated otherwise. I am a member of A Focus on Nature, the network for Young Nature Conservationists, BBOWT, The Oxon Mammal group and The Oxfordshire Badger Group. You can also follow me on Twitter @Appletonwild Instagram appletonwild
This entry was posted in Badgers, birds, insects, mammals, nature, outdoors, Oxfordshire, Rural life, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wildlife photography and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Hawthorn

  1. David Stimpson says:

    Hi Alex nice pictures I like the fungi ones

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is another beautiful post, and so well-written. The paragraph, “Overhead … struggling to keep in formation,” is simply an excellent example of nature writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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