Monday, 12 April 2010

Monday 12th.April 2010

After getting some jobs done this morning , I decided after lunch to do the first full Butterfly transect of the year at High Elms Country Park , not expecting too much with a cool wind blowing . I was glad to have put on a fleece , as it was quite cool on my arrival . After getting some Warbler shots in the sun yesterday , I was brought down to earth with just one bird shot , if you could call it so , of a male Green Woodpecker that I disturbed in the long grass , just off the golf course . It flew to an adjacent tree , then whichever way I moved , he did the opposite , ending up with just a head shot . As often it seems , when I go to High Elms , the sun goes in , and today was no different . No sun and that cool wind meant that I didn't see a single butterfly , if fact hardly anything flying . Blackcap and Chiffchaff singing , Nuthatch , Gt.Spotted Woodpecker and of course the Rose Ringed Parakeets , were the best I could manage , so turned my attention to the flora . Spurge Laurel is a lime lover , and it's nondescript flowers are easily overlooked . Later in the year , the fruit , a black berry will be carried by this member of the Daphne family .
Along High Elms Lane , this is the time to look out for Green Helebores , and once again they did not let me down . Once again , a nondescript flower , but unusual , with leaves like the top of a Palm tree , and surprisingly , a member of the Buttercup family . The colony here seems to be going from strength to strength . Above Burnt Gorse , I searched the boundary of the Park for a colourful fungi that I usually find here . In amongst the leaf litter , I found just two specimens of Scarlet Elf Cup . They were faded specimens , but I hope to post more vibrant specimens when we do the first Dormouse/Adder survey up on the Greensand Ridge , next week .
One of the few insects that I found flying today , was this Solitary Bee , trying to get some sustenance from a Dandelion flower . I also found a couple of Buff-tailed Bumblebees , but nothing like the numbers found in recent days . One of the few plants in flower was the Wild Strawberry , which of course , is a member of the Rose family . I checked on the site of the Bird's Nest Orchids , which should be showing soon , but all I found were the seed heads of last years specimens . On the Orchid Bank , the only species that I found were small rosettes of Common Spotted Orchid , but they are not due to come into flower until the middle of next month , at the earliest . On the bridle path , down the middle of the Golf Course , I found the white version of Sweet Violet . They are usually blue/violet or white , but rarely , pink , lilac and yellow specimens can be found . Finally , down by the clubhouse , the Horse Chestnut is not only in leaf , but the flower stalks are ready to open as well .
Getting back to the car , I was well pleased to have worn the fleece , as the sun hardly showed at all , nothing changes when I go to High Elms .


Warren Baker said...

High elms and pittswood, they both suffer the same lack of sunshine - but only when someone turns up for a survey :-)

I did see some butterflies today though!

Phil said...

Hi Greenie, your woodpecker shot really threw me for a few seconds, I thought you'd posted it upside down or something. Had an hour down NH today but gave up early due to lack of support from our feathered friends!

Anonymous said...

Hi Greenie,

Those white violets are a treat aren't they - we seem to get as many of those as blue/violet type on the IoW.

On the wild strawberry, I found something looking like that and decided it was barren strawberry..I need to find the two growing close by and compare one with t'other..

Anonymous said...

Another variety packed post Greenie. Well done mate.

Greenie said...

Rob ,
Good to hear from you again .
Thought you had packed up .
Know what you mean about the Wild/Barren Strawberries , very little difference till they fruit .