Eighteen of us, led by Richard, met up at the Bolderwood car park and set off walking through mixed woodland towards the Highland Water. Unlike recent sunny days it was cloudy and rather un-Spring-like, which perhaps limited bird activity this morning. An anticipated Firecrest failed to materialise and a Wood Warbler, recently arrived from wintering in Africa, sang from a grove of Silver Birches beyond a band of conifers, but was only heard, not seen. Likewise both Chiffchaff and Blackcap went down as ‘only heard’.
|Wood Dog Violet|
Further on, where the forest had been cleared a Tree Pipit was song-flighting and Pam heard a Woodlark, which we caught up with later although it was rather distant. The skies seemed empty for apart from a couple of Buzzard sightings, two or three Swallows and the usual Woodpigeons were the only fly-overs.
Along the muddy margins of a wet ditch Bog Beacon (Mitrula paludosa), a small orange globular fungus, grew and nearby in another ditch some of the party saw a couple of newts. Duncan also noted Birch Polypore (Piptoporus betulinus), Willow Bracket (Phellinus igniarius) and Hairy Curtain Crust (Stereum hirsutum). The banks and path verges produced Common Dog (whitish spur) and Wood Dog (purple spur) Violets, Wood Sorrel, Bluebells, Common Milkwort, Tormentil, Heath Speedwell and Field Wood-rush. The latter also being know as Good Friday Grass. A Crab Apple's fresh blossom was also admired. By a foot-bridge over the Highland Water, where we relaxed and enjoyed the biscuit round, Yellow Pimpernel and Round-leaved Water Crowfoot were discovered.