Walk 19 April 2018 Puttles Bridge

Greater Stitchwort

16 members joined Angela on the hottest day of the year so far and the warmest since 27 August last year. A few days without rain and the Forest had dried out remarkably. We walked through Clumber Inclosure accompanied by a fearless Roebuck, evidently used to people. Overhead a male Goshawk enjoyed the thermals and a Buzzard flew from tree to tree. Woodland flowers included Tutsan, (a native Hypericum whose leaves are said to prevent bookworm if placed between the pages of books), Dog Violet, Primrose, Lesser Celandine, Greater Stitchwort, Wood Spurge, Wood Sorrel and Wood Anemone. Approaching Holm Hill the Birch catkins were dispensing quantities of pollen, to the distress of hay fever sufferers. Willow Warblers were calling among the Goat Willows by the stream and Bog Myrtle grew in the damp area beside the stream. A shoal of Minnows inhabited the stream shallows and Royal Fern Osmunda regalis was an exciting find in a ditch. The Victorians collected this plant almost to extinction in the Forest. Other bog plants seen included Lesser Spearwort, Bog Pondweed Potamogeton polygonifolia, starwort sp, Marsh-marigold, Creeping Willow and Water Crowfoot.
Green Tiger Beetles - mating pair
Out on the heath Common Lizards were taking advantage of the sunshine to warm up and heathland birds, Stonechat, Meadow Pipit and Skylark were noted. Skylarks were probably nesting as the male flew up and sang. A pair of mating Green

Tiger Beetles Cicindela campestris provided coffee break entertainment and, among other insects, we saw Peacock and Brimstone butterflies.

Photographs © Chris Robinson