Heath Spotted Orchid© Chris Robinson
On a mild cloudy morning 26 of us entered Norley Inclosure. This very pleasant wood has undergone some selective conifer thinning recently, with many wood stacks consisting mainly of Douglas Fir. As the sun came out Speckled Wood butterflies were fluttering together protecting their territories and a female Beautiful Demoiselle was seen. Along the
track verges Enchanter’s nightshade, Nipplewort and Foxgloves were growing.
Grey-spotted Amanita© Duncan Wright
We turned left at the pound. This area is always wet, and was very muddy due to the recent rain. Here our group split into those prepared to skirt the pound and risk the mud, and those prepared to try and get through the pound, both of which caused some merriment. The path which goes along an old drove is slightly raised at this point with wet areas either side. Here species seen were Marsh Penny-wort, Lesser Spearwort, Pale Persicaria, Marsh Cud-weed, Toad Rush and Marsh St John’s-wort, also a Common Frog, Hornet and Red Admiral were spotted. Walking on a puzzling bird call was heard, and then unexpectedly a Helmeted Guineafowl was found. As the path opened out to the heath, Wood Ants from a nearby nest were trying to move what looked like a dead young Slow Worm. Several times we came across the fungi Grey-spotted Amanita.
Meadow Thistle© Chris Robinson
From the heath we walked down to Crockford stream. Flowers seen were Heath Bedstraw, Tormentil, Heath Speedwell, Saw-wort, Meadow Thistle, Yellow Pimpernel, Bell Heather, Spotted Heath Orchid and Lesser Water Plantain was found in a damp shaded area, also Common Cow-wheat bordering the wood. At the stream we stopped for biscuits and had a chance to identify more flowers. There were both Water and Creeping Forget-me-nots, Marsh and Meadow Thistles, Water-cress, Water Crowfoot sp, Burnet Rose and Bog-myrtle.
Lacewing on Gorse© Glynis Payne
Then retracing our steps we turned right following the edge of the wood overlooking Lower Crockford Bottom and eventually re-entered Norley Inclosure. Here a Green Lacewing was seen and photographed. The different species of some of the Green Lacewings can be difficult to identify, and even from the photograph species identification was not possible. Some members at the rear of our group were lucky enough to see a Common Lizard before returning to the car park.
Not many birds were spotted on this walk, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Robin, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch and Green Woodpecker were seen and Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Jay, Coal Tit, Wren, Nuthatch, Siskin, Song Thrush, and Willow Warbler were heard. Other plants seen were Round-leaved Sundew, Oblong-leaved Sundew, Bog Asphodel, Cross-leaved Heath, Sheep’s Sorrel, Lousewort, a Bog Stitchwort and Hard Fern. The only other fungi was Chanterelle. PP
Common Lizard© Richard Smith