Field Meeting Report: Cadman's Pool - 19 August

Chaffinches      CR

On this warm but overcast morning 18 members with Pam as leader gathered at the side of Cadman’s Pool.  Feeding on the pool side were a flock of Chaffinches, and a mixed flock of Coal Tits and Blue Tits and on the water were Mallard, a solitary Canada Goose and a couple of juvenile Moorhens. 

Eyebright      CR

From the pool we set off along the concrete remains of the old airfield across the heath towards Holly Hatch Inclosure. Here we found all 3 types of heather consisting mainly of Ling, with some Bell Heather and small patches of Cross-leaved Heath. Along the track sides Cat’s Ear, Lousewort, Eyebright and Milkwort were in flower as well as a small area of Wood Sage.

To the right of the track lies a small boggy pond where we found Marsh St. John’s-wort which was in flower, Marsh Pennywort, Round-leaved Sundew and the erect seed heads of Bog Asphodel. Looking across to the inclosure there was a glimpse of a Green Woodpecker and we heard the distant call of a Buzzard. Further on we had a good view of a male Redstart and a Roe buck with one antler and all around we could hear and occasionally see Stonechats.



Boletus      SS
On entering Holly Hatch inclosure deer fencing provided protection for young Silver Birch, various conifers and offered plenty of undergrowth for wildlife. Chiffchaff, Redstart and Blue Tits were seen.  On the grassy track sides fungi were present, waxcaps, puff balls and bolete (species not identified). Also, Bilberry, Wood Sorrel and Wood Spurge were present. Then following a wet path downhill through the mature woods, we came to a wider track where we saw a single Speckled Wood Butterfly. In the damp areas Hard Ferns with normal and reproductive fronds were growing.

Tubular Water-dropwort    CR

Eventually we came to Holly Hatch cottage and the open lawn where cattle and ponies were grazing. Here there are views across Rakes Drake Bottom and in the distance Sloden Inclosure. Every year House Martins nest under the eaves of this cottage and we were not disappointed as they swooped around and fed their young. 

A Grey Wagtail was spotted on the roof of an outhouse and in and around the stream that runs through the valley, flowers of Tubular Water-dropwort, Lesser Spearwort, and Greater Bird’s- foot-trefoil were seen together with Water Plantain in seed.

Finally, we walked along the inclosure’s edge, with the stream to our left and mature Oak and Beech to our right.  On a large Silver Birch several twisted bundles of twigs matted together were seen. These are known as witches brooms, they can be caused by bacterial, fungal or viral infections of the lateral buds. These bundles do not harm the tree. Then, whilst watching a family of Nuthatches, a female Blackcap was spotted and further on a Wren, Robin, Song Thrush and Blackbird were seen.  

Devilsbit Scabious      CR
Saw-wort      SS

Eventually we returned to the heath again. As we walked uphill, we found the small pink flowers of Lesser Skullcap and further on Devil’s-bit Scabious, before we finally came back to the car park.


Photos:  ©  S Skarstein and C Robinson

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