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.
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.
|Tubular Water-dropwort CR|
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.
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