|Another Pale Tussock|
Apart from that it and the Jays in the wood being particularly conspicuous, the birds were mainly the usual common warblers singing, though there appeared to be a slight movement of Common Swift passing through. There were quite a few butterflies on the wing despite the strong breeze with still good numbers of Orange-tips (including some still mating), Peacocks, and Walls with smaller numbers of Large White and Small Tortoiseshell and my first Common Blue of the year.
|My first Common Blue of the year|
Also flitting about, though disturbed by our walking through the grass were several Silver-ground Carpet moths, a year tick. I added both White Campion and the Pink Campion (the hybrid with Red Campion) to the year list. I had a six figure grid reference for the Poplar given to me by the county recorder earlier this week and to be honest I had virtually given up. Then there it was, the native Black Poplar (Populus nigra betulifolia) I must have walked past it well over half a dozen times in the past. I had not misidentified it but completed ignored it, but there it was. A very old tree though they can live to 250 years old. It's bark a grey-brown, with lots of burrs, fissures and knobbly bits, the lower branches arching down, upper branches and twigs sweeping up and the faint balm smell. This is the rarest native tree in the UK with the current British population being around 7,000 and are 95% elderly. Because they are so scattered, natural reproduction is rare.
|Black Poplar bark|