Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Winter months count preparation

On strike today so had a bit of time to get out on the fell except a), it was raining and b). by the time it stopped the light was fading.  I did manage to have a walk through the woods but the light really was very poor and after being out a short while I realised that most of the birds had gone to roost.
Earlier this the week I was tiding up the empty plant pots that had accumulated in one corner of the garden and out flew from one of them was a  Peacock butterfly, no doubt disturbed from its hibernation.
Back to today, I did find a roving tit flock with Blue, Great, Coal and a single Willow Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 8 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Lesser Redpoll and 2 Bullfinch.  Walking along Waldridge Lane, a Woodcock flew over and a Jay called in the woods. It was nice to see the Highland Cattle back on Wanister Bog, they did a grand job last winter, the bog looked better this summer than for many years.

A few fungi seen today including Birch Polypore, Turkey-tail (variable-coloured) Bracket Fungi, Beefsteak fungi and a couple still to identify.

Beefsteak Fungi

Turkey-tail Fungi

I have been a member of the Wild Flower Society for many years now and one of the things they encourage is the Winter Months Hunt. This is to see how many plants you can see in flower in the months of December, January and February. Being in the bleak north of course you cannot compete with the southern half of the country and even less with those in the Channel Islands. Never the less I usually have a go though with all the snow last year I obviously did not bother. I saw a few still in flower as I walked around today so used the walk as a bit of reconnaissance and will give it a go this winter, starting tomorrow. Wild Angelica was still in flower in South Burn Woods so hopefully will remain in flower for me to count it, probably at the weekend.

Wild Angelica


  1. "Winter Months Hunt" I might give that a whirl, Keith. Could be interesting to see the differences between Durham & South Yorkshire.

  2. Why not Dean, something to pass the dark winter months - I think the rules are simple, wild and at least 1 flower fully open.... Game on

  3. Okay then, Keith. Although i might struggle after today.