Monday, 25 March 2013

Add some mud to the snow and cold

Out and about yesterday in the freezing cold and with snow patches still on the fell. Why do I bother I wonder, especially on days like this?  It's been snowing and / or zero and below all week so I haven't even bothered with the moth trap.
A Kestrel on the fell was my first within the 1km square this year though I must have seen them in every adjacent square already. Onto Wanister bog where I flushed my 2nd new bird of the year, a Common Snipe, together with 2 Woodcock out of the same little patch of willow. The Willows are still not showing any sign of life, certainly no catkins,  so I doubt any moths are out at the moment around here.  A singing Siskin in the woods was nice to see and hear.

Because of the weather there's little new to see in the way of flora at the moment, though I did identify Wood Anemone in Felledge Wood but very little else. It's very wet (aka muddy) in there and I lost one of my wellies on two occasions as I sunk into the black oozy stuff. So like last week I was back looking at mosses and lifting stones and logs. A Chestnut Worm I uncovered was new for me, and, new for the square this year was Nodding Thread-moss (Pohlia nutans) and Grey Field Slug.

Hardly exciting but at least the list moved on, albeit slowly, to 185.

I walked along Beany lane (a different 1km square), which on the western side was quite sheltered and lacked any snow. The difference between the fields here  and on the fell is very noticeable and the birds have taken advantage of it. In one of the fields there were 59 Jackdaw (as usual, nearly all in twos, paired up), 79 Wood Pigeon, 42 Black-headed Gull, 2 Common Gull, 2 Herring Gull, 5 Redwing, 30 Meadow Pipit and 3 Skylark. The latter two species probably waiting for the weather so they came move back to their breeding areas.

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