Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Is that a funny Bird's-foot?

Yesterday in the garden again but I did manage to identify  my first worm, a Brandling Worm but much better was a Sand Martin that flew over, my first for the garden since 2011.
A good day for bird song by the sound of things as a Pied Wagtail sang from the compost heap briefly and a Yellowhammer from the wires at the end of the street.

A rare garden bird here, Pied Wagtail

and becoming rare but still fairly common here - Yellowhammer

Best catch of the year so far in the moth trap for both numbers and species but nothing new for the year.

276. Eisenia fetida (Brandling Worm)
277. Riparia riparia (Sand Martin)

I got a message from Stevie Evans later that he had just had a Tree Pipit on the Fell as well as a report of a Green Woodpecker. There was no chance of getting out then but the next day I was out and about sharpish.

The grid reference I got was inside my square, only just but there was no sign of it. It took about an hour to find it but it was outside the square by a good 200 metres, perching on a Rowan but flitting down and out of sight before appearing the other side. This meant having to walk around the burn to the other side to view. I ended up doing this several times getting some decent but very brief views and no photo. After about 15 minutes of this,  it just disappeared. I then walked back into NZ2549 and continued walking around for bits and bobs but it was rather cold and there was virtually nothing in the way of invertebrates about.  A few Buff-tailed Bumblebees and that was virtually that. I picked up a few flowers including Red Campion in flower and nearby some Bird's-foot-trefoil. In one area there were what I initially took as a yellow flowered plant but on further inspection it appeared that all the leading leaves of thyis plant were a pale lemon colour. I think it must been more Bird's-foot-trefoil and think it may have been covered over and become pale and straggly, though none of the other plants and grasses amongst it seem to be affected. A quick look online hasn't revealed anything so more research needed.

I can only think this is Bird's-foot trefoil, the leaves are identical to normal Lotus corniculatus nearby

278. Silene dioica (Red Campion)
279. Lotus corniculatus (Common Bird's-foot-trefoil)
280. Myosotis sylvatica (Wood Forget-me-not)

I have a good idea where the border of my square is and a patch of birches on a small slope are just inside (I have checked). There perched on top was the Tree Pipit. Again it kept flitting down but twice rose up and song-flight, unfortunately away from me. When it landed the second time I lost it and didn't see it again.
I headed over to Wanister Bog and found the Sphagnum moss I hadn't found last time - Spiky Bog-moss.  It is one of the easy ones to identify but I took a little bit home to confirm it's identity.

Sphagnum squarrosum

 As I headed back 1 Common Carder Bee flashed past and I followed it to some Deadnettles where it fed.

Bombus pascuorum (Common Carder Bee)

281. Anthus trivialis (Tree Pipit)
282. Sphagnum squarrosum (Spiky Bog-moss)
283. Bombus pascuorum (Common Carder Bee)

Three days in March left and another 17 to get to 300 by the end of the month is just about possible I hope


  1. You can do it! Keep an eye on that Red Campion, there's a fungus that covers the anthers in a brownish powder - Campion Anther Smut (Microbotryum violaceum) though it's probably still too early in the season for it to be visible. Good work with the pipit!

  2. Cheers I will, Red Campion is already in flower here and there, both overwintering flowers and some new spring flowers.