Friday, 16 April 2010

An Upland Wood

I took a drive this afternoon, following the route of last September's Sunday Drive.

It started well: a buzzard was being mobbed by a Kestrel above Hopefoot and just before High Carrick farm, a stoat ran across my path and under the road-side bushes. Later, in sight of the ruins of High Shaw bastle, I spent a gentle two hours walking in a small mixed wood I've not visited before. Here I heard my first Willow Warbler of the year, watched six Redpolls feeding in a dense thicket, noted a number of Peacock butterflies and watched bees feeding on Pussy Willow catkins.

Pussy Willow (Salix caprea)

A female Bombus lucorum feeding on the female pussy willow catkins

I am grateful to both Harold Dobson and Phil Gates for making suggestions as to the identity of the following catkins. Harold thought they were Alder (Alnus glutinosa) and Phil suggested Hazel (Corylus avellana)(see Phil's comment below)

On a nearby tree I found this common lichen, Yellow Scales (Xanthoria parietina) ...

... and on the upstanding roots of a wind-blown pine, this moss which I think is Ceratodon purpureus

Of the birds seen, this male Chaffinch was the most obliging ...

6 comments:

holdingmoments said...

Beautiful pictures from your walk Emma. Love the bee and the lichen and the handsome Chaffinch.
Can't help with the catkin ID though.

Roy said...

Love the Bee shot Emma, absolutely brilliant.

kirstallcreatures said...

Lovely catkin pics Emma, Ive been taking a few pics of catkins this week and have struggled with ID's myself. I bet Phil Gates, Cabinet of Curiosities will be able to help. Linda

Phil said...

Hi Emma, I think the catkins might be frosted hazel catkins - the buds certainly look like hazel, birch buds are more pointed at that stage. Lovely pictures of the bee on the willow - those are female catkins, which produce nectar like the male ones.

Beyond The Garden said...

As a fellow wanderer I so happy to have stumbled upon your blog. It is nice to see nature photos of such a different habitat from my own "neighborhood." Thanks for the photos. http://beyondmygarden.blogspot.com/

irishwildlifephotography said...

Hi Emma, lovely blog - poetic with great photos. I love the bumblebee shot.