Thursday 10th April 2014 - Weaver Valley

Moschatel (Adoxa moschatelina)
 A visit to the Weaver valley provided much interest. Flowers in and near Bird's Wood included Lesser Celandine and Wood Anemone (nearly finished), Golden Saxifrage (Opposite Leaved), Wood Sorrel, Marsh Marigold, Red Dead-nettle and the first few Red Campion and Bluebells, with many more to come. Of special interest was the very small, attractive Moschatel or Town Hall Clock. Given they are usually quite difficult to spot, they seemed remarkably visible, indicating how many there were.

Moschatel gall: Puccinea albescens

 For such a small plant, it seems almost unfair that it can be affected by a gall - in this case caused by the fungus Puccinea albescens.

Numerous Common Fumitory were seen on roadsides en route to the river, along with Common Chickweed, Greater Stitchwort and Wavy Bittercress. Blackthorn was widespread and well in flower. Wild Garlic and Dog's Mercury were just starting to flower in a woodland bank.

Cherry stone hoard
Along side the river, a local resident pointed out a gap in a wall which contained hundreds of cherry stones (underneath a cherry tree). Most of the stones had holes, with teeth marks clearly visible at least on some of them. Seems likely that a Wood Mouse (or probably many of them) is the culprit. Whether they had been stored intentionally for later use, or just left after eating in a 'safe place' is not clear to me.

Cherry stones, with teeth marks

Other flowers seen by the river were Ladies Smock, Gorse, Dandelion and Daisy.

Birds included: Great and Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Pheasant, Lapwing, Buzzard, Coot, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Shelduck, Canada Goose.

 Mike Pettipher

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