Tuesday 9th May 2017 - Fletcher Moss

Barry had helpfully obtained a booklet with historical and current information about the Fletcher Moss Gardens, providing points of interest to look at. We were also joined by Alan Hill - a key and enthusiastic member of the 'Friends of Fletcher Moss Park and Parsonage Gardens', and he provided more information about the gardens and their development.

Fletcher Moss Gardens
Fletcher Moss - Parsonage Gardens
While the gardens were managed to provide a wonderful display of varied flora and trees, a few species were spotted that may have found their own way there. One such was Fringe Cups, a member of the saxifrage family. A few years ago, this seemed notable when spotted growing in the wild, but it now seems to be spreading quickly - we had seen in quite a few locations recently.
Fringe Cups (Tellima grandiflora)
Fringe Cups (Tellima grandiflora)

Fletcher Moss Gardens
Fletcher Moss - Parsonage Gardens
Something else that seemed to have found its own way here, and is now becoming more common is the Rose-ringed (or Ring-necked) Parakeet. It also brings controversy, particularly as it has been suggested that it may affect the populations of other birds which nest in holes in trees - by taking over such properties. However it is not yet clear how much they affect other species.
Rose-ringed (or Ring-necked) Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
Rose-ringed (or Ring-necked) Parakeet (Psittacula krameri)
In some large lime trees near the entrance to Parsonage Gardens, large clumps of mistletoe can be seen. This is an unusual sight in the Greater Manchester area - we are aware of only about half a dozen sites in the area with mistletoe. Let us know if you find more.
Mistletoe (Viscum album)
Mistletoe (Viscum album)
We spent much time in the 'formal' garden areas, although we were too late to see the fritillaries on full flower. We then took a short walk into the wilder areas of Stenner Woods and Millgate Fields. A Grasshopper Warbler had been reported but we did not manage to see or hear it. A Heron was mobbed by crows. Other plants noted include: Ladies Smock, Green Alkanet, Spring Beauty, Marsh Horsetail, Marsh Marigold, Great Bittercress, Lesser Stitchwort, Wood Stitchwort, Pick-a-back Plant (Tolmiea menziesii - another member of the Saxifrage family), Three-cornered Leek, Pendulous Sedge, White Dead-nettle and Ramsons.

A very pleasant evening, with much of interest, both in the gardens and the wilder woodland.

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