Sunday, February 06, 2011

Emmington - Oxfordshire

I am always surprised by what you can discover just walking around your local patch; never anything rare but, at anytime of the year, something that sparks your interest and provides enjoyment. Take for example one of my local sites – Emmington. This site is typical lowland framing country in Southern England; a bit of arable land, a diary farm with sheep, hedges and fence lines, plus areas managed for game birds such as the coverts and crop strips, all of those with feeding stations. However, even this site has interest at most times of year as was evident from my walk there today.


The temperature during the walk was a balmy 11°C with 98% cloud and a strong gusty wind from the south west.

The following were of note.


Flora:


Best described as a ‘green shoot’ day! The young green shoots of many plants were breaking through the dead foliage of last year. I was quite excited to see those of one of my favorite plants; Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum).

Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum)

Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum)

Some of the hedge lines and covert edges were enlivened by Hazel (Corylus avellana) catkins just opening; though, they did not appear to be dropping pollen yet. Perhaps this was because I could not find any ♀ flowers displaying their red styles.

Hazel (Corylus avellana)

Close by the village naturalized patches of Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) were in full flower.



Birds:



23 species were seen and/or heard and then recorded on BirdTrack (http://www.bto.org/volunteer-surveys/birdtrack). Naturally, nothing scarce for these parts was observed; however, it was good to see my first 2 Yellowhammers (Emberiza citronella) of the year. Also of note, was a flock of Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris), at least 100, plus a flock of c.50 Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus).

Habitat notes:



I wonder what lives here.


 
I must find out about the fauna and flora that inhabit micro-pools in trees.

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