Weekend wanderings and botanical ticks, 27 & 28 February 2021

We are very fortunate to live where we do and one of our favourite local places for a walk is the Waveney Valley. The section near Mendham is one we do regularly and it was gorgeous in the sun on Saturday. We had already had a female Bullfinch in the garden feeding on fruit buds before we left and not far into the walk a Chiffchaff started singing from the woodland on Target Hill. By far my earliest singer and on a day when many were reported it has to be an early migrant rather than a wintering bird. In the wood further along towards Homersfield we stopped to pick a few Wild Garlic leaves (later made into a delicious wild garlic and rocket pesto) and I was delighted to find a new plant for my list - Spurge Laurel. Returning via the lane I was then even more surprised to find a singing Tree Sparrow that was in a hedge running away from the road! Other birds on the walk included Treecreeper, 2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Green Woodpecker, Stock Dove, 2 Little Egrets and 3 Common Buzzards. It was also intereting to find the miniscule female flowers of Common Hazel amongst the very much more obvious male catkins.

Another walk at St Cross gave us a few Fieldfares and my 4th butterfly species before the end of February in the form of a Comma.

                                                                                                                      Spurge Laurel
                                                                                                           Common Hazel, male catkins
                                                                                                            Common Hazel, female flowers


On Sunday I did a little homework on snowdrops and their id before heading out for our daily walk. And it paid off as I managed to find and photograph both Greater Snowdrop and Green Snowdrop amongst many Common Snowdrops


                                                                                                                                  Green Snowdrops

                                                                                                                                Greater Snowdrops


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