Breckland Speedwell and a long walk, 3 April 2021

Despite the rather frigid temperatures we ventured out to the Brecks yesterday.

Before our walk I wanted to check out the roadside nature reserve where I saw Fingered Speedwell about a week ago. After much searching of what is only a very small area (with Belinda getting more and more bored in the car!) I eventually found one Breckland Speedwell plant growing with c6 Fingered Speedwells. I must have looked past it numerous times before my eyes focussed on it! One of the problems is that the spot is overrun with Field Forget-me-nots so it's like looking for blue flowers in a  mass of blue flowers! During my search I found one more Fingered Speedwell at the other end of the RNR and a patch of Mossy Stonecrop, in itself a nationally scarce species.

Our walk was from Santon Downham to Brandon along the riverbank and then back through the woods to the south of the river. A flock of c50 Common Crossbills was possibly my biggest ever group and both Lesser Redpolls and Siskins were everywhere. A lunch stop near the Brandon end was enjoyed with a Kingfisher flashing past and a pair of Marsh Tits nest building. Further on near the end of the walk the Spring Snowflakes near Santon Downham church were virtually over but I did find a couple of plants with flowers still present. Blushing Bracket and a curious unidentified bracket growing on a Willow were also seen plus Oregon Grape and both Honesty and Garden Grape Hyacinth naturalised in the woods.

A detour on the way home gave me a distant Stone Curlew on Bridgham Heath.

                                                                                                                                Breckland Speedwell
                                                                                                        Breckland and Fingered Speedwells
                                                                                                                                Fingered Speedwell
                                                                                                                                   Mossy Stonecrop
                                                                                                                                 Spring Snowflake
                                                                                                                                   Blushing Bracket
                                                                                                 unidentified Bracket fungus on Willow

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