Fingered Speedwell, a red data list species on the brink, 25 March 2021

Fingered Speedwell is one of four rare Breckland speedwells (the others being Breckland, Spiked and Spring) and it clings on to a precarious existence on small remnants of it's former range. One of those is a 'managed' verge that is now in the middle of a modern housing estate. It was here I looked yesterday while out on a work visit nearby. I scoured the small area, walking backwards and forwards along the pavement and had no luck at all. Then my eye was caught by some interesting looking plants behind some railings and closer inspection through bins revealed they were indeed Fingered Speedwells. The problem is they were actually in someone's garden and I needed to get closer for some photographs! Never being one to let things like that deter me I stepped over a low rail and on hands and knees began taking a few pics. Then the house owner came out to her car and spotted me! To her credit she asked if I was OK and when I explained what I was doing she was happy for me to continue! He toddler looked on bemused as I clicked away. Having seen Breckland Speedwell here in the past I was very pleased to see this species too, albeit tinged with sadness that probably some of the last plants in the UK are now actually in a garden and so vulnerable. A buzzing (presumed) Lesser Redpoll flew over while I was there. 

With a little time to spare I visited another nearby site and was able to see several wild Grape Hyacinchs and some good patches of Oregon Grape.

On the drive home a roadside casualty caught my eye so I parked and walked back to confirm my suspicions - it was a freshly dead Western Polecat

                                                                                                                                Fingered Speedwell
                                                                                                                               Wild Grape Hyacinth
                                                                                                                                         Oregon Grape

                                                                                                                                 Western Polecat

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