Breckland Micro Botany! 9 April 2021

A carefully-engineered Friday off work for us both so we headed for a full day out down in the Brecks. We are lucky to have this botanical hotspot close to home. I'd arranged to meet John Geeson at Icklingham Triangle so we rendezvoued there and began our hands and knees examination of a particular spot that I had directions to and that John had visited many years ago. And bingo - it didn't take us long to find our quarry - the tiny, and rare Spring Speedwell. These plants are literally no bigger than your finger nail! I was over the moon to get the last of the Brecks speciality speedwells and once we 'got our eyes in' we found at least 20. Early Forget-me-not was almost as small and another tick. We also had Field Mouse-ear, the beginnings of Lucerne near the gate, a flock of c17 Crossbills a handful of Lesser Redpolls and a single Swallow over. 

After a catch up we said goodbye to John and ventured out to Deadman's Grave nearby. A long walk here had it's highlights too as I found loads of Mossy Stonecrop, Field Woodrush, Thale Cress and Shepherds Cress. The last 3 were new to be with the latter being nationally scarce (but plentiful at Icklingham). The White Horehound is also putting up plenty of new leaves but will be in flower later in the summer.

Next up was another decent walk at Cavenham Heath (from Icklingham village) - a Cattle Egret and 2 Little Egrets were in the area around the flash, Stone Curlew and Curlew on the heath and by the river Willow Warbler, Grey Wagtail and Blackcap

We finished at East Wretham where it was very quiet - just Little Grebes on Langmere and single fly-over Fieldfare of note.


                                                                                                                                      Spring Speedwell
                                                                                                                                         Field Mouse-ear
                                                                                                                                                Thale Cress
                                                                                                                                        Shepherd's Cress
                                                                                                                                      Mossy Stonecrop
                                                                                                                                   Common Storksbill
                                                                                                                                  Early Forget-me-not
                                                                                                                                         Field Woodrush
                                                                                                                                 Common Mouse-ear
      

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