Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Castle Combe Field Trip, 18th March 2012

A group of ten members met at Castle Combe for a four mile circular walk via Long Dean and Nettleton Shrub on Sunday 18th March. We were fortunate to have a partially sunny but dry day for this.
A number of native plants are by mid March either wholly or partially in flower, Primroses, Primula vulgaris and Lesser Celandine, Ranunculus ficaria, being the most commonly observed. On the walk from the carpark to the village we saw flowering examples of Ivy Leaved Speedwell, Veronica hederifolia, Bittercress, Barbarea vulgaris and Red Deadnettle, Lamium purpureum, all situated well on south facing banks. On the rise up the side of the valley away from the village we noticed Common Gorse, Ulex europaeus, in flower too. Below in the river valley Canada Geese & Mute Swans swam on artificial lakes. At Long Dean we watched Great Spotted Woodpecker and Redwing.
On the climb up the hill from Ford we saw a large number of emerging White Violets, Viola alba, underneath the hedgerows and were lucky enough to observe to observe the aerial displays of the common Buzzard, a seasonal mating ritual, where an individual bird circles high in the sky before diving spectacularly toward the earth.
On the return leg, along the By Brook, we found emerging Monkshood, Aconitum napellus, and  Kingcup, Caltha palustris, in full flower.
We saw a number of Buff Tailed Bumblebees and a Woodmouse too.
 The bird count for the full five hours of the walk totalled twenty three species. 

Thank you Chris

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