Saturday, 8 May 2010

Flower Power!

River Blyth

River Blyth

Wood Anemone Anemone nemorosa

Common Dog Violet Viola riviniana
Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scriptus

Water Avens Geum rivale
Bluebell Wood
8th May. I hate to say this, but I do remember when flower power was cool man, cool! It was certainly cool again today, in fact it was very cold at times. Anyway, I feel it is a while since I gave attention to my botanical side so today proved to be a recent exception.

Starting out at Prestwick Carr I did find that a walk I had planned there in January is a non starter as there seems to be no where to park cars even in Prestwick Village, so I’m having a re-think on that one. No parking spaces and not much in the way of birds today apart from Swifts, Swallows and numerous Willow Warblers. The red flags cut the walk short, although it didn’t seem to prevent others. I value my head however. We set off sooner than expected for Plessey Woods.

Many years since I went to Plessey Woods. I remember at school it was the favourite area for ‘conker’ collection. That game of violence, brute force and daring seems to have been hit by health and safety rules in some schools. I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. Let’s get the inconsiderate dog walker out of the way first. Now that’s a good idea, getting them out of the way, that is! The River Blyth seems to be used as a dog bath. I suppose when their pillock owners allow them to jump all over you they have at least been washed first. Sadly the area seems to be another ‘person’ walkers paradise. Someone should really get some control over this lot as it spoils, what is a really pleasant area. I did manage to see some birds despite the best efforts of this minority group. I hasten to add I do have good friends who are dog owners, or at least I did have before they read my blog!

Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff and Blackcaps were numerous. The later I found singing in several territories. Birds of the day were really good sightings of Jays, of which there were several. Early on the walk Dipper was found and a Grey Wagtail was spotted flying up River. I never did find it on likely spots along the river and suspect the constant string of dogs in and out of the river had something to do with that. More Swifts and Swallows were found along with House Martins.

It was the flowers which took the eye today with patches of Bluebells (the real thing not the uglier Spanish Bluebells) coming into flower and the woods being awash with Wood Anemone and Wild Garlic, the latter just beginning to come into flower in places. A nice flower, shame about its scent. Some people tell me they like it. Other flowers of note were Primrose, Common Dog Violet, Ground Ivy, Woodruff, Wood Sorrel, Wood Forget-me-not and Water Avens. I informed a friend that the leaf of the Wood Sorrel tastes of apple and can be eaten. Holywell Birding told me that and had me chewing some last year. So if anyone drops down with poisoning tonight I shall send the court summons your way Cain! :-) We could always blame the dogs!
So a very pleasant walk was had today with some wonderful views up the river. I finished the walk with a mug of hot chocolate, and warm.


  1. I dislike dog walkers as well, they get in the way of me walking my dogs :P. Plessey can be a nice spot when its quiet, looks like you had a good flower power day, I wonder whats out at Holywell. I'd recommend everyone to try Wood Sorrel, although don't eat to much or the oxalic acid will stop your action potentials, and therefore muscle movement, but it tastes good haha.

    Just finished doing the Uni's tetrad Brian, had 40 species, including 2 Garden Warbler, 11 Willow Warbler, 8 Blackcap, 7 Yellowhammer and 12 Stock Dove!

    Found a few Woodpigeons on eggs, Yellowhammer on 4 eggs, Chafifnch on 2 and a Common Buzzard nest. :)

  2. Ha I don't dislike them all Cain.;-)

    Should be a good bit of botanical interest in Holywell now. Blimey I had better go careful on 'me' Wood Sorrel then!
    A good list on your tetrad. I've noticed loads of Blackcaps about this Spring, but have less luck with Garden Warbler, although I saw one reported at Holywell so will be looking out for it. Cheers. Brian.