|Sallow, Salix caprea. Parsons Spinney.|
19 March, 2014
|Catkins of Grey(?) Poplar. Parsons' Spinney,|
near Byfield. 19 March, 2014
The majority of the trees appeared to be healthy but further on I found a number of specimens that had died. They were a loss to the landowner who had doubtless planted them as a long-term cash crop, but wildlife was still utilising it.
|Woodpecker holes in Poplar.|
Parsons Spinney. 19 March, 2014
Woodpeckers had been busy making large holes and, where trees had fallen, I was able to get a closer look at their work.
|Close up of woodpecker hole|
19 March, 2014
The edge of this hole has been worn smooth by adults making hundreds of visits to feed their young.
|Daldinia concentrica on fallen Poplar. Parsons|
Spinney, 19 March, 2014
In death these trees will still support a huge array of wildlife, particularly wood boring insects. Already fungi were at work with some fallen specimens bearing a rash of King Alfred's Cakes, Daldinia concentrica.
High in the healthy trees a rather large rookery was very active, with dozens of birds wheeling around, the air loud with their excited calls.
|Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae at the edge of|
Parsons Spinney 19 March, 2014
I left the dappled shade of the spinney and stepped out into bright sunshine. A Small Tortoiseshell butterfly was on a piece of plant stem, its wings spread as if to catch the warmth. It obligingly allowed me to get a photograph - unlike Brimstones over recent days which have take to the wing as I neared, no matter how stealthy my approach.
So, nothing dramatic today; just a pleasant walk to stretch the legs and get some fresh air. That'll do me.