A look at the flowers and insects of the Daventry area
Thursday, 25 January 2018
I never seem to learn! Once again I was lured out by brilliant sunshine, only to find that it was a distinctly cold day, made chillier by a brisk wind. Almost inevitably I visited Matt Moser's land but this time heading for Newnham windmill. It sits atop a steep hill and despite the cold I was puffing and blowing by the time I got there. A look across the land to the west made it clear what a task lies ahead of me. If I've got four active years ahead of me I'll only have scratched the surface.
Looking west across Matt Moser's land. 25 January, 2018
On my approach I passed a dead Sorbus species. The only Sorbus native to Northants is the Wild Service tree, Sorbus terminalis, a species largely confined to limestone areas and therefore unlikely to be found in the Daventry area. This skeleton of a tree was unidentifiable to species but had clearly been planted for amenity anyway.
Turkey-tail gets to work on a dead Sorbus tree. 25 January, 2018
It was already displaying fungal attack, rather predictably by Turkey-tail, Trametes versicolor.
Clinging to the side of the hill, slightly below the windmill, is a woodland, edged with a line of Scots Pine, Pinussylvestris. The woodland is probably planted but the Scots Pine is native of course (although not in Northants), one of Britain's only two native evergreen trees - the other being holly (I did not include box, but since writing this blog I have found evidence that it too may be native.). Much of the deciduous woodland seems to consist of sycamore and there is oak too, but I'll wait for the foliage to develop before establishing just what trees are present.
Pines form a border to a wooded area adjacent to Newnham Windmill.
25 January, 2018
I spent most of the morning rummaging through the leaf litter and ending up with a decent haul of invertebrates, some 75% of which were spiders. Many thousands of snowdrops were present, but although some were in flower others were perhaps 2-3 weeks behind, suggesting that more than one strain is present. They will, of course, also have been planted.
An exercise in futility? Snowdrop flowers await a passing bee.
25 January, 2018
In the event I recorded six more species: one earwig, a couple of true bugs and three spiders, including the tiny Diplocephalus permixtus - not by any means a rarity but I haven't taken a specimen for some years.