30 January, 2014

Of Moss and Birds

In between yesterday's rain, I finally managed to fit in a long overdue visit to the local patch, Stokes Field. Unfortunately for my pan-species listing urges, many nooks and crannies that had proved brilliant hiding spots for invertebrates last winter were either completely underwater, or had been washed away.

The birds were slightly easier to catch up with; this Nuthatch being one a showy pair that were busy inspecting oak trees near the entrance.

Half-way around the usual walking route, a familiar sounding flute-like whistle diverted my attention to an distant inconspicuous hedgerow, were an ever-reliable Bullfinch was feeding- and a stunning male at that. I managed recorded this species- in varying numbers- on every visit to Stokes Field last year, and it's great to know that they're still going strong in such a built-up, disturbed setting. Bullfinch has become far from common in some of London's more well-established sites (Staines Moor, Bushy Park etc...), but dare I say they are now pretty much guaranteed at Stokes.

Bullfinches sure know how to make a lighten up a drab hedgerow

I continued on, and had a quick forage around for some mosses before retreating back to the warmth.

Cypress-leaved Plait-moss Hypnum cupressiforme...

Neat Feather-moss Pseudoscleropodium purum...

Rough-stalked Feather-moss Brachythecium rutabulum...

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