04 February, 2015

Bryophytes need love too!

Living in the centre of Worcester means that I'm only a 10 minute train journey from the rugged and beautiful stretch of wilderness that encompasses the Malvern Hills. A fantastic spot to watch wildlife, with breeding Redstarts and Peregrines in summer, and a host of rare alpine plants and invertebrates to boot.

It's also acted as a great place to catch some fresh air after the stress of various assignment deadline days, and a couple of us enjoyed a nice walk across the hills following a hefty 3000 word dissertation hand in early last week. Owing to their high altitude, the Malvern Hills act like a flashing beacon to migrating birds, and I was hoping to catch up with a small flock of Snow Buntings that had been feeding around the summit for much of December and January. Recent snowy weather would certainly have kept them feeling at home on the exposed hillside, but unsurprisingly it looks as if they may have moved on to warmer climes.

Apart from a hardy Stonechat and a brief flyby from a Peregrine, there wasn't really that much kicking about. I did find a small cluster of Ciliated Fringewort (Ptilidium ciliare) amongst rocky scree; hardly heart-stopping stuff, but look closely and it's hard not to appreciate the intricate detail on such a tiny plant...

What? Oh, c'mon... Bryophytes need love too! 

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