Sunday, 26 February 2012

Snow Geese


In this country the Snow Goose is a rare vagrant arriving in the Autumn with Pink Footed and Barnacle Geese. However to further complicate things in addition to the arrivals from the Canadian Tundra there’s also a small feral population normally living in Scotland.

Originally 4 Snow Geese turned up close to Leighton Moss in October 2010. In March they disappeared. In October 2011 3 of them returned. The fact that they’re following a migratory pattern and lack any rings suggests they are wild birds however nobody seems to know for sure.
Whatever their origin they’re certainly attractive birds and as of mid February 2012 they were still at Leighton Moss.
Safety in numbers. Snowgeese with the resident Greylags at Leighton Moss February 2012.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

1st day of Spring

Whilst officially Spring doesn’t begin until mid March over the past couple of weeks its finally started to slowly arrive. In fact after spending a day walking around in the sunshine close to Morecambe Bay we’ve decided that this year Spring arrived on the 19th February. With the temperature forecast to reach the dizzying heights of 15C later on this week it might even be overtaken by summer.

Snowdrops at Gait Barrow NNR
Pollen bearing Hazel catkins at Kenworthy Wood

P1040661The far smaller and almost insignificant female flower of the Hazel again at Kenworthy Wood

P1040714Scarlet Elfcup at Leighton Moss found between the causeway and lower hide on rotting Elder.

There’s also a similar Green Elfcup fungi that can be found in the limestone woodlands around the Silverdale area. Historically due to the green colouration it gave to timber it was highly prized by cabinet makers and other craftsmen. Fortunately the insensitively named Jews ear fungi has been rechristened as Jelly Ear in the more recently published reference books.

Scarlet Elfcups at Leighton Moss.

Jews ear fungi on Elder at Leighton Moss