Springhill and Goat

Weirwood reservoir from Springhill

Weirwood reservoir from Springhill

Our third walk (1 June 2014) took us to Springhill and into the woods at the bottom end of Goat in some glorious sunshine. It was a nice big group and we saw a good range of species. The sandstone outcrop at Springhill was home to lots of sheep’s sorrel, as well as the moss Atrichum undulatum. From that vantage point we also had a good view of the Buzzard and Sparrowhawk over the reservoir.

Picture of Atrichum undulatum

Then, heading across the fields was a good opportunity to look at the common grasses: Yorkshire Fog; Soft Brome; Sweet Vernal Grass; Crested Dog’s Tail and False Oat Grass, as well as stopping at some lichen-covered oaks to see the common species, such as the green Flavoparmelia caperata, the bushy Evernia prunastri, plus Melanelixia subaurifera, and the common Parmelia sulcata, as well as a host of others; we could easily spend a whole walk just looking at lichens.

Marsh thistle (Cirsium palustre)

Marsh thistle (Cirsium palustre)

Once we got to the lakes at TQ402337 we sniffed the Hedge woundwort and noted the Hemlock water-dropwort at the water’s edge, and started looking at the range of Odonata over the lake. A small group then stayed behind with Tom Forward to look more closely at the dragonflies as the sun came out, and they found the Azure Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Four-Spotted Chaser, Large Red Damselfly, Broad Bodied Chaser, Downy Emerald, and the Blue-Tailed Damselfly, which was a good result.

We disturbed a few moths as well, including the Straw Dot in the grass, and then headed into the woods, crossing the Forest pale, where we found Green-ribbed sedge, a common heathland species, and even some Ivy in fruit (though still green).

Picture of Straw Dot

Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis)

Heading down to the stream we stopped to look at the small yellow Tormentil, as well as some of our common ferns, plus the slightly more unusual Lemon-scented fern. Then, walking up towards Fernhill was some Common Cow-wheat, and I enjoyed showing the small liverworts Calypogeia arguta, and Microlejeunea ulicina (Fairy beads), since these small plants have such lovely detail when viewed with a hand lens.

Then, back at Springhill in the garden we had a great opportunity to see a lovely range of birds, including Swallows, House martins, Greater spotted woodpecker and a Whitethroat, while at the same time enjoying tea and cake.

You can also download the list of species [Excel] from the day.

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