Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hedgerow and copse

Up early again on Sunday, but this time a short trip along the local lanes to a small copse of trees I've previously mentioned in this blog. The starlings were nesting in the trees again, but they're quite shy, and a decent picture may well need a hide. A green woodpecker was frequently yaffling away - I suspect a nest, but didn't see one - only saw the 'pecker once, and then briefly as it flitted between trees. A great spotted woodpecker passed through, and a spotted flycatcher was ............... well, spotted. I couldn't locate a badger dung pit this time, but nearby tracks look suspicious, and about 9.30 a.m. a superbly conditioned fox trotted into view from my left - no time to snap it though. Definitely somewhere worth exploring further.

Walking along the hedgerows I got a decent shot of yellow deadnettle - yellow archangel a better name,

and greater celandine. Despite the name the only link with lesser celandine is the flower colour! If you're ever not sure of the identity, break a leaf and orange sap oozes out.

Jack-by-the-hedge (another example of why I love common names) was flowering in several spots. It's also known as garlic mustard, and as this link shows in the States it can be a real pest. Here it is the food plant of orange tip butterflies - male and female below - sadly the sun led to the white burnout on the male.

A peacock was sunning on the road.

And finally some backlit dandelions (with a little tweaking).

Go on, you have to admit these common-as-muck seedheads are one of the best.

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