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Monday, 10 March 2014

The Week when Spring arrived

On February 4th, I paid my first visit of the year to the Tidna Valley just below the Bush Inn in Morwenstow and the last natural home of the Large Blue butterfly.

The woods looked very open without there being much foliage and the stream was full but running clear. My first delight was to see a pair of Grey Wagtails flushed from a swirling pool in the stream running through a deeply cut section.

Many spring flowers were blooming thanks to the open aspect of the leafless trees – Dog's Mercury, Lesser Celandines, Alternate-leaved Saxifrage and a few late Primroses.

Tripe Fungus (Auricularia mesenterica)
Fungi were abundant and highly visible – Turkey tail (Trametes versicolor) ascending dying trees, King Alfred's Cakes (Daldinia concentrica ) on fallen branches and a new one for me on a piece of cut and trimmed sycamore trunk lining the footpath, Tripe Fungus (Auricularia mesenterica)

Out on the cliffs I was treated to a display of two soaring and circling Buzzards and near Hawker's Hut, a swift visit from a Peregrine Falcon. Herring Gulls, Jackdaws, Dunnocks and Magpies were all seen in pairs and at St Morwenna's and St John's Church, the Rookery was busy with 17 rooks repairing their old nests.

Buff-tailed Bumble Bee
Yesterday, the 9th, was glorious with the thermometer showing 15ยบC bringing more evidence of the promise of Spring. Newly opened flowers were apparent, Creeping Buttercup, Greater Stitchwort and Germander Speedwell all represented with a few early blooms. It also brought out a couple of moths, two Buff-tailed Bumble Bees, various flies and the ever-present 7-spot ladybird.

It was tempted to put out my moth trap for the first time overnight but with a negative result. All the moths had stayed in bed.

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