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Tales of a Botanical Birder

Posted Tuesday 26th May 2009 at 15:41 by brianfm
Updated Tuesday 26th May 2009 at 19:13 by brianfm
25th May. My Bank Holiday was spent in the sun with friends at Hartburn, Northumberland. I donít know that particular area well so was pleased to spend some time walking through the farmland and through the woodland along the banks of the Hart, with a good lunch and wine on the lawn providing a pleasing interval and enabling me to top up on the sun tan!

I caught sight of Swifts and Lapwing on the journey and on arrival was soon watching Swallows and House Martins flying over the garden and fields. Great Spotted Woodpeckers also visited the garden and amongst the birds on the feeders were a good number of Siskin and Tree Sparrows. Pied Wagtail was also seen. The walk through the farmland towards the wooded banks of the burn brought Common Buzzards, Black Headed Gull, Lesser Back Backed Gull, the song of Skylarks and Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch, Linnet and Yellowhammer. The male of the latter looking stunning in the sunlight. A distant Grey Heron was seen in flight and the usual corvids and pigeons were numerous.

The floor of the long established woodland along he banks of the Hart is rich in flora and there was certainly a profusion of Bluebells Hyacinthoides non-scriptus and Wild Garlic Allium ursinum. Other plants of note included Woodruff Galium odoratum, Wood Sorrel Oxalis acetosella, Primrose Primula vulgaris, Wild Strawberry Fragaria vesca, Bugle Ajuga reptans and Water Avens Geum rivale. The woodland floor was also thick with ferns. We were in a very private area so saw no one else at all. At times it was as if going through a secret garden. At one point I heard a distant Cuckoo calling. There was much song from Wren, Blackbird, Robin and Chaffinch and a couple of Blackcaps. A male Bullfinch was seen high in the trees. I picked up the sound of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and we watched both the male and female visiting the nest hole. My friend found us a (now threatened) White-clawed Crayfish, to the best of my knowledge the first one I had ever seen.

It turned out to be a longish walk through the woods, made longer I suppose by frequent stops to listen for bird song and look at the flora. We later found a pair of Grey Wagtails further along the burn at the point where the ford is. The field nearby held Pignut Comopodium majus

The lake held 2 Little Grebe, Mute Swans, Canada Geese and Coot and is probably much better for waterfowl in winter. A Sedge Warbler sang loudly in the small reed bed.

It proved to be an excellent day which provided a bit of everything including a very nice wild flower meadow, and I hope I can get back there soon.
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Total Comments 2


Peewit's Avatar
Hi Brian

Sorry I have not been on this area of BF, so much between holidays, and moving house at the moment.

What a fabulous trip that you have shared with us here on your blog. Sounds like a place you can go to and it is a 'prviate' place for you to visit anytime.

What is the 'black creature' in picture two, sitting on your hand. Looks very interesting indeed!

Posted Saturday 20th June 2009 at 13:19 by Peewit Peewit is offline
thats the crayfish !
Posted Saturday 20th June 2009 at 19:54 by eddiesmith eddiesmith is offline
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