Rutland Natural History Society member Phil Rudkin will lead this walk.
A Garden Warbler was singing just inside the gate as 19 members of the society assembled at Burley Wood for a walk under Phil Rudkin’s leadership. We could hear it clearly despite the noise of the traffic and eventually it was spotted. We had a leisurely walk, turning first westwards and then climbing the hill towards the top and the site of the Raven’s nest of previous years. There were lots of bird song, though it proved more difficult to see the singers through the leaves. There were plenty of Garden Warblers and Blackcaps, giving us a chance to distinguish the songs of the two, but whether what we learnt sticks is another matter. Martin Grimes managed to catch a ‘hopper’ which Phil identified as a Slender Groundhopper. There are colonies of this and of the Common Groundhopper in the wood.
There were a number of flowers, Greater Stitchwort, Ground Ivy, several stands of Bugle and as we began to climb the hill, the Bluebells which made a beautiful display as the sun came out. One of the treasures of the British countryside. We made a special turn to see the rare lichen, Graphis Scripta, which was discovered about 10 years ago, and is the reason for that part of the wood being a designated SSSI. Near there Roy Lemmon found several specimens of a yellow-orange fungus which lives on Dog’s Mercury, Melempsora populina which is also where is is an important pest on populars. He also found a fungus of Meadowsweet,Triphraymium ulmaria.
As we came back downhill towards the entrance the sun had brought out a number of different species of butterfly including male and female Orange tip. The annoying thing about butterflies is that as soon as they realise that you are interested in them they fly away. If they were more narcissistic they’d stay to be admired. Our last find were two snails, just by the gate, Cepaea nemoralis, a yellowish snail with brown line in the spiral and a smaller whitish Kentish snail Monacha cantiana.
A very interesting morning walk and a great introduction to the summer outings.
Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff, Buzzard, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Cuckoo, Wren, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Pheasant, Blue Tit, Goldcrest, Tree Creeper, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Robin, Great Spotted Woodpecker
Orange tip male and female, Comma, Peacock, Brimstone
Greater Stitchwort, Ground Ivy, Red Campion, Forget-me-not, Common Hawthorn, Marsh Thistle, Cow Parsley, Dandelion, White Dead-nettle, Eyebright, Bugle, Barren Strawberry, Bluebell, Common Dog Violet,
Water Aven hybrid, Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Daisy, Yellow Archangel, Dog’s Mercury, Primrose, Rhododendron, Lesser Celandine, Germander Speedwell
Above report by John Rodgers
Click below to read Phil Rudkin’s report on this meeting.