Thursday, 28 May 2009

Fern count

A count of the Black Spleenwort colony in Front Street found 9 good (or fairly good) clumps this year, also one of Hard Shield Fern. However, both were outshone by the Germander Speedwell growing above. Another species on the Trail that looked a treat was the Bulbous Buttercup at the Dingle, which was an attractive show after our litter-clearing there early in the season! - George

May Serendipity

In May one never knows what one might find along the Sandbach Environment Trail. A bit like the Christian life, I suppose. At St Mary's Wood, several Small White butterflies seemed for some reason to adore the Wild Raspberry there. At the Dingle I was surprised to find two Buff-tailed Bumblebee queens together, one of them excavating a deep hole for no obvious reason in some (I think) Brachythecium moss. At the Park Pond, three spikes of what appeared to be orchids by the water were obviously not but instead a new species for the Trail, pink Bistort. Near Waterworks Farm, looking in vain for ladybirds I found instead a Common Green Shield Bug, another new species. Finally at Post No 10, yet another new find was a Brown-lipped Banded Snail (no, not in a garden!!) - George

Shrill birds!

Starting a walk down the trail, shrill birds were the order of the day. Several Swifts were screaming high over the High Street. below the Post Office, a Goldcrest was singing in a garden by the path. Opposite St Mary's Wood, far more shrill sounds revealed a hugry family of Blue Tits in the tree tops. And then a Wren joined in. Further on, Blackcaps were singing; I counted four, in St Mary's Wood, at the Dingle, by Dingle Lake and (across the bypass between cars) in Filter Bed Wood. - George

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Spring Butterflies

The warm weather until now has been good for butterflies. Orange Tip, Speckled Wood and various Whites have all been seen. There have been no reports of Brimstone yet - watch out for this large palish yellow butterfly, a lovely sight for the observant spotter - George

New flowers

A cheerful walking party on Sunday 26th April had a very pleasant tour of the Trail. Highlights included the discovery of a couple of new plants for the Trail. The attractive Large Bittercress, a far nicer plant than its fast-seeding small garden relatives, was observed flowering by the stream in Brook Bridge Wood. It is known to grow in Offley Wood but this is the first viewable location along the Trail. An odd sighting was an established colony of the garden escape Tuberous Comfrey beside the Park Pond. - George