Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Little Star

Yellow Star of Bethleham (Gagea lutea) Scotch Gyll Woods

Wood Sorrel... Scotch Gyll Woods

Comma...Plessey Woods

There may be a Black Headed Wagatail at Cresswell pond today but yesterday I found a nice rare flower. Yellow star of Bethlehem has been a target species for me for some time but Swan mentions the best sites along the Pegwhistle burn and River Blyth at Plessey woods. I was here on Friday but it was a needle in a haystack jobby. However, I only learned last year that it can be found here in Morpeth along the Scotch Gyll woods. It is associated with Butterbur so as there is only one significant patch of Butterbur growing here my chances should have been better. It can be a difficult plant to look for as it can grow on gravelly islands in rivers so can be transient and it doesn't always flower in some years. It didn't take me long to find a good clump of flowers with at least 15 flowering stems growing among the Butterbur which on the 31st of March was under a metre of water when the Wansbeck bursts her banks.

There was no sign of the Black headed Wagtail this afternoon at Cresswell but there were 5 Yellow Wagtails, a White Wagtail and a Whimbrel here but it was absolutely freezing. I called in at Pegswood moor and saw 1 Brown Hare, 2 Gadwall, 2 Mallard, 2 Tufted duck, 2 Oystercatchers, 2 Coot, 2 Swallow and 1 Snipe and lesser black backed Gull. Some nice Cowslips out here. The pic of the Comma was taken by my 11year old daughter who likes to stalk butterflies.


Phil said...

I've been keeping an eye open for yellow star of Bethlehem in Durham but no luck so far this year, but it's easy to overlook amongst celandines.Lovely little plant though...

Anonymous said...

Good find Nigel.
I can`t even find Wood Sorrel.

Birding about Northumberland said...

My Hubby and I were at Scotch Gill woods yesterday and saw the Wood Sorrel, Just didn't know what it was called, cracking little flower though