Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Saturday, 23 April 2016

False Oxlip

Primula x polyantha

I have featured this plant 2 years ago on the blog but it is in flower again at Postern Burn woods. Both Cowslip and Primrose are found in the woods so it is no surprise this plant turns up now and again. There is plenty of colour and variety of plants in flower at the moment and Toothwort (Lathraea squamaria) is turning up in many areas of the woods around Morpeth with additional new sightings on the roadside at High House Lane and in Borough Woods near the bypass. 

Saturday, 16 April 2016

Slime Flux

I noticed this Slime Flux growing on a Sycamore at Carlisle Park Morpeth. I first noticed this on a Horse Chestnut at Ulgham in April 2011. There were no lasting affects on the tree. This strange sighting is caused by the sap fermenting though a mixture of bacteria and fungi. This was only identified at Kew in 2006 and reported in Field Mycology the same year.  

Friday, 8 April 2016

Summer Snowflake

Leucojum aestivum 

I came across this nice plant growing on the roadside at the edge of Widdrington between the station and Ulgham Grange. It looks well established here if it survives the vigorous roadside mowing. A nice addition to the growing plant list in the former coalfield area. No doubt a garden cast off but an attractive flowering plant all the same. Where it grows as a native in Britain it is known as the Loddon Lily. There are a couple of Northumberland records North of Wooler and South of Berwick according to the BSBI distribution maps so this may be a first for the vice county of 67. 
Back at Morpeth a Blackcap was singing in the Postern woods this morning and this evening I had my best views of Otter on the Wansbeck with 2 below Lowford. It was obviously him and her by the size difference having a good dive and swim in the deeper parts and climbing out of the river where they sat opposite facing the water on a sandy bank under some tree roots for a while before jumping back in the river again.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Spring Flowers

Plenty of spring flowers around now but not very springlike weather. The Yellow Star of Bethlehem at Scotch Gyll woods is at its best just now and with 32 flowering plants, this is the most I have seen. Toothwort are poking their heads through the leaf litter beside the castle and Caucasian Comfrey is becoming very common along the Wansbeck between Mitford and Morpeth. 29th March saw my first Chiffchaff a week later than usual and a pair of Dippers are seen regularly at Highford bridge. I have seen up to 3 Kingfishers at various spots along the river and a Green Woodpecker has been vocal at High House Lane.