Winter Species

Sunday, December 31st 2017

Entering the last few pieces of information into the Species Programme made me think back to what had been recorded during the year.  The species list now stands at 2681 species, with new species added again this year.  I wonder if there will ever be a year when we have none.  Doing this made me look back to what we can possibly find during the winter months.

Cones cover the upper bare branches of Larch trees.  These provide a vital food resource for many small birds which can often be seen flitting from branch to branch, calling quietly.  A pair of binoculars can be useful at this time of year.

Larch Cones

Privet, which grows by the side of the path leading to the middle moor gate, still has dark coloured berries holding fast to the branches.

Privet berries

Green leaves of Honeysuckle show through the vegetation.

Honeysuckle leaves

The reserve can look very dark with little colour as winter draws to a close but when you know where to look, a bright red splash of Scarlet Elfcup can be found.

Scarlet Elfcup

As February arrives we watch and listen for the Common Frogs to return to their spawning grounds.  Warm weather and they return early, cold weather means we have to be patient.

Common Frog and spawn

Later high pitched croaking, more like bird song, heralds the retun of the Common Toad to the ponds via the paths and Access Road.

Common Toad

Finally, if there has been some warmth in the sun, just before the spring equinox, the Opposite-golden Leaved Saxifrage opens its yellow flowers.

Opposite-golden Leaved Saxifrage

Many thanks to everyone who has contributed to Foxglove's 25 years, which we celebrated in July.  Much hard work has been carried out by many people over that time to make Foxglove the very special place that it is now.

Best wishes for a Happy, Peaceful and Healthy New Year.  Raise a dram to 2018.

Robert Burns expresses New Year in that time honoured song, Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my jo,
for auld lang syne,
we’lltak' a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere!
and gie's a hand o’ thine!
And we’ll tak' a right gude-willie waught,
for auld lang syne.

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