GNS Field Meeting – Ashleworth and Hasfield Hams (3 May 2006, contributed by Juliet Bailey)

This is the time of year to see the rare wild flower Mousetail (Myosurus minimus) a diminutive annual member of the buttercup family, where the centre of the flower bears a passing resemblance to a mouse’s tail. It likes heavily trodden places such as gateways and round cattle troughs and all four Gloucestershire colonies are in the Severn Vale where there is occasional winter flooding. A new site for Mousetail was discovered on today’s GNS walk.

Mousetail habitat, May 2005 (C Butters)

Mousetail (Myosurus minimus), May 2005 (C Butters)

Birds recorded included: Green Sandpiper, Curlew, Lapwing, Snipe heard calling but not drumming. There was a good variety of warblers – Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff. The group also encountered Reed Bunting, Shelduck, Mute Swan, Cuckoo and Barn Owl. There were some Smooth Newts present and masses of Cuckooflowers in the meadows.

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