Woorgreen and Crabtree Hill Sunday 24th March.

Good weather and a nice sized group, we were lucky to have some experts on hand so that a good range of species
could be identified. With one exception(reptiles) we managed to spot representatives of all the major groups.
On the botanical side we were able to distinguish between Evernia and Ramalina, both are similar lichens and we
even found the two species on the same twig making comparison more easy. Another pair of similar looking
lichens were Parmelia sulcata and Flavoparmelia caperata, the former being bluer green and the later more apple
green. Fungi were not surprisingly few and far between but a large though ageing specimen of the yellow Witch’s
Butter fungus Tremella mesenterica was found close to the top of Crabtree Hill. Also, a slime mould was found,
pink and globular it was not positively identified at the time but was most likely Lycogala epidendum sometimes
known as Wolfs Milk. The conifers were well represented and perhaps the most notable were the Larches (our
deciduous evergreen!) these were just coming into leaf. Then it was a matter of deciding which species of Larch,
European or Japanese or even the hybrid, examples of both were found. Towards the end of the meeting, we
found some Horsetails just poking their heads skywards and in terms of flowering plant there was a reasonable mix
but very few were in flower. Close to the carpark there was quite a lot of Wood-sorrel which is Oxalis, and further
round we saw Sheep’s Sorrel which is Rumex. The Wood-sorrel was in flower but perhaps more impressive than its
white nodding flower heads were the bright green, acid green leaves, the Sheep’s Sorrel was not in flower, another
month or so before its dotty red flowers appear.

In the animal kingdom we managed a few invertebrates including a deceased dung beetle, a mix of bees feeding
on a willow species that was in flower and one Peacock Butterfly that was enjoying the sun.

There were a lot of tadpoles in a stream the flows along the lower section of Crabtree hill, it was agreed that they
seemed to be a quite an advanced stage for the time of year, not quite getting their back legs but not far off, just
as well because the water course they were living in is not permanent and is normally dry in the summer. Whether
they were destined to become frogs or toads, the group had mixed views on that.

No reptiles though the weather was warm enough to bring out a lizard or adder, but none were spotted.

Birds were not in great evidence but with about 18 keen pairs of eyes on the lookout we did manage a reasonable
list but nothing that exciting. Mike Daw keeps a mental note of what is seen and supplied me with this list:
Great Tit, Long-tailed, Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Nuthatch, Robin, Wren, Siskin, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff,
Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Blackbird, Mandarin Duck, Mallard, Canada Goose, Raven, Goshawk, Buzzard.

Before the meeting commenced at 10.30am there were a couple of Carion Crows around the car park and on the
way round some members with good hearing picked out a Blackcap singing along with Woodpigeon and Mistle

We did see about 4/5 young Fallow deer running across the path and they successfully jumped the fence that
surrounds the site, no signs of cattle or ponies on this visit. Plenty of evidence though of Wild Boar both their
digging and their droppings.

Thanks to all who attended and the expert knowledge that was shared with the group.

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