Wednesday 25th January 2017:
The weather was surprisingly good for today's visit so I decided to walk a reasonable circuit around the lower sections of the common. I started my walk on the section next to Cook's Garden Centre. It wasn't the most productive area by any means but I did add House Sparrow to my site year list as there was a flock of at least 12 present.
I then crossed the Worcester Rd to check out the area near Rush Pool and The Bog. This proved quite worthwhile as amongst one of the Gorse bushes I found some active tents of Gorse Spider Mites. I also added another fungi to the year list with Wrinkled Crust.
Gorse Spider Mite (Tetranychus lintearius) Tent
Wrinkled Crust (Phlebia radiata)
I then decided to walk up onto the terrace bank between the upper and lower terraces of the common. This area is covered in gorse and scrubby bushes and parts of it are relatively undisturbed. It looks ideal for a wintering Stonechat but for all my scanning it was not to be. The only bird of note was a Green Woodpecker.
Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis)
Friday 27th January 2017:
I used today's visit to undertake another walk in Hillditch Coppice along the bank above the wet woodland. Almost immediately I picked up on a Lesser Celandine that was in flower. These plants with their heart shaped leaves and yellow buttercup-like flowers are usually early flowering and a herald of spring, but they are not normally in bloom quite this early. Perhaps it's indicative of the mild winter that we have been having.
Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)
On the bird front I again saw a Grey Wagtail on a damp fringe at the edge of the wet woodland. I also had cracking views of a Treecreeper and a Goldcrest. But the highlight was a Grey Heron that flew low over the wood towards Hillditch pool, a new addition to my year bird list for the site.
I also added three more species of fungi to the list with Beech Barkspot, Split Porecrust and Variable Oysterling.
Beech Barkspot (Diatrype disciformis)
Split Porecrust (Schizopora paradoxa)
Variable Oysterling (Crepidotus variabilis)