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Thursday 5th January 2017

It was another glorious sunny winters day and for my visit I decided to start by having a little amble around the north section of the common.  I started off in this area by checking some of the Bramble bushes looking for leaf mines but I had know joy.  That said there were lots of examples of Violet Bramble Rust on the leaves.  This is a common fungus that causes the reddish/purple blotches on the leaves.

Violet Bramble Rust (Phragmidium violaceum)

Another fungus I noted during my mooch about was Velvet Shank.  This is a species that produces fruiting bodies throughout the winter and when younger the caps can be a radiant orange colour.

Velvet Shank (Flammulina velutipes)

On the bird front I added 3 new species to the year list in the part of my visit with Goldfinch, Mistle Thrush and a ♂ Kestrel all becoming welcome additions.  Also of note was the sheer number of Robins present.  It almost seemed like there was one on every other bush!  Although a common species of British breeding bird their numbers increase further still in the winter time with migrant Robins arriving from Scandinavia to winter in the UK.

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

I then decided to head over to the Lower Poolands car park and walked a circuit around the southeast section of the common.  Here I added three more species to the bird list with a Jay, 2 Rooks and a Cormorant.  The latter flew over heading southwest towards the general direction of the River Severn.  A Pied Wagtail also flew over heading east.

Again I spent some time looking at Bramble leaves and this time it paid off as I found the leaf mine of a Stigmella aurella micro moth. 

Leaf mine of Stigmella aurella on Bramble (Rubus fruticosus)

For more information on leaf mines the following website is an excellent resource:


  1. Good to see you connected with the Stigmella mines, Jase. No Velvet Shanks seen up here yet.

  2. Great read and i learnt something too always seen Violet bramble rust but never knew it was a fungus i just thought it was part of the leaf.Keep up the great work mate well done sir.

  3. Cheers Dean. I'm after Broom Leaf miner next ;-)

  4. Thanks Gizz. Glad you enjoyed the read mate