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Alder Moors, Woodley – 10th April

Spring really seemed to have arrived when Renée Grayer led a walk in warm sunshine at Alder Moors Local Nature Reserve, Woodley on Saturday 10th April. Just past the car park, the leaves of Shining Cranesbill were identified by the side of Tippings Lane. In a clearing in the woods, Wood Anemones carpeted the floor, while Brimstone, Peacock, Comma, Holly Blue, Speckled Wood and Green-veined White butterflies were flying in the sunshine. Moschatel, Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage, Common Dog-violet, Wood-sorrel, Ivy-leaved Speedwell and Primroses were all in flower near the stream through the woods. Birds seen included Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Red Kite. Rabbits were feeding in the field beside Beggars Hill Road and a Blackcap was singing from deep within a Blackthorn bush. On the way back through Ashenbury Park, the round exit holes of Hornet Moth larvae were found near the base of 2 Black Poplar trees. A Grass Snake was glimpsed as it disappeared into the vegetation near Tippings Lake and a small black ladybird with 2 big red spots was identified as a Kidney-spot Ladybird. At the end of the walk, the tiny white flowers of Whitlowgrass were found in the grass of Ashenbury Park.

Pictures by Rob Stallard and Jan Haseler

Plant species observed:
Geranium lucidum                               Shining Crane’s-bill (along Tippings Lane)
Lamium purpureum                              Red Dead-nettle
Anemone nemorosa                              Wood Anemone (thousands!)
Ranunculus ficaria                              Lesser Celandine
Arum maculatum                                  Lords-and-ladies (not yet flowering)
Galium aparine                                    Cleavers, Goose-grass (not yet flowering)
Veronica hederifolia                            Ivy-leaved Speedwell
Veronica montana                               Wood Speedwell (not yet flowering)
Adoxa moschatellina                            Moschatel, Town Hall Clock
Ribes rubrum                                       Redcurrant
Mercurialis perennis                           Dog’s mercury
Chrysosplenium oppositifolium            Golden Saxifrage
Primula vulgaris                                  Primrose
Viola odorata                                      Sweet violet
Viola riviniana                                     Common Dog-violet
Euphorbia amygdaloides                     Wood spurge
Hyacinthoides non-scripta                   Bluebell (not yet flowering)
Oxalis acetosella                                 Wood-sorrel
Glechoma hederacea                           Ground Ivy
Impatiens glandulifera                         Himalayan Balsam (thousands of seedlings)
Veronica persica                                 Common Field Speedwell
Prunus spinosa                                    Blackthorn (Ashenbury Park)
Lamium album                                      White Dead-nettle
Viola odorata var. dumetorum             Sweet Violet (white with purple spur, near Lake)
Erophila verna                                    Whitlow grass (in grass of Ashenbury Park)

Grass Snake (near Tippings Lake)

Bird species:
Red Kite

Green-veined White
Holly Blue
Speckled Wood

Kidney-spot Ladybird
Exit holes of Hornet Moth larvae

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