Thursday, 6 January 2011
Parked by bridge over Ribble below Paythorne and walked up through woods alongside river to motte and bailey. Cold, clear and sunny. Saw a couple of grey squirrels feeding on beechmast on the ground. Mixed flocks of Tits fed in the tree branches above and we saw a nuthatch and a treecreeper. Watched how treecreeper feeds, puts its head on one side and scythes its beak to and fro under moss on tree trunks. Surprised by the number and variety of fruiting fungi, some lovely and bright a nice change from the muted colours of winter. Last time we walked here was at the start of summer, everything was lush and green and the shade from the tree canopy was very welcome. Pleased to see the Primrose and wild strawberry leaves were starting to look greener, gearing up for spring, though they may be being a bit hasty as had snow on Tuesday. Got two nuthatches coming to the bird table, they take sunflower hearts and wedge them in the cracks in the conifer bark or push them into the cracks in the pebble dashing on the garage. We also had a little goldcrest in the conifer and on the bird table. Last week a sparrowhawk got one of the blue tits, a bit upsetting but there are plenty left. At the moment they get through about 3kg of peanuts a week.
Sparrowhawk with Blue Tit
Ice crystals we found on Sunday in Gisburn Forest