White Bluebells? Well yes and no

Yes white flowered Bluebells do occur but more often what is thought to be a white Bluebell is actually yet another wild garlic, the Three Cornered leek. In the two following photographs the first, taken in Fairlight Glen shows the Three Cornered Leek alongside a Bluebell and the second, taken on the Firehills shows both white and blue Bluebells. Look closely and you will see a subtle difference in the flowers. An easier way to be sure of which plant you are looking at is to inspect the stem because the Three cornered Leek gets its name from it’s three cornered stem whilst the Bluebell has a round stem. Both are members of the Lily family.

A walk down Brakey Bank

A walk down Brakey Bank today was rewarded with a good show of Bluebells and if you intend to visit the Park next weekend, I would highly recommend that you do the same. It runs from bollard 19 down to 18 on the Park Map and in addition to the Bluebells you can also see Ground Ivy, Wood Anemone, Lesser Celandine, Red Campion, Greater Stitchwort, Dandelion and there is some Yellow Archangel in bud, so should be out by next weekend. A trip up the steps at bollard 18 will take you past Alexanders, Ramsoms (Wild Garlic) which have just crept in from Fairlight Glen, Ribwort Plaintain and on your left at the top, Blackthorn in blossom and Germander Speedwell. There is of course Gorse in flower all over Warren Glen and with the exception of Ransoms all the other wild flowers mentioned can be found elsewhere in the glen too with the addition of Common Dog Violet which I failed to spot on Brakey Bank. I will revisit Fairlight Glen shortly to provide a similar list before Easter for those who intend intend to visit, which if the weather stays like this why not, because as it was pointed out to me today (thanks BB), in that case your Easter eggs are going to melt!

Other highlights today were a second Stonechat, this time a female in a similar location on the Firehills and a Meadow Pipit nearby plus my first Common Lizard for the site this year in Warren Glen, all of which cleverly evaded my camera so you will have to make do with this Speckled Wood.

Another Tiger seen!

Speckled Wood and Peacock butterflies about in the Park today but no Holly Blues which are quite plentiful in my garden at the moment. A very nice male Stonechat on the Firehills too. Today’s tiger being a Green Tiger Beetle as seen below also on the Firehills and a number of new burrow holes that may also be these beetles or mining bees, won’t know ’till I see whichever going in or coming out.

As you can see it has it’s elytra or wing cases partially open, yes they do fly as well as being able to jump (just when you are trying to take a photo).

Another walk round Fairlight Glen

More wild flowers seen in bloom today, celandine, dog’s mercury and common dog violet. As soon as Warren and Fairlight Glens are at their best, I’ll put a list on here, with photos, of what species you will be able to see in each glen at this very special time of year, so please visit here again soon and more importantly please visit the Country Park and enjoy the wild flowers.

Common Dog Violet

Nice try!!

Starting to see wildflowers in Fairlight Glen now, yesterday, dandelion, wood-sorrel, golden saxifrage, wood anemone all seen in flower. What a change in the weather the sun now feeling quite warm. Remarkably dry for the time of year, I haven’t felt the need for wellingtons all through the winter. Are we going to pay for this later?

Golden saxifrage

Now to the reason for the title of this post. Coming out of Fairlight Glen I noticed this combination padlock and the number made me smile!

Nice try!!

Spring is nearly here

Dropping down into Fairlight Glen from Warren Glen yesterday I was greeted with a familiar aroma for the first time this year. The ramsoms on “Garlic Corner” are now showing a lot of leaf as are the bluebells a welcome reminder that the glens will soon be awash with many colours when the wildflowers come into bloom.

Time for another pony photo, first time in a while when I have been able to get them all in shot.

Linnets & Coastguard exercise

Nice morning for a walk today, a sharp frost made the going quite easy. Coming along the footpath from Barley Lane toward Warren Cottage I was treated to the sight of a flock of 50+ linnet. They disappeared into the now rather sorry looking cover crop in the field and are not visible in the photos that I took. However a little further along this Chaffinch was more obliging.

chaffinch_22-01-17

Arriving back at the Firehills I came across the Coastguards out on exercise with their cliff rescue equipment.

cg_exercise_22-01-17Just got this photo before my camera battery went flat! Ooops.