Friday, 26 December 2014

Yoesden bank in the winter

Bug Mad Girl and I went for a walk around Yoesden bank this morning. It's made up of a chalk grassland slope, with woods running down the back of it. In the summer it's a wonderful site for wildflowers and is alive with butterflies, crickets, bees and all sorts of life. It was very different today and felt very quiet except for the twitter of Great Tits, Blue Tits and Long-tailed Tits.

We walked down through the woods first. All the leaves were gone, except for the occasional evergreen Yew and Holly and it felt quite stark and bare.

Some festive Holly and Ivy
When we start to look carefully though, we spotted the first signs of Spring and some of the trees and bushes were showing their buds.

We also spotted some of the other things that we may have otherwise not noticed, like these lovely lichens.

Bug Mad Girl found a woodlouse caught in a spiders web, then noticed the spider underneath the web. This was a Snakes-back spider and gets it's name from the markings on it's body which vaguely resemble an Adder. They leave a hole in their webs and lay trip wires around it, then rush out and capture it when something 'trips' the wire.

We walked back along the grass slope. It looks like there have been cattle grazing there, presumably to keep the grass short so the wildflowers and orchids can grow in the spring. Then we spotted a flock of Fieldfares in a nearby field. They're in the Thrush family and arrive in November, spending the winter here then leaving in April.

Driving home we spotted Barry the Buzzard sitting in a tree. He posed for a quick 'Happy Christmas' and a photo then headed off.


  1. Barry the Buzzard looks very happy .... maybe a little plump from Christmas!

  2. Too much Christmas pud, perhaps?