Winter tree bark

Winter is a good time to look closely at tree bark and and admire the mosses and lichens growing there. Bark crevices and leafy tufts provide good overwintering sites for some of our smallest creatures that are so important at the bottom of many of the forest food chains. Springtails, woodlice, spiders, fly and micro moth larvae, centipedes, millipedes are all lurking there, and if you are really lucky you may spot a Snow Flea at the bottom of a mossy trunk.Treecreepers forage for this food by moving up from the base of the tree (never downwards), often spiralling round the trunk before flying down to the bottom of the next tree, their delicately curved bills specially adapted for searching holes and crevices.

Mosses and lichens on birch bark, Wyre Forest, 23 January 2015