Yesterday Wyre Forest Study Group members braved the cold rain and ventured out into Earnwood Copse, following an ancient sunken track down through the woodland. 2 micromoths Diurnea fagella were spotted on tree trunks, as was the attractive harvestman Megabunus diadema. A Larch Ladybird and spiders Diaea dorsata were found in conifers, and down at the stream water crickets Velia caprai were swimming around on the water surface in the eddies. In open areas near the stream Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage was flowering well. But the Sallow catkins were still closed, waiting for warmth and sunshine.
Large amounts of snow fell on 8, 9 and 10 December 2017 – more than we’ve seen for a long time! Then on 11th the sun came out and the landscape looked fantastic under a foot of snow.
Frost and misty conditions provided some wonderful wintery scenes in Wyre for a couple of days in late December.
We are very pleased that our Wyre Forest Study Group’s BOOK ‘THE NATURE OF WYRE – a wildlife-rich forest in the heart of Britain’ has just been published this week by PISCES PUBLICATIONS, and pre-publication offer orders delivered in time for Christmas! This hardback is A4 in size and has 312 pages beautifully designed and splendidly illustrated with almost 700 photographs. With 24 different authors and 4 on the editorial team, this has been a labour of love by a team of local naturalists. It is the first comprehensive guide to the natural history of the Wyre Forest, and celebrates a very special area rich in biodiversity. The books are currently for sale online from Nature Bureau, Pemberley Books, and NHBS. The book launch will be announced soon!
Where the beech trees were thinned 18 months ago, bluebells are now flowering in profusion – a delight to see. The seeds are presumably dormant in the soil waiting for light to germinate.
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.