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Moseley Bog Wildlife Walk 28/11/15

Posted: Tuesday 8th December 2015 by James.A

A blog written by James Astley on the Wildlife Walk around Moseley Bog.

On Saturday I was given the opportunity to get out and see another one of our fantastic reserves. As a Development Apprentice my role is mostly office-based so I love any chance to get outdoors. I also enjoy meeting our members and volunteers as it is good to see people getting involved with wildlife. As we waited for our guide to arrive we were greeted by a small conventicle of magpies as they flew around the car park above us.


Our walk leader for today was Tony Sames, a former trustee and science teacher, who has been leading Wildlife Trust walks for over 10 years! Tony has a fantastic depth of knowledge when it comes to British wildlife.
We started by looking out some of the fascinating oak trees that have been on our site for well over 100 years and are thought to be some of Tolkien’s inspirations for his works.


As we continued through the meandering woodland we stopped to talk about the hazel tree and the fantastic work the volunteers are doing to coppice them the average lifespan of a hazel tree is around 80 years , however if coppiced them can live several hundred years. We learned that both male and female flowers are found on the same tree. The female buds appear as small purple tufts.


As we continued the talk we paused to admire some of the work done by the volunteers and we were greeted by a goldcrest just above our heads. We all watched in awe as Europe’s smallest bird hopped from branch to branch above us. Many tried to take a picture or two but the goldcrest was just too quick for our cameras! Nevertheless still a fantastic thing to see whilst out.


We stopped at the boardwalk to do some investigating. A small bird was seen making its way along a tree trunk so we all stopped to see if it was a treecreeper or a nuthatch. It turned out to be a treecreeper. We learned that the main difference is that treecreepers tend to make their way up a tree trunk whereas the nuthatch makes its way down a trunk and is often found upside down.


Whilst we were enjoying the lovely birds and vegetation Moseley Bog has to offer, there is another type of wildlife that often goes unnoticed, and that’s our old friend fungi. Most people look at fungi and assume mushrooms; I know I did before I worked for The Wildlife Trust! However, my eyes have been opened to the strange and often colourful world of fungi. We spotted some turkey tail growing on a log and then we spotted some purple jellydisc, which as you may have guessed looks like little purple discs of jelly!


We walked through the bog looking at all the wonderful work carried out by Wildlife Trust staff and volunteers. Everything from coppicing trees to creating meadow areas by spreading yellow rattle seeds, green hay and removing the cuttings when it’s cut at the end of the summer.


Just as we were reaching the end of our walk discussing the benefits of reed beds and being shown the difference between ferns, we were interrupted by the unmistakable call of a raven as it flew around the treetops trying to evade the chasing crows.

 


Our next walk is on Saturday 12th December at Hill Hook. This time it’s a winter birds walk led by Richard Clinton. This will be a fantastic afternoon and I strongly urge anybody interested in wildlife to come along.

 

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