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Moseley Bog Friends' Blog 10/05/2016

Posted: Thursday 26th May 2016 by Lesley.S

These blog posts are sent in by Mary Girvan of the Friends of Moseley Bog & Joy's Wood to give a personal perspective of a day in the life of a volunteer. She also does the twitter feed for @mosbogfriends.

The only thing we haven't seen this spring is autumn colours. We've had grey torrential rain (this week), bright orange Mediterranean sun (last week), white snow and sleet (week before last), and blue bitter cold before that. We've gone from 3 or 4 layers topped off with wet weather gear to t-shirts and back again. Despite the changes in weather or maybe because of it, the signs of spring are unmissable.

Golden yellow lesser celandine peeping out by the boardwalk, the smell of the wild garlic filling the air in the woods at the backof the large meadow, and the birds are very alive, very loud and very busy. The woodpeckers have moved out of their apartment block on the first fork off the main path, and the nuthatches, tree creepers and blue tits have moved in - nature doesn't let things go to waste.

The first chiff chaffs have arrived, and while the spotted woodpeckers drum out new holes in new trees, green woodpeckers cackle loudly. We watched a song thrush on a nest in the corner of the main car park, beautifully situated where three upward branches create a perfect bowl to hold the nest. She obviously didn't like being on Springwatch, as by the next week she'd moved lock stock and barrel to another tree.

That lime green wash that you see only in spring, is creeping down over the trees as the leaves nearest the light come out first, and looking like feathers before they unfurl. Strange that the lime trees are the latest to open but they give their name to the colour of the rest.

The bees emerge from their underground nests and attempt to get their wings working, staggering and tumbling across the meadows. One volunteer tries to help by giving them a bit more height from her hand and turning over those struggling on their backs. Butterflies appear from nowhere and we try to recall their names - peacock, orange tip, meadow brown, ringlet?

Our work at this time of year is surveying and planting. We survey our woodlands to count and identify the plants (some planted by us in previous years) looking for positive and negative indicators of biodiversity to see if our management is working. We plant new trees and flowers in areas we coppiced over the winter. It probably seems a bit odd to cut some things down just to plant new ones, but without this the area would just become a dense thicket attracting limited flora and fauna.

Where we've cut back bramble to create scallops along paths or protect meadow perimeters we dig out the roots and spread seed, again to enrich the flora and attract more wildlife.

The tally so far this spring:

210 primroses
60 foxgloves
66 hazels
10 rowan
30 field maple
10 roses
50 wild daffodils
50 wild garlic
750 grams red campion seed
500 grams of fox glove seed

 - at a rough estimate!

We're blessed with bluebells down the bog, and despite best efforts from the Spanish invaders escaped from gardens, the deep blue nodding heads of our natives survive - a truly lovely Spring spectacle.

Read Lesley.S's latest blog entries.


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