Field Trip-Saturday 18thApril-Egglestone Abbey and nearby riverbank
Grid Ref. NZ 063149 to NZ 064151 and NZ 062153 to NZ 075145
14 members and 1 guest gathered in the car park at Egglestone Abbey on a sunny but cool afternoon.
The party first walked down into the lower part of the valley of the Thorgill Beck just north of the abbey. This is an attractive spot. Primroses and Violets were in bloom on the sunny bank. There was a large patch of Butterbur in bloom. A lot of bird song was heard. We admired the old packhorse bridge which stands close to the newer stone bridge carrying the lane over the beck. Two ferns, Maidenhair Spleenwort and Wall Rue, were growing on the stone walls.
We continued our trip walking down the lane to Abbey Bridge. On the way Moschalel, also known as Town Hall Clock was seen in the hedgerow.
We crossed the road and went on to the path close to the south bank of the River Tees passing through woodland where Wood Anemones were flowering in perfusion. The Bluebells and garlic were in bud. The river here is in a limestone gorge. The steep side of the gorge provides a damp environment in which ferns thrive. Harts-Tongue Fern, Common Polypody and Hard Shield Fern were all seen. One Liverwort was identified. A number of Lichens were noted and 6 mosses were identified including Thamnobryum alopecurum which is a lovely tree like moss.
In a dryer section of the path we saw some magnificent old trees. A very large Beech tree was of particular note. Down the path Toothwort was flowering. This plant is parasitic on tree roots and is totally a pink colour as it has no chlorophyll.
We continued on to the stepping stones over the Manyfold Beck where we found both Alternate Leaved Golden Saxifrage and Opposite Leaved
Golden Saxifrage. We retraced our steps to the car park.
Along the way we saw Small Tortoiseshell and Comma butterflies and a 7 spot Ladybird. 20 species of bird were seen including 1 Buzzard, 3 species of Warbler, 3 species of Tit and Pied and Grey Wagtails. 63 flowering plants and grasses were identified of which 25 were in bloom.
An enjoyable afternoon was had by all.
Outing to Bolton On swale Gravel Pit
11th April 2015
Nine members gathered in Abbey Road for the first local walk of 2015, on a fine but blustery day. We drove to Bolton and met 3 other members there who gave us the news that there were three species of Swan present. These proved to be the Common Mute Swan, of which there are up to 30 in the area, 3 Whooper Swans and a pair of Black Swans. The latter are native to Australia so must be escapes from some collection, though feral birds have been known to breed.
The walk along to the bird hide was a cold and windy affair, in contrast to the warm weather we had for the previous week. On the way the leader was able to show the group a long-tailed tits nest, one of ornithology’s most exquisite constructions. When we arrived at the bird hide it proved to be a bit over crowded so the botanists chose to carry on along the track. Those that remained were treated to a display by some newly arrived sand martins and swallows which many people had not seen this year.
After the party left the hide we carried on along the track and met the returning Botanists, whose recordings included Sweet Violet, Cowslips and Bluebells in bud. Not being of such stern stuff as our forefathers we returned to the cars and repaired to the nearby Lakeside Cafe for tea.
Though this was only a short outing it was nice to be out together again and all were happy to have avoided the forecast showers.