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Two splashes of red

Updated: Feb 9, 2020

Russ writes:

This afternoon I took advantage of the settled conditions to check up on a Raven territory between Lyndhurst and Beaulieu. Ravens are a vocal species, and the lack of wind meant it was easy to track their movements. All of my recent Raven sightings, including those today, have been of pairs of birds, so despite being notoriously early nesters it looks like none are settling down just yet. I also saw and heard Dartford Warbler, and a male Goshawk distantly displaying.

Even with some weak sunshine, the colours of the ancient woodlands and open heathlands can appear rather muted at this season, so seeing a couple of splashes of red provided some welcome respite. The first came in the form of a single bright red berry on a clump of Butchers Broom on the margins of ancient woodland. You can read more about this interesting plant at the link below:

The second was the bright red caps on the branches of an attractive lichen called Cladonia floerkeana, appropriately known as Devil's Matchsticks. This species is typical of heathland and can colonise bare ground - the specimen photographed below was on a recently burnt patch of heath.

Finally, I captured this resplendent Yew tree in the fading light, an hour or so before a nice sunset.

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