Friday, 16 May 2014

Upper Cherwell Valley: saxifrage finds a new home

I've got into a bit of a routine running home from Banbury on Fridays  via Grimsbury Reservoir and the new flood defence scheme, then on along the canal and up to Wardington via Williamscot.  The sudden arrival of warm weather made it a very pleasant run - actually more of a jog due to frequent natural distractions! At the reservoir, fledged pied wagtail and long-tailed tit youngsters and a couple of very vocal garden warblers caught my attention.  Then on the bank of the flood defence I spotted a large spike of white flowers.  Meadow saxifrage.  This time, not on a long established hay meadow, but in a grass sward barely two years old.  Clearly self colonised, but from where?  A very pleasant surprise and one to let the EA know about so hopefully they will take account of this in their mowing regime.  A pair of curlew were in their favoured field, where a brood of mallard ducklings were also making use of a shallow scrape created by the farmer.

Earlier in the day I also saw my first fledgling starling of the year in Banbury's People's Park.  We are just entering a really busy period for parent birds!

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