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November 2012

posted 13 Dec 2012, 01:57 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 13 Dec 2012, 02:03 ]

Alder tree
With so much coverage about ash trees and the spread of ash dieback, it set me thinking about how many ash trees have we got and what other tree species are there on and around the Green? Having walked the boundary, I soon realised that, whilst I was familiar with the more common tree species, there are some that I did not know! So, come next Spring, when the trees have their leaves on (and hence more easy to identify) I will set forth, armed with a tree guide, and endeavour to compile a tree list! However, one species which I do recognise, is the alder. There are a number of these trees on the Green, of which this one must be the oldest (see photo). As alder trees like wet soil, they are very happy growing next to Leomansley brook or along the ditches that surround the Green. This specimen is a favourite haunt for many of the resident and wintering finches. The seeds produced by the mature catkins are a valuable food source for these birds in the Autumn and winter months. You can often see goldfinch, greenfinch, chaffinch as well as siskins and redpoll feeding in this tree (see photo below). Just be warned, you will need a good pair of wellingtons to get to the stream!
This redpoll was spotted by Bob Russon, earlier on in November. It is quite a rare visitor and so is an excellant sighting. Not only was there one redpoll but it was part of a group of four! It is member of the finch family and has a distinctive red marking on its forehead. Other exciting bird news, which you maybe aware of, is the sighting of waxwings in and around Lichfield. These stunning birds have been seen near Lidl on Eastern Avenue as well as on the Britannia Industrial estate. A pair of waxwings did fly across the Green this week, but unfortunately did not stay. There is no no food for them as the hawthorn berries have already been eaten!

Image to the right courtesy of Bob Russon, Lichfield & District Local RSPB Group

Rainbow over Pipe Green
Some excellant articles on Leomansley Mill and Leomansley Brook have recently been posted on the Lichfield Lore blog. Well worth a read and gives a fascinating insight into how industrial the site would have been. A bit different from today! A recent walk around the Green included a sighting of a fox and then a rainbow briefly appearing over Lichfield. Magic!