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Report on LWCT nature walk, Morpeth, 27 November - Pauline Gilbertson

Originally designated a "Winter Wildflowers Walk", our guide James Common from the Natural History Society of Northumbria amended this to a “Winter Nature Walk” in view of the recent cold weather which he rightly deduced had deterred some late-flowering plants from flowering. However we did spot at least four different wildflowers actually in flower, and enjoyed seeing and learning about plants such as Spurge laurel, Spotted Red Nettle, Yellow Archangel and various ferns and fungi.  I particularly liked the tiny Yellow Fairy Cups and Candlesnuff fungi (pictured below).  We heard Marsh Tits in Borough Woods, saw several Redwings and were privileged to see Hawfinches flying over us at Abbey Mills.  They settled in a Hornbeam tree (their favourite food source at this time of year), not very easy to see or photograph so I’ve included a better photo I took ten days earlier at the same site.  These fascinating, fat-billed finches are rare in the UK and we are lucky to have had a small flock arriving to feed here in recent winters.  We had set an attendance limit at 15 for this event, and exactly this number came along. As always we are grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund, and all who play the Lottery, for making these free events possible.  

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Bisporella citrina (yellow fairy cups).heic
Xylaria hypoxylon (Candlesnuff fungus).heic

Photos:  Pauline Gilbertson
Hawfinch, Redwing, Yellow Fairy Cup fungus, Candlesnuff fungus

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