Out in the Woods in our van
Woodland Flora of Sussex in April
We took Ethel the campervan for her first outing of the year at the beginning of April to Graffham near Petworth. We were rather later in the year than we’d have liked due to my broken ankle. I broke it at the end of Jan and it’s recovering well but I’m still building up my mobility.
We picked quite a weekend to go – there was snow and sleet as we left home, and night temperatures were forecast for -5degC. But it was all fine – sunny during the day to the extent that we could eat breakfast outside, and we had a small electric heater at night.
Wildflowers in Droke Forest – Photography by proxy
I’m not so good on uneven ground, so Mike volunteered to go off the track for the odd pic!
Wood-sorrel – Oxalis acetosella
When I saw this in the distance I assumed the little white flowers were Wood anemone but no!
Wood Spurge – Euphorbia amygdaloides
Wavy Bitter-Cress – Cardamine flexuosa
Primrose – Primula vulgaris
There were Primroses in abundance this weekend!
Nettle and Lords and Ladies foliage
I don’t often study plants without a flower present but these two are quite straightforward. Lords and Ladies is also known as Cuckoopint, Arum maculatum. Nettles are Urtica dioica.
Mint – Mentha
Again not in flower so I’m not going any further in ID than Mint. It had a gentle minty smell and was not near water.
Dog Mercury – Mercurialis perennis
Common Dog-Violet – Viola riviniana
This pic shows the creeping stems of the Violas.
Also spotted near the Droke Forestry Commission car park: Celandines, Daisies, Dandelions, Beech mast, and a group of at least a dozen deer with stag.
This is a National Trust heath with plantation.
Bluebell – Hyacinth non-scripta
This was my first true Bluebell of the year, although there are plenty of Spanish ones in my garden.
Also spotted but not photographed in the woods: Celandine, Primrose, Hellebore, Stitchwort, Garlic Mustard, Ground Ivy, Green Alkanet.
Bird spotting by the van
I’m not good enough at photography to attempt birds at a distance and I don’t have the kit, but can report that we spotted: Nuthatch, Robin, Great Tit, Blackbird, Wren, Blackbird, Jays, probable Goldcrest (I didn’t get a long look). We heard Woodpeckers. I thought I had seen a Long Tailed Tit early on but didn’t get a good look until Mike caught it attacking our wing-mirror!
More trips in the van: September in Devon