Field Reports

Tuesday 3 March 2020     Burton Mill Ponds

Leader David Hart


After a frosty night the day was clear and sunny. A pleasant change after the past dreary winter and the sun, now higher in the sky, creates more warmth and is much brighter than a few weeks ago. Signs of spring was everywhere with new growth pushing its way through the very moist soil. Tree buds were at the point of bursting into leaf and many trees were laden with catkins. Our group of 17 moved to look over Burton Pond leaving a Chaffinch singing in the car park. Sadly a fisherman crossing the lake in a punt moved all viewable wildfowl to the far corners of the pond. With the sun in our eyes, identification was a bit of a guess. We would have expected to see Mallard,Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Coot and Moorhen at least.

Walking towards Burton Park we saw both Robin and Dunnock. An unidentified dark butterfly flew past, probably a Red Admiral. A Buzzard flew over and a Woodlark was high above singing its fluty song. We admired an avenue of very old Sweet Chestnut trees. At Black Pond was a lone Canada Goose and in the surrounding fields we saw Woodpigeon, Crow,  Jackdaw and Green Woodpecker.  A queen Buff Tailed Bee was feeding on some wayside Snowdrops.

On the way to Chingford Pond we noted Red Kite, Kestrel,  Song Thrush and a resplendent cock Pheasant. At the pond we observed Cormorant, Mallard, Coot,  Tufted Duck, Little and Great Crested Grebes. After much searching we found a Grey Wagtail. At Welches Common we watched a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming on a dead tree. All through our walk we were serenaded by Robins, Blue Tits and Wrens.

I have listed the wild plants separately as a tribute to the skill of our botanists having to identify immature specimens. They are as follows: - Pig Nut, Stitchwort, Lesser Periwinkle, Ladies Smock (also called Cuckooflower), Opposite Leaved Golden Saxifrage and Sticky Mouse Ear. On our way back through the mill both Goldfinch and a pair of Grey Wagtail were seen. Our thanks to David for his knowledge and guidance on this delightful walk with our friends.

  Jim Bagley

A grand old sweet chestnut tree


Some fine fungi



What are they looking at ?   (moss)


One of the Wellingtonia trees - can be a home for goldcrest



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