A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Friday, 9 May 2014
Bluebells at Ryton Wood
We visited Ryton Wood last weekend to see the bluebells and, as always, it was a beautiful display with a sea of blue stretching as far as the eye could see.
Ryton Wood is one of 8 large woods which together form the Princethorpe woodlands - the largest surviving area of ancient semi-natural woodland left in Warwickshire today. Ryton Wood covers 85 hectares and is a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Parts of this ancient woodland date back to the eleventh century suggesting the land may have been woodland since the last Ice Age recededed. Evidence from coppiced small-leaved lime stools supports this as this was a very common species 5000 years ago but is rare nowadays. Large ditches indicate the wood's ancient medieval boundaries.
The wood comprises 40 plus species of tree and shrub with oak dominant and hazel the main understorey species.
We parked in the small Wildlife Trust car park and walked along grassy rides towards the bluebell clearing.
Bluebells and Yellow Archangel
Bluebells and Greater Stitchwort
Whilst wandering among the bluebells I heard my first cuckoo of the year.
There were many other species of wildflower in the woodland.
Horse Chestnut in flower
Lesser Celandines growing alongside a stream
This is one of, if not, the best site for butterflies in Warwickshire. Ryton Meadows - a Butterfly Conservation Warwickshire Reserve adjoins the woodland. I would have liked to have gone to look for Grizzled Skippers and Green Hairstreak but we didn't have time. (Should the gentleman from Worcestershire I chatted to ever visit this blog - I do hope the map proved useful and you found the Meadows and saw Green Hairstreak!!).
There were plenty of other butterfly species in the woods - not the best of photos as I couldn't get close enough!
Green-veined White (my first of the year) on Bugle
Orange Tip on Cuckoo Flower (or Lady's Smock)
Peacock on bramble
Another Green-veined White
Bugle flowers were also proving popular with bees.
Lots of ferns unfurling.
In one area of the wood amongst the hazel understorey we spotted
several nesting tubes provided for Dormice.
As far as I can tell there are 7 Blue Tit chicks in the nestbox and the parents are working really hard feeding them. It also appears that Great Spotted Woodpeckers are raising young somewhere close by as they have been seen carrying away beakfuls of fat from the feeders. I just hope they remain on the feeders and don't stray in the direction of the nestbox!
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.