Greenfield Valley

9 a.m.: The mist has cleared and we can see the conifer plantations of the Greenfield Valley again.

Fieldfares and starlings
Fieldfares and starlings

Two fieldfares settle on the rushy pasture in front of the farm. With their grey rump, greyish head and slithers of white on the front of their folded wings they’re more strikingly smart than the resident mistle thrush and the female blackbird which are also about this morning.

When one of them perches on the power line and starts preening, we see the dark band at the end of its tail and two tear-shaped streaks of chestnut on its breast.

Post Pecker

great-spotted woodpeckerA male great spotted woodpecker probes every crevice on the stout timber corner post of a wire fence. Having checked all around it, it perches on top then flies to the adjacent fence post. The slimmer post evidently doesn’t offer the same possibilities so it flies off, with bouncing flight, to the power line post and continues probing.

Two dippers are working their way down the beck towards Oughtershaw this morning; one wades in then completely submerges.

heronOn an afternoon walk to the Greenfield Valley we see a heron flying up Langstrothdale along Oughtershaw Beck, four pipits (no doubt meadow pipits) and a kestrel.

Zephrentis

ZephrentisPausing to take a closer look at some crushed limestone on a forestry track, I find this complete fossil of a funnel-shaped coral amongst the more common macaroni-like lithostrotion corals and the stout toadstool cap-shaped shells of brachiopods (which I’m assuming are Productus).

The funnel-shaped coral is Zephrentis phrygia, given its species name because of its resemblance to the Phrygian cap, a tall, pointed felt cap which was worn with the point tilting forwards.

Harebell, yarrow and herb robert, Oughtershaw.
Harebell, yarrow and herb robert, Oughtershaw.

Harebell, yarrow and herb robert are still in flower on the banking below the drystone wall on the road immediately to the south of Oughtershaw.

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