Despite the weather not being up to our usual standard the light rain eased enough for us to venture out to Spring Woods where the Garden collection of Snowdrops are located. Originally these were all labelled, but over the years these have mostly disappeared and of those remaining many were illegible. The rumour is that many of this collection will have hybridised but we need an expert to tell us if this is true.
The previous week we had noted two clumps of Snowdrops out. One in Spring Woods and the other near the Boar, and had expected most of the others to be in bloom by now. But despite the continuing mild weather these were the only two clumps out, although there were few isolated flowers in Spring Woods. Given that the ‘expected’ date of flowering of the native variety is around 19th Jan this was indeed odd as it looks as if they will be at least a week late. Obviously they are saving themselves for the Snowdrop weekend.
Moving on to the Bee corner we found one solitary Bee active but further on by the fountain in amongst the Snowdrops there was this splendid Fungus.
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Down by the Gatehouse but no sign of Otter Poo on any of the rocks. Then into the woods behind the Aqualab where last week we had found lots of very tiny Elf Cups and one solitary one which looked as if it might actually be going over. And, rather like the Snowdrops, they all looked exactly the same, in a state of arrested development. But plenty of bird song for the time of year so they, at least, think Spring might be near.
Along Llyn Uchaf and the Welsh Woods the grass had been strimmed and the large Buzzard that we saw was, apparently, searching for Rodents now that their cover had been removed. And on the lake itself were at least a score of Mallards, plus Little Grebe, Moorhens and Coots. But for us the wind and the rain which had now started was getting a bit fierce in that exposed area although once out of it we recovered sufficiently to pay relatively quick visits to Llyn Canol and to the stream by the entrance to Waun Las. No sign of the Dippers this week or the Nuthatch.
Back in the staff-room we examined the newly acquire Moth trap and eventually got it working. The task now is to set it up on a regular basis and monitor what we find. Indeed, the theme for this year is going to be regular monitoring of birds, moths and various other creatures and plants.