Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Rodden Reserve stroll part 2

The 'pussy willow' (Salix caprea) was out and at its best. These are the male catkins. It is one of the commonest and most widespread of the willows in Britain, growing in ditches, reedbeds, scrub, wet woodland and even urban wasteland.
As I was walking round the reserve I noticed this pair of Meadow Pipits getting flirty with each other. Lots of wing and tail flicking. It would be great if they stayed to breed here, but they are probably just passing through. Notice the particularly long hind claw.
I'll finish this really enjoyable walk in my next post.


Shellmo said...

Those pipits certainly have long claws - and they're very cute! Loved the close up detail on the pussy willows! I love finding these and adding them to a wildflower bouquet for the cabin.

Eve said...

Wonderful! I love the pussy willows too. We were having spring-like weather but things are not quite ready to give up on winter just yet.

Jenny said...

Hi Shelley, I didn't know you have this tree over there too. They're beautiful at this time of year arn't they!

Hi Evie, it's frustrating when winter want to hang on. Something you're used to I guess, but maybe not for long if you get to go down south! (-:

Shellmo said...

Hi Jenny- I don't think we have the same tree - but I'll take a photo of the pussy willows I find this year and let's compare!!

Mary said...

Love the pussy willows! I never see them when they look like that, since I don't have any at my house, so these are so odd looking to me. You and Roy both had some. Love that last pipit photo.

Anonymous said...

Nice sighting of the M/Pipits Jen.
I have never noticed there back claws before.
I wonder why they need them. You can understand Treecreepers having them, but Pipits?

Quiet Paths said...

I really enjoyed the close ups of the Pussy Willows. It makes feel hopeful that perhaps Spring is actually going to happen! I'm staring at my own right now. Maybe they will open up on hope alone!

Jenny said...

Hi Shelley, that's a deal! I'll look forward to that.

Hi Mary, this willow is really showing up in the countryside at the moment as it is almost the only tree that is showing anything happening yet! That pipit is a sweetie isn't it! (-:

Hi Roy, no, I can't think of any use a pipit would have with a hind claw that long. It would be intereting to try and find out. I'll do some investigating, but don't hold you breath! (-:

Hey Christine, maybe when they do open up, you can take a piccy and blog it!