Three new species

To Carolyn's for a quick walk around 'her' field. The cow parsley is out in force at the moment. It looks magnificent.

Last weekend, I finally took the trouble to look up the name of the plant with the characteristic leaves and brown stem which grows in abundance in the field behind the house (and in our lawn!). To my surprise, it turned out to be sorrel. So I searched some out in Carolyn's field and got her to try a couple of leaves. Bitter, but surprisingly refreshing. Apparently, farm-workers used to chew on sorrel leaves to slake their thirst when working in the fields.

Cow parsley
Cow parsley at Burton Marshes.

Then down to Burton Marshes for 20 minutes nature waiting. I hadn't been down there for years, and couldn't believe my luck: reed warblers, sedge warblers, and grasshopper warblers—three new species for me. I must have seen them there before as a child, but warblers are buggers to identify. Now, thanks to my digital camera and iPhone British birds app (which even plays the birds' songs for you—a great way to identify warblers), I was able to work out which little brown jobs were which. The grasshopper warbler's call was amazing: I kept wondering what the loud, grasshopper-like noise was, and then the penny dropped!

Sedge warbler
Sedge warbler.

I also saw whitethroats, little egrets (both firsts for me on the Wirral), and a kestrel put in an appearance.

Good things come to those who wait 20 minutes.

Slideshow of photos from this evening »

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