Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Hard Fern, Eccleston Mere

This is Hard Fern Blechnum spicant growing on the side of a woodland stream at Eccleston Mere. It's a relatively common fern, which I have seen in other parts of the UK, but I've never seen it in St Helens before. The internet resource NBN Gateway shows it as recorded in the Carr Mill Dam / Sankey Valley area, but I'm not aware of any recent records. It's probably just overlooked. If you look carefully at the plant, you can see that it has two distinct types of fronds ("leaves"). The sterile evergreen fronds are the shorter more robust looking, whilst the fertile fronds look longer, thin and spindley.

Birds today included 2 Bullfinches, 2 Buzzards, 9 Great crested Grebes, Kingfisher, Nuthatch and about 30 Goldfinches.

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