Monthly Archive: June 2013

Bloomin’ marvellous

On Saturday 22 June, a group of volunteers led by botanists Ed Tanner and Tim Inskipp undertook our annual survey of the plants of Ely Common. This is the third year that we have surveyed the Common and we are slowly building up a picture of plant diversity and relative abundance over time, which will help to identify the impact of current management and opportunities for improvement. This year we identified 63 species on the Common including Red Fescue, Common Sorrel and Dewberry. We recorded the partially parasitic plant Yellow Rattle for the first time, an exciting addition to our records. Adder’s-tongue fern, a scarce plant with more chromosomes than any other organism, has spread to new locations on the Common and seems to be thriving. Thanks to all those who took part and made the day a great success. (Image: Tim Inskipp)

Bird race bonanza

Local naturalists enjoyed one of the loveliest mornings of the year as well as some fantastic wildlife encounters as they took part in last Sunday’s Bird Race around the Ely Wildspace. Among 77 bird species recorded in the spring sunshine, there were great sightings of cuckoos, hobbies, turtle doves and buzzards. Everyone also heard the extraordinary booming of the local bittern – one of only a hundred or so territorial males in the whole UK – and a lucky few also heard nightingale. Non-bird sightings included roe deer, hares and the rare adder’s-tongue fern. Details of the next Bird Race, to be held in the autumn, will be posted on our website.

Annual plant survey of Ely Common

On Saturday 22 June, we will be undertaking our annual survey of plants on Ely Common. We’ll learn how to identify what plants are there and add to the baseline data collected through the plant surveys undertaken in 2011 and 2012. Meet in the Environment Agency car park off Prickwillow Road at 10 am. Bring water and sunblock/rain gear (as appropriate).