Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Scrapes, plums and flaming O's

Probably not the most popular person yesterday as I collected samples of invertebrates from the scrape at Minsmere.  A flurry of birds and all were gone - apart from a couple of tame Pec Sands and 'Fiona' the Flaming O.  The invertebrate samples will help inform management, providing further information on the food resource available to birds in water of differing salinities.  More on this when the results are in.  A couple of Whimbrel and a fly-by Curlew Sandpiper added interest.

Back onto the path and the scrape-side bushes were dripping with ripe plums. There seems to be a bewildering array of ‘wild plums’ to be found in our hedgerows. Fruits of differing sizes and ranging in colour from yellow and red through to purple. The plum is thought to be the result of hybridization between the Sloe Prunus spinosa and the Cherry Plum Prunus cerasifera. Such hybrids and an array of back-crosses fall under the Wild Plum Prunus domestica heading, with various forms or subspecies. These late-ripening fruits at Minsmere seem to fall into the 'Bullace' category (P. d. insititia).  In a minute or two, enough were gathered to produce a tasty Wild Plum Frangipane - just like this.

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