"For now we are young let us lay in the sun and count every beautiful thing we can see" Neutral Milk Hotel.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

A day of firsts for the year...........

I emptied my moth trap shortly after dawn and was disappointed to find just a single Hebrew Character inside and a Beautiful Plume on the nearby fence. The NOA trap had about 8 of the  former, plus a Small Quaker, 2 Red Chestnuts and a fine-looking Grey Shoulkder-knot. Moths were in evidence during the day, with seething masses of Browntail caterpillars newly active in their webs on the sea buckthorn and a small group of displaying Early Longhorns above the Sallows in the dunes. There was much birdsong today and amongst the usual species were Greenshank, Cetti's Warbler (at least 4), double-figures of Chiffchaffs, a fine male Bullfinch in the paddocks, 17 Brent Geese still on Lavender Marsh, several Siskins and Redpolls overhead, but unseen in the light mist and best of all, a superb Short-eared Owl which landed near me in the dunes. A male Blackcap in Holme Marsh is the first I've seen all year (and all winter come to that) so may well be newly-arrived. Plants newly in flower included Storksbill, Blackthorn and Hawthorn. The damp coast path held an large black Arion ater slug as well as a fine Helix aspersa snail. Seaweed highlight of the day was some Bladder Wrack Fucus vesiculosus on the strandline. In my garden and in Holme Marsh were hordes of a Scathphaga stercoraria,  a medium-sized ginger fly amongst which I found the hoverfly Eristalis pertinax (also seen in the dunes), another hover I've yet to identify, a smart black and grey Cranefly Tipula lateralis, several wasps and my first Dark-edged Bee-fly of the year in  my garden.  Queen Buff-tailed Bumblebees thronged the Sallow flowers whilst a Red-tailed Queens were evident as they explored the dead grass in the meadows. A lone Common Carder Bee Bombus pascuorum was on Alexanders on Holme Marsh. Butterflies were thin on the ground, with 3 Small Tortoiseshells and 2 Peacock all that was seen during the day. Maybe more tomorrow.......

Snowflake, entrance track Holme NWT, 29th March 2014

Storksbill, Holme NWT, 29th March 2014

Spring Beauty, Holme NWT, 29th March 2014

Arion ater, Holme NWT, 29th March 2014

Browntail moth caterpillars on Sea Buckthorn, Holme NWT, 29th March 2014

Helix aspersa, Holme NWT, 29th March 2014

Bladder Wrack, Fucus vesiculosus, Holme NWT, 29th March 2014

Sallow flower, Holme NWT, 29th March 2014

Picture-winged Fly, Chaetostoma curvinerve, Holme NWT, 29th March 2014

Red Chestnut, Holme NOA, 29th March 2014

Small Quaker, Holme NOA, 29th March 2014

Grey Shoulder-knot, Holme NOA, 29th March 2014

Dark-edged Bee-fly, Hunstanton, 29th March 2014

Scathphaga stercoraria, Holme Marsh, 29th March 2014

Tipula lateralis, Holme Marsh 29th March 2014

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