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

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Another day at Holme

The dense layer of fog still hung over the reserve when I arrived for work today. It was so thick that when Bob and I went out on the marsh to check the ponies we couldn't see them. However, we eventually found them and they were all OK. By the time we were driving back down the track the sun was breaking through and a short-eared owl appeared close by hunting in the dunes. We saw it again after lunch. Then as I was driving home down the track I spotted one flying over the North field. I stopped the car to get a better look and then realised that there was another owl sitting on a post right next to the track a short distance in front of me. Unfortunately it had its back to me and the sun was behind it and so photos did not come out very well. I was creeping the car gradually nearer to it but then a car came the other way and scared it off. It flew a short distance into the dunes and settled on a dead branch, again with its back to me. They are beautiful birds.

 Short-eared Owl at Holme Dunes

With the recent sun and warmth flowers are beginning to emerge. Today there were masses of tiny plants of Common Whitlowgrass in flower on the dunes. These can also be found at the moment along the edge of pavements in Hunstanton.

Common Whitlowgrass Erophila verna

There were also a few dandelion flowers in the dunes. Currently 232 microspecies of dandelion are recognised in the British Isles; I suspect that the ones we have on the dunes are in the Erythrosperma section of microspecies.

Dandelion Taraxacum sect. Erythrosperma

I've also been busy in the garden this week and while tidying up found some Coral Spot fungus on dead twigs of Field Maple.

Coral Spot Nectria cinnabbarina on Field Maple

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