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

Friday, 25 April 2014

A busy day at Holme and Ringstead

While volunteering at Holme Dunes on Thursday this week I had the opportunity to look at what plants were around.  I started off the day by walking with Gary from Thornham harbour at the beginning of his Lapwing survey. It will be interesting to see what grows on the new bank this year. Along Holmhurst path there were quite a lot of plants of Wild Onion (not flowering yet). In the wet meadow to the west there were large patches of Greater Pond Sedge.
I then went to check the ponies near the village and some Elder was in flower.
As it was a sunny day I proceeded to Ringstead Downs to carry out the butterfly transect - no new butterflies but lots of Green-veined Whites, Peacocks, Orange Tips and one Small Tortoiseshell. It was good to see a good spread of Wild Strawberry in flower and my first flowers of Rock-rose, Salad Burnet and Mignonette. New flowers for the patch were Thyme-leaved Sandwort and Glaucous Sedge. The Barberry opposite the Downs Farm cottages was also in flower (I didn't have my camera with me). The temperature at the Downs was peaking at 24 degrees, some 6 degrees higher than at Holme Dunes.
Upon returning to Holme I walked the butterfly transect there. It was cooler and breezier and so I only recorded 3 butterflies on the transect - 2 Peacocks and my first Small Copper. Someone reported seeing 2 Green Hairstreaks but unfortunately I did not come across them.
During the transect and afterwards I was able to have a good look at the plants in flower. It is really amazing how many plants are flowering in the grey dunes, but because they are so small you don't notice them unless you get down to their level. There were very good numbers of Rue-leaved Saxifrage, Spring Vetch, Early-flowering Forget-me-not, Common Cornsalad and Heat Dog Violet. Sand Sedge was beginning to flower in abundance. Elsewhere on the reserve there was Small-flowered Cranesbill, Thyme-leaved Sandwort, Bugloss and Glaucous Sedge, to mention just a few. At the Saltings car park there was a large patch of Greater Stitchwort. The Columbine plant was flowering by the coastal footpath and the Adder's-tongues were beginning to stick out their tongues.
Altogether a great day to be out and about in North West Norfolk. (Just one unidentified sedge to be looked at again soon). There were quite a few birds around too!

Small Copper at Holme Dunes

A patch of Rue-leaved Saxifrage

Heath Dog Violet


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