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

Friday, 30 May 2014

More Friday May 30th

Like Andy and Robert I spent some time at Holme Dunes this afternoon, mostly around Lavender and Ragged Marshes and parts of the dunes. I recorded 82 different species in flower, including several new to me for the year and a few new for the patch. There are a number of grasses, sedges and rushes beginning to flower now and some of them take a bit of sorting out though others are more straightforward. Long-bracted Sedge, Saltmarsh Rush and Common Saltmarsh grass are just three to be found on the edge of saltmarsh or dune slack. The soil in the Paddocks must be reasonably acidic as both Sheep's Sorrel and Heath Milkwort were growing there. I went to check where the Pyramidal Orchids had flowered so well last year and found a lot in bud and was surprised to find one plant in full flower (I took photos but the wind was too strong so they are not in clear focus). I also managed to find 8 Bee Orchids in flower. The tiny flowers of Shrubby Sea-blite are open if you look carefully. Along Thornham Bank I agree with Andy that the tall yellow brassicas are Black Mustard with plenty of Scented Mayweed lower down. The patches of Marsh Sow-thistle seem to be growing well for flowering later in the year. A lovely day to be out and about.

Friday 30th May

A superb sunny day. Plants new in flower today included Common Sea Lavender, Water Figwort, (Fragrant or Large-flowered) Evening Primrose, Hemlock, Scented Mayweed, Foxglove, Tufted Forget-me-not and, for me, Spurge Laurel and Common Mallow. Butterflies were numerous with Common Blue, Holly Blue, Brown Argus, Small Copper, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Small White, Green-veined White, Peacock, Red Admiral, Small Tortoisehell, Wall, Green Hairstreak and the first Large Skipper on the wing, as well as Blue-tailed and Azure Damselflies and Four-spotted Chaser. Migration was little in evidence with fly-over Tree Pipit and Yellow Wagtail and a Greenshank on Lavender Marsh. I found a Common Groundhopper associating with more numerous Slender Groundhoppers and myriads of assorted grassshopper nymphs in the forestry, where a string of fresh Natterjack spawn was neatly woven around the stems of waterweeds in one of the scrapes. A huge eel was lurking in the river below the Hun bridge, alongside numerous Three-spined Sticklebacks. Moth highlights included Saltmarsh Plume, Large Yellow Underwing and 5 Small Elephant Hawkmoths in the NOA traps, 60 Diamondbacks (migranta), Pebble Prominent, White Point, Cabbage, Small Sqaure Spot and Campion in my Hunstanton garden ttrap and at least 3 Yellow-banded Longhorns Nemophora degeerella and several Cinnabars in Ringstead Downs. Also in the Downs were several Volucella bombylans hoverflies, all of the red-tailed morph and several patches of the liverwort Marchantia polymorpha at the foot of the east end quarry face.

White Point, Hunstanton, 30th May 2014

Wasp Beetle, Holme NWT, 30th May 2014

Natterjack Toad spawn, Holme NWT, 30th May 2014

Downlooker Snipefly, Holme NWT, 30th May 2014

Saltmarsh Plume, Holme NOA, 30th May 2014

Small Heath, Holme NWT, 30th May 2014

Yellow-banded Longhorn, Ringstead Downs, 30th May 2014

Volucella bombylans , Ringstead Downs, 30th May 2014

Cinnabar, Ringstead Downs, 30th May 2014

Water Figwort, Ringstead Downs, 30th May 2014

Common Liverwort Marchantia polymorpha, Ringstead Downs, 30th May 2014

Foxglove, Ringstead Downs, 30th May 2014

Keen to get back on patch after a week away in the Yorkshire Dales a couple of hours at Holme this afternoon produced both Common & Green Sandpiper on the pools, a Redpoll over, this cool looking Chrysotoxum species (Hoverfly), Silver Y, Four-spotted Chaser, Hairy Dragonfly,and Bee, Early & Southern Marsh Orchid.

Chrysotoxum sp.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Caught in the rain - 28th and 29th May 2014

Its been tough going for the last 2-3 days, with drizzle, a stiff east wind and sometims heavy rain conspiring to make the location of wildlife difficult. The avian highlight was a nice male Black Redstart along the entrance track on Thursday evening (29th), the moth highlight was a Yellow-faced Bell, whilst the non-moth invertebrate highlight was the fabulously named Downlooker Snipefly Rhagio scolopaceus, a large scorpion-fly-like fly which sweeps its long front legs far in front of it as it works its way across the vegetation, pausing to tilt forwards every few seconds. New plants in flower included Sea Bindweed, Haresfoot and Rough Clover, Marsh and Southern Marsh Orchid, Fool's Watercress, Privet, Meadow Vetchling, Biting Stonecrop, Bristly Oxtongu, Marsh Thiste and Viper's Bugloss, whilst Hogweed and Bristly Oxtongue were in flower for the first time since January. 

Downlooker Snipefly Rhagio scolopaceus, Holme Marsh, 28th May 2014

Yellow-faced Bell, Notocelia cynosbatella, Holme Marsh 28th May 2014

Southern Marsh Orchid, Hunstanton, 29th May 2014

Marsh Thistle, Holme NWT, 29th May 2014

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Setaceous Hebrew Character

A common species in the area, but smart nonetheless.

A shag roosted on the cliffs last night.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Saturday 24th May

Plants new in flower today were Honeysuckle, Bee Orchid, Sea Beet, Sea Fern Grass, White Clover and, for me at least, Wall Barley and Dog Rose. The moth catches were good, my best being 2 Small Elephant Hawk Moths, a Pale Prominent, Cabbage, Angle Shades, Common Swift and a gorgeous Campion. The NOA traps held; 2 Poplar Hawks, a Light Brocade, Purple Bar, Spruce Carpet, Light Emerald, both White and Buff Ermine and much else besides.

Pale Prominent, Hunstanton, 24th May 2014

Campion, Hunstanton, 24th May 2014

Buff Ermine, Holme NOA, 24th May 2014

Purple Bar, Holme NOA, 24th May 2014

Light Brocade, Holme NOA, 24th May 2014

Bee Orchid, Holme NWT, 24th May 2014

Honeysuckle, Holme NWT, 24th May 2014

Agapanthia villosoviridescens - a stunning longhorn beetle

I found this amazing beast today in Holme Marsh, sat quietly amongst the nettles and brambles.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Some recent invertebrate records May 18th and 19th 2014

Garden Tiger Moth, Holme NOA, 18th May 2014

A click beetle, Cidnopus aeruginosus, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014

A soldier beetle Cantharis rustica, Holme NWT, 19th May 2014

Leaden Spider Wasp, Pompilus cinereus, Holme NWT, 19th May 20914

Sand Wasp Ammophila sabulosa, Holme NWT, May 19th 2014

Thursday, 22 May 2014

New Plants in Flower

Sea Mouse-ear, Holme NWT, 19th May 2014

Lesser Sea-spurrey, Holme NWT, 19th May 2014

Greater Sea-spurrey, Holme NWT, 19th May 2014

Kidney Vetch, Holme NWT, 19th May 2014

Spindle Ermine

Phil and I recently found a colony of Spindle Ermine in the forestry:

22nd May 2014: four from the patch

Pale Oak Beauty, Holme NOA, 22nd May 2014

Wasp Beetle Clytus arietis, Peddars Way, 22nd May 2014

Two-spot Ladybird, Peddars Way, 22nd May 2014

Bloody-nosed Beetle Timarcha tenebricosa (larva), Peddars Way, 22nd May 2014

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Sunday 18th May

A brilliant sunshiny start gave way to a bright but cloudy morning then a very hot afternoon. Plants new in flower today were Sea Spurge, Sea Plantain, Sea Arrowgrass Sea Milkwort, Sea pearlwort, and Birdsfoot Clover. I found two new hoverflies for the year too, Xylota segnis and Rhingia campestris and a new Shieldbug - Birch. 5 species of dragonfly were on the wing - with all species together on Redwell Marsh: Broad-bodoed Chaser, Hairy Hawker and Large Red, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies. Lots of June/garden Chafers were emerging today, as too were what looks to be Rose Sawfly - from amongst bramble and Old Mans' Beard. Moths stole the show though - with a great selection in my own trap and, especially in the NOA traps. The highlights were undoubtedly Nut-tree Tussock and Plain Prominent, with Sand Dart and Iron Prominent amongst the many new for the year.

 Iron Prominent, Hunstanton, 18th May 2014

Birch Shieldbug, Hunstanton, 18th May 2014

 Rough-winged Conch, Hunstanton, 18th May 2014

Sea Spurge, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014

Sea Milkwort, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014

Sea Arrowgrass, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014

Sea Plantain, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014

Harestail Grass, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014

Rose (?) Sawfly, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014

June/Garden Chafer, Holme NOA, 18th May 2014

Oedemera nobilis, Holme NOA, 18th May 2014

Rhingia campestris, Holme NOA, 18th May 2014

Rhingia campestris, Holme NOA, 18th May 2014

Sand Dart,  Holme NOA, 18th May 2014

Pale Prominent, Holme NOA, 18th May 2014

Nut Tree Tussock,Holme NOA, 18th May 2014

Xylota signis, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014

Blue-tailed Damselfly, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014

  Azure Damselfly, Holme NWT, 18th May 2014