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

Monday, 5 May 2014

Horseshoes etc. at Ringstead Downs

Walking the butterfly transect at Ringstead Downs today I encountered a number of new species for the patch (not the butterflies - just Peacocks, Orange-tips, Small Whites and Small Coppers today).
I was surprised but pleased to see the Horseshoe Vetch Hippocrepis comosa flowering so early. There seems to be a reasonable number of plants on part of the north bank.

Horseshoe Vetch in bud

Horseshoe vetch in flower

Also newly in flower were several plants of Common Gromwell  Lithospermum officinale and a few Eyebrights Euphrasia agg. (I shall investigate the species when there are more plants in flower and when I have plenty of time!) Also my first Mouse-ear-hawkweed Pilosella officinarum of the year.

Common Gromwell



There was a metallic green beetle (possibly Cryptocephalus hypochaeridis)  crawling on a rock-rose flower.

A large number of flies were feeding on a dead bumble bee. The flies seem to be Greenbottles Lucilia caesar although there is a very similar species.

Earlier in the day I had travelled out of patch to Burnham Norton to look at the Mousetail Myosurus minimus, a nationally vulnerable species and very scarce in Norfolk. It seems to have survived being under saltwater for 2 weeks in December. Although a member of the Buttercup family it is more plantain-like in appearance and is very difficult to photograph.

Mousetail among grass

Mousetail on dried mud


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