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

Sunday, 31 August 2014

An awesome Ichneumon, Holme NWT, 31st August 2014

Patch miscellany, 25th-31st August 2014

Robin's Pin-cushion, Holme NWT, 25th August 2014

Collared Earthstar, Holme NWT, 31st August 2014

Small Nettle,  Holme NWT, 31st August 2014

Black Bindweed, Holme NWT, 31st August 2014

Dwarf Mallow,  Holme NWT, 31st August 2014

Wrinkled Peach,  Ringstead Downs, 31st August 2014

More autumn fruits

Bramble, Holme NWT, 17th August 2014

Old Man's Beard,  Holme NWT, 17th August 2014

Dog Rose,  Holme NWT, 25th August 2014

Privet, Holme NWT, 17th August 2014

Privet, Holme NWT, 31st Aug 2014

Asparagus, Holme NWT, 31st Aug 2014

Elder, Holme NWT, 31st Aug 2014

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Ringstead butterflies and gall

Still quite a variety of butterflies at Ringstead Downs today although some of them are beginning to look a bit old and worn. Brown Argus and Common Blue were quite prevalent but no sign of Chalk-hill Blue now.  Two Clouded Yellows and a Painted Lady were active along with Whites - Green-veined, Small and Large. Speckled Woods were flying near East and West ends. A few Meadow Browns were lingering on together with one old Small Copper.
There were a couple of Sweet-briars with the Robin's pin-cushion gall on them. This is caused by the larvae of a small wasp Diplolepsis rosae.
Autumn is definitely upon us as many fruits are ripening and there are numerous fungi appearing (I didn't try to identify any today!)

Large White

Robin's Pin-cushion gall caused by larvae of Diplolepsis rosae wasp

Friday, 22 August 2014

Holme butterflies and galls

It was warm and sunny at Holme Dunes on Wednesday and so there were quite a few butterflies around. It was pleasing to see good numbers of fresh Small Heath along with Common Blue and Brown Argus. Wall are still present as are Speckled Wood and a few tatty Gatekeeper.  A Clouded Yellow flew past the VC.  As well as the good numbers of Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral on the Buddleja by the VC there was one Grayling there for most of the day, alternating between the flowers and the VC windowsill.
The Narrow-leaved Hawkweeds were flowering well in the dunes - some of the stems with swollen stem galls caused by the wasp Aulacidea hieracii.  One plant of Carline Thistle had a very distorted flower, possibly caused by an insect (unknown).


Gall on Narrow-leaved Hawkweed caused by the wasp Aulacidea hieracii

Gall? on Carline Thistle

Saturday, 16 August 2014


The pools are in top form at the moment !  A pre-work check yesterday morning revealed a juvenile Little Ringed Plover as well as 3 Greenshanks, 2 Dunlin, 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, Common Sandpiper and 2 Egyptian Geese.

This evening the LRP was still present but with 3 Ruff,28 Black-tailed Godwits, 4 Snipe, 2-3 Green Sandpipers, Common Sandpiper and a single Greenshank.

Both really good hauls for the pools these days - oh for the days of 130 odd Spotted Redshanks, 150 Dunlin and multiple rares.  

Autumn fruits

Rowan, Holme Marsh, 23rd July 2014

Lords and Ladies, Ringstead Downs, 27th July 2014

Crab Apple, Ringstead Downs, 27th July 2014

Snowberry bush, Ringstead Downs, 10th Aug 2014

Sea Buckthorn, Holme NWT, 16th August 2014

Bittersweet, Holme NWT, 16th Aug 2014

Barberry, Ringstead Downs, 31st July 2014

Blackthorn, Ringstead Downs, 27th July 2014

Buckthorn, Redwell Marsh, 16th August 2014

Saturday's Winged Beasties

Eristalinus sepulchralis, Holme NWT, 16th August 2014

Eristalis horticola, Holme NOA, 16th August 2014

Eristalis horticola, Holme NOA, 16th August 2014

 Cheilosia bergenstammi, Holme NOA, 16th August 2014

Syritta pipiens, Holme NOA, 16th August 2014

Tachina grossa, Holme NOA, 16th August 2014

Volucella zonaria,  Holme NOA, 16th August 2014

Helophilus trivittatus,  Holme NOA, 16th August 2014

Sphaerophoria rueppellii/loewi,  Holme NWT, 16th August 2014

Figwort Sawfly Tenthredo scrophularae, Holme NOA, 16th August 201

Eupeolus cruciger/variegatus. Holme NOA, 16th August 2014

Plastic fantastic!

Eclipsed drake Mandarin on show from the first NWT hide this morning.  No sign of LRP.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

48 fat Fulmar chicks, a handful of moths, two bugs and a hover

I carried out the annual (August) Seabird Monitoring Programme count of Fulmar chicks along Hunstanton Cliffs today. I found 48 chicks. The June SMP census of Apparently Occupied Nests revealed 95 AONs, so that's a productivity of  0.505 chick per AON - pretty much on a par with the last four years. I started the counts in 2007: here's the data.....

Year       AON     Productivity
2007     131         0.19
2008     110         0.12
2009     137         0.42
2010     137         0.33
2011     115         0.54
2012     91           0.57
2013     95           0.43
2014     95           0.51

If you like these sorts of data, you can access count and productivity data for all species at seabird colonies throughout Britain and Ireland at www.jncc.gov.uk/seabirds, where you can also read and download a report (updated annually) on national trends in seabird numbers. 

Platycheirus granditarsus, Redwell Marsh, 12th August 2014

Phytocoris tiliae, Old Hunstanton, 12th August 2014

Liocoris tripustulatus, Old Hunstanton, 12th August 2014

Marbled Beauty, Hunstanton, 14th August 2014

Orange Swift, Hunstanton, 14th August 2014

Saltmarsh Bell, Hunstanton, 14th August 2014

Agriphila geniculea, Hunstanton, 14th August 2014

Common Flat-body, Hunstanton, 14th August 2014