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

Monday, 29 September 2014

Crippling Red-throat!

A post showing noting more than  a personally pleasing photo of a Red-throated Diver showing amazingly well on the sea this morning at Holmel.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A fabulous Comma

I found this brilliantly marked Comma at Ringstead Downs on Monday. It was sunning itself on bramble leaves and behaved quite well for photographs.  There weren't many other butterflies around but I did have 5 Small Coppers on the north slope by the still-flowering Small Scabious.  Also few species at Holme Dunes last Thursday but good numbers of Wall and Small Heath.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Some late flowers

Probably some of the last new plants to be found in flower this year.  Three of them presented some difficulty in identification and one has been in bud for weeks but has only decided to flower in the last couple of days.
A patch of Michaelmas Daisy has been growing alongside the gravel road at Holme Dunes for at least 3 years. After using a number of different keys it has been identified as Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy Aster lanceolatus, an introduction from North America.
Two Bur-marigolds have appeared on the reserve.  A large patch of Nodding Bur-marigold Bidens cernua on the grazing marsh south of the River Hun, and a single small plant of Trifid Bur-marigold Bidens tripartita near the Visitors' Centre.
We have been waiting for the Sea Wormwood Artemisia maritima to flower for several weeks. It grows at various locations on the edge of saltmarshes on the reserve. In the recently published Vascular Plant Red List it is listed as "Near Threatened".

Narrow-leaved Michaelmas Daisy Aster lanceolata

Nodding Bur-marigold Bidens cernua

Trifid Bur-marigold Bidens tripartita
Sea Wormwood Artemisia maritima

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Wader Roost at Holme-next-the-Sea, Friday 12th September

Gary led the West Norfolk NWT Group on a wader watch at Holme at the morning high tide. About 30 people attended and were treated to a great display by the birds in beautiful weather.
Apart from 30000+ Knot and 3000+ Oystercatcher there were large numbers of Grey Plover (some still in their summer plumage), Bar-tailed Godwit (some still in summer plumage) and Ringed Plover. Also good numbers of Great Black-backed, Black-headed, Herring and Common Gull. Sandwich and Common Tern  were also present.  Gannet, Arctic Skua, Eider and Common Scoter flew East over the sea, with 3 early-arriving Brent Geese. 4 Spoonbill flew East high overhead. The arrival of a Peregrine sent the Knot into the sky.  Other birds seen were Fulmar, Wheatear, Swallow, Wigeon, Turnstone, Linnet, Meadow Pipit, Little Egret, Cormorant and Pied Wagtail.  A perfect morning!

Miscellany at Holme

A few finds while working at Holme Dunes on Thursday.

Sea-buckthorn berries

Sea-buckthorn bracket fungus Phellinus hippophaeicola

Broad Buckler Fern

Intermediate Polypody

A pale Common Carder bumblebee ? on Gypsywort

After watching the wader roost on Friday I found a single Eyebright plant growing by itself on the dunes. It had very pink/purple flowers compared with all the other Eyebrights I have seen on our patch.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Nodding Bur-marigold and some Knot

A good WeBS count on the high tide at 09:44 hrs revealed a good variety of wildfowl including 94 Grey Plover, 66 Ringed Plover, 650 Bar-tailed Godwit, 19, 600 Knot and a huge count of 4450 Oystercatchers - way more than twice the number I've ever counted at the Gore Point roost in over 10 years of counting. Elsewhere the avian highlight was a count of 3 Curlew sandpipers on the pools, where at least 20 Black-tailed Godwits and 2 Ruff were also present. Trifid Bur-marigold was in flower on the grazing marsh. 

Knot, Gore Point, 13th September 2014

Nodding Bur-marigold Holme NWT grazing marshes, 13th September 2014

Sea Aster Colletes

 These fine-looking small bees were active on Ragged Marsh this afternoon, 13th September 2014

Friday, 12 September 2014

Two smart autumn moths: Treble Bar and Brown-spot Pinion

Treble Bar, Hunstanton, 9th September 2014

Brown-spot Pinion, Hunstanton, 12th September 2014

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Some recent flowers and fruits

Chalk Eyebright at Ringstead Downs

Harebells at Holme Dunes

Blue Fleabane at Holme Dunes

Red-leaved Rose hips at Holme Dunes

Annual Sea-blite at Thornham Harbour

Red Goosefoot at Thornham Harbour

Some recent dragons and butterflies

Migrant Hawker at Ringstead Downs

Ruddy Darter at Holme Marsh

Speckled Wood at Holme Dunes

Small Copper at Ringstead Downs


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Plants and Invertebrate highlights - 7th and 8th September

Blue Water-speedwell, River Hun at Old Hunstanton, September 7th

Wasp Spider, Thornham Harbour, 8th September 2014

Red Goosefoot,  Thornham Harbour, 8th September 2014

Many-flowered Goosefoot, Thornham Harbour, 8th September 2014

Glischrochilus hortensis, Holme NWT,  8th September 2014

Equal-leaved Knotgrass,  Thornham Harbour, 8th September 2014

Oak Bush Cricket, Hunstanton, 7th September 2014

Common Groundhopper, Holme NWT, 7th September 2014

Creeping Thistle Gall caused by the picture-winged fly Urophora cardui, Redwell Marsh, 7th September 2014

Marsh Cudweed, Redwell Marsh, 7th September 2014

Fabulous Fungi and Slippery Slime Moulds

Shaggy Inkcap Coprinus comatus, Redwell, 7th September 2014

Plums and Custard Tricholomopsis rutilans, Holme NWT (pines) 8th September 2014

Earthtongue Geoglossum cookeanum, Holme NWT, 7th September 2014

Ganoderma australe (tbc), Ringstead Downs, 7th September 2014

Beefsteak Fungus Fistulina hepatica, Ringstead Downs, 7th September 2014

Bolete to be identified, Holme NWT, 8th September 2014

Toad's-ear Otidea bufonia, Holme NWT (pines), 7th September 2014

Slime Mould, Fuligo septica, Ringstead Downs, 7th September 2014