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

Monday, 23 March 2015

Monday 23rd March

Today's highlights included a patch 'first' (for several of us) in the form of a Nine-spined Stickleback Pungitius pungitius as well as another Polychaete Hediste diversicolor from the mussel scalps at Hunstanton and several still-to-be identified millipedes, woodlice and beetles, mainly form the base of Hunstanton Cliffs.

Nine-spined Stickleback Pungitius pungitius, Holme NWT, 23rd March 2015

As yet to be identified millipede, Hunstanton Cliffs, 23rd March 2015

Spring flowers and Geese

On Sunday tiny Common Whitlowgrass plants were flowering profusely in the dunes at Holme.  Although there were lots of Springbeauty plants none were in flower. However, in Hunstanton there were a few large plants of Springbeauty flowering at the edge of a pavement in Sandringham Road.
While working at Holme Dunes last Thursday I spotted the 3 Bean Geese. They were rather distant but they seemed to have the rossicus bill pattern. They have been hanging around at Holme for about 3 weeks now.

Common Whitlowgrass Erophila verna in the dunes at Holme

Springbeauty Claytonia perfoliata in Hunstanton

Bean Geese at Holme Dunes

Sunday, 22 March 2015

A Sunday 22nd March miscellany

After an extended WeBS session, Phil and I for plants new in flower (Lesser Chikeeed and Little Mouse-ear) then a search of the intertidal with Karla produced a great edible crab and 4 Polychaetes: Lugworm Arenicola marina, Cat Worm Nephtys cirrosa, Peacock Worm Sabella pavonina  and Sand Mason Laniche conchilega. The NOA traps held Common Quaker, Dotted Border, Mottled Grey, 2 Oak Beauty a Grey Shoulder Knot, March Moth and a scarce micro-moth in the form of Acleris cristana

Acleris cristana, Holme NOA, 22nd March 2015

Edible Crab Cancer pagurus, Holme NWT, 22nd March 2015

Alder, Holme NWT, 22nd March 2015

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Blonde Ray egg case on Hunstanton Beach

Blonde Ray (Raja brachyura) egg case, Old Hunstanton, 21st March 2015

This egg case is much larger than the far more abundant Spotted and Thornback ray cases - including the 'handles' it spans a hand.

Palaemonetes varians : the best prawn of 2015 (so far.........)

Palaemonetes varians, Holme NWT, 21st March 2015. This is a species of brackish to freshwaters and Robert found lots in the ditch along the edge of the North Field.

This shot shows the five dorsal and two ventral spines on the rostrum. Only one of the dorsal spines is posterior to the posterior edge of the eye.

Three more early-season moths

 Dotted Border, Holme NOA, 21st March 2015

March Moth, Holme NOA, 21st March 2015

Oak Beauty, Holme NOA, 21st March 2015

Friday, 20 March 2015

Three early-season moths

Grey Shoulder-knot, Holme NOA, 15th March 2015

Mottled Grey, Holme NOA, 15th March 2015

Common Quaker, Holme NOA, 17th March 2015

The first lacewing of the year

Chrysoperla carnea, Holme NOA, 16th March 2015 - apparently the only British species to hibernate through the winter


If you're reading this you've survived the end of the world, again!

As well as the eclipse birding this morning turned up two Slavonian Grebes, 3 Greenshanks, Red Kite, male Hen Harrier and three Tundra Bean Geese.

A view of the March 2015 eclipse from Hunstanton.........

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

A butterfly, a fly and two bees!

While working in the Community Orchard in Hunstanton this morning I spotted my first butterfly of the year, a Small Tortoiseshell.  It was busy feeding on the early flowers of the White Comfrey plants.  This sighting, together with the beautiful sunny weather, prompted me to go and walk my butterfly transect at Ringstead Downs for the first time this year.  Unfortunately I didn't see any butterflies there, although there were a few flies and bees around the floriferous Gorse.  Sweet Violets were flowering well and a few flowers were beginning to appear on the Ground-ivy plants.  Later, back home and doing a bit of gardening, a Tree Bumblebee was busy in the crocus flowers and a Honey Bee was also busy at work.  I disturbed some Black Garden Ants and also, while repairing a water butt, found some Netted Slugs which proceeded to cover my hand with copious clear mucus!

Small Tortoiseshell on White Comfrey (Hunstanton Community Orchard)

Greenbottle Lucilla Caesar on Daisy (Hunstanton Community Orchard)

Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum on Crocus (Hunstanton)

Honey Bee Apis mellifera on Ipheion uniflorum (Hunstanton)

Pale Pinion opens the new nothing year in style

The first moth in the NOAs moth traps this year was a Pale Pinion.......

Dicyphus pallicornis - a new myrid plant bug for the patch

Dicyphus pallicornis on Foxglove, Hunstanton 10th March 2015