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

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Vetch Piercer

Vetch Piercer Grapholita jungiella, Holme NWT, 27th April 2015

Steve, Robert and I found a small number of these moths (maybe 4-5) flying around a hawthorn bush in the dunes at Holme NWT on Monday 27th April 2015. These appear to be the first records since the only other record for the patch, also at Holme, on 5th May 2002. 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Bees in Hunstanton Community Orchard

While checking the orchard yesterday there were lots of insects visiting the White Comfrey flowers.  One species of interest was a Hairy-footed flower bee (probably Anthophora plumipes). These were difficult to photograph as they have a rapid, darting flight and don't stay still for long. Another one I identified as Melecta luctuosa, a species which breeds as a cuckoo in the nest of Anthophora spp.

Female Anthophora plumipes

Melecta luctuosa

Monday, 27 April 2015

Some recent finds on the patch..............

Aderfly Sialis lutaria, River Hun at Redwell Bridge, 27th April 2015 

Red-letter Flat-body Agonopteryx ocellana, Holme NOA, 27th April 2015

Nicrophorus vespillo, Holme NWT, 27th April 2015

Pachyrhinus lethierryi, Holme NWT, 27th April 2015

Thanatophilus rugosus, Holme NOA, 25th April 2015

Common Leaf Weevil, Phyllobius pyri, Holme NOA, 25th April 2015

Brindled Beauty, Holme NOA, 25th April 2015

The Monday Club

A selection from the patch today...

Dune Tiger Beetle (Cicindela maritima)
News broke just before lunch that Phil had found a new patch plant - twitch on!  Did I mention it was in the car park ?!?

Suffocated Clover (Trifolium suffocatum)
Lochmaea crataegi

The star of the day...Pachyrhinus lethierryia new patch Beetle and a good Norfolk record to boot!  Beaten of Laylandii by Andy.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Not a bad day to be at Holme (just a shame I was unable to connect with all!)...Iceland Gull, adult White-tailed Eagle, 3 Whinchat, 22 Wheatear, 3 Ring Ouzels, 4 Grasshopper Warblers,  60 Yellow Wags, 6 Little Terns, White Wagtail, Common Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank.

Swift.  1st of the year.

Yellow Wagtail.  A common feature over the past two days.


leucistic(?) Egyption Goose


Yellow Wagtail

Migration in full swing

Another great Spring days guiding. steady passage of Swallow through the day interspersed with a few House & Sand Martin, good passage of 60+ Yellow Wags through the day, plus 30+ in amongst the cattle at Holme. Highlight for me was a 2nd cal year ICELAND GULL flying west at Gore Pt, Holme just after 9am - my 2nd ever record at Holme. Also single Ring Ouzel, 4 Wheatear, 1 Tree Pipit over, 3 reeling Grasshopper Warbler, a Willow Warbler in off the sea & 2 migrant Buzzard & 2 Marsh harriers high overhead whilst scanning for the WTS Eagle that sadly didn't quite make it past Scolt!! Obvious increase in Whitethroat & Sedge Wblr numbers today as well. Still 200 Brents & 5 Pinks, plus a cracking "black" Ruff out on the marsh & a 2nd cal year Med Gull.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Saturday and Sunday, 18th and 19th April 2015

Parent Bug, Holmhurst Track, 18th April 2015

 Powdered Quaker, Holme NWT, 18th April 2015

Clouded Drab, Holme NOA, 18th APril 2015

Iris Swafly, Holme NOA, 18th April 2015

Streamer, Holme NOA, 19th April 2015

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Three conifer-specialist ladybirds from the pines at Holme Dunes NWT

18-spot Ladybird, Holme NWT, 13th April 2015

Cream-streaked Ladybird, Holme NWT, 13th April 2015

Eyed Ladybird, Holme NWT, 13th April 2015

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Red-green Carpet

Red-green Carpet, Holme NOA, 15th April 2015

Wednesday 15 April 2015 - visible migration at Hunstanton Cliffs

Counting period: 06:00 - 08:00
Weather: wind SW3, cloud-cover 4/8, temperature 7 ℃
Observers: Andy Brown, Robert Smith, Chris Mills & Frank Branch

Marsh Harrier  2  -  Meadow Pipit  448  -  Tree Sparrow  13  -  
Hobby  1  -  flava wagtail sp.  8  -  Chaffinch  4  -  
Lesser Black-backed Gull  1  -  alba wagtail sp.  6  -  Brambling  2  -  
Sandwich Tern  6  -  Dunnock  2  -  Greenfinch  2  -  
Woodpigeon  438  -  Ring Ouzel  3  -  Goldfinch  202  -  
Collared Dove  6  -  Fieldfare  2  -  Siskin  1  -  
Sand Martin  10  -  Great Tit  2  -  Linnet  181  -  
Swallow  33  -  Jackdaw  3  -  redpoll sp.  1  -  
House Martin  8  -  Rook  6  -    
Tree Pipit  12  -  Carrion Crow  53  -    

Totals: 1456 individuals, 28 species, 2:00 hours

Bold = Remarkable observation (scarce or rare species or large number)


Over the last few weeks the leaves of Lords-and-Ladies Arum maculatum have been abundant under the trees and scrub at Ringstead Downs. Today I noticed that some had spathes appearing and I found two plants with their spathes open to reveal the spadix within. Interestingly, one of the plants had a yellow spadix and the other one had a purple one. Purple is the more common colour for Arum maculatum.

The butterflies were again enjoying the sunshine. I spotted 43 butterflies on my walk from east to west of the downs, including my first Large White and Holly Blue of the year. The Holly Blue was flying around the ivy along the path by the car park.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

April 13th - visible migration at Hunstanton Cliffs

Counting period: 06:00 - 08:00
Weather: wind SW2, temperature 6 ℃
Observers: Andy Brown

Shelduck  1  -  flava wagtail sp.  1  -  Greenfinch  6  -  
Mediterranean Gull  4  -  alba wagtail sp.  12  -  Goldfinch  104  -  
Sandwich Tern  3  -  Blue Tit  1  -  Siskin  5  -  
Woodpigeon  98  -  Jay  1  -  Linnet  159  -  
Collared Dove  3  -  Magpie  4  -  redpoll sp.  7  -  
Swallow  16  -  Rook  16  -  Reed Bunting  1  -  
House Martin  8  -  Carrion Crow  4  -    
Meadow Pipit  385  -  Starling  4  -    

Totals: 843 individuals, 22 species, 2:00 hours

Bold = Remarkable observation (scarce or rare species or large number)

April 3rd - visible migration at Hunstanton Cliffs

Counting period: 06:15 - 08:45
Weather: wind SSE3, cloud-cover 8/8, precipitation rain, temperature 5 ℃
Observers: Andy Brown

Egyptian Goose  1  -  Grey Wagtail  4  -  Greenfinch  16  -  
Lapwing  2  -  alba wagtail sp.  172  -  Goldfinch  50  -  
Mediterranean Gull  2  -  Jackdaw  14  -  Siskin  2  -  
Lesser Black-backed Gull  6  -  Rook  1  -  Linnet  46  -  
Woodpigeon  6  -  Carrion Crow  1  -  redpoll sp.  3  -  
Meadow Pipit  2667  -  Starling  24  -  Yellowhammer  1  -  
Rock Pipit  1  -  Chaffinch  20  -  Reed Bunting  6  -  

Totals: 3045 individuals, 21 species, 2:30 hours

Bold = Remarkable observation (scarce or rare species or large number)
Comments: The highest Meadow Pipit count since April 2009 and the highest alba Wagtail count since March 2002: both were the 3rd highest counts since we began counting in the mid 1990s. The few albas which landed were Pieds.

Tuesday 14 April 2015 - visible migration at Hunstanton Cliffs

Counting period: 06:00 - 08:00
Weather: wind SW3, cloud-cover 4/8, temperature 7 ℃
Observers: Andy Brown and Frank Branch

Greenshank  -  1  Meadow Pipit  269  -  Starling  2  -  
Woodpigeon  148  -  flava wagtail sp.  4  -  Tree Sparrow  6  -  
Collared Dove  2  -  alba wagtail sp.  9  -  Chaffinch  6  -  
Great Spotted Woodpecker  1  -  Wheatear  1  -  Greenfinch  15  -  
Skylark  1  -  Ring Ouzel  5  -  Goldfinch  193  -  
Sand Martin  2  -  Blue Tit  1  -  Siskin  2  -  
Swallow  25  -  Jackdaw  4  -  Linnet  237  -  
House Martin  4  -  Rook  4  -  redpoll sp.  3  -  
Tree Pipit  1  -  Carrion Crow  2  -  Yellowhammer  2  -  

Totals: 950 individuals, 27 species, 2:00 hours

Bold = Remarkable observation (scarce or rare species or large number)
Comments: Nice variety 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

A Spring miscellany

First a spider in my bathroom this morning. No idea of species!

Next some flies on the dung of the White Park cattle at Ringstead Downs. Probably Yellow Dung-flies Scathophaga stercoraria (male and female in second photo).

Finally a plant in the wood at the top of the south bank at Ringstead Downs.  We noticed several green plants standing out among the leafless trees.  They are Butcher's-broom Ruscus aculeatus, an unusual plant in that its "leaves" are actually flattened stems.

On the north bank we found a few Cowslips in flower and quite a large patch of plants (not in flower) which I identified as Dame's-violet.

Spring fungi

Back to Ringstead Downs today with Keith Fox and the Dersingham Mushroom Group looking for Morels.  We didn't find any but we did find a selection of other fungi including 6 species which I think are new records for the patch:-
Brown Puffball Bovista nigrescens
Hairy Bracket Trametes ochracea
Lumpy Bracket Trametes gibbosa
Artist's Bracket Ganoderma applanatum
Brittle Cinder Kretzchmaria deusta
Fire-rug Inkcap Coprinellus domesticus

Grassland Puffball Lycoperdon lividum

Brown Puffball Bovista nigrescens

Artist's Bracket Ganoderma applanatum

Artist's Bracket Ganoderma applanatum
Brittle Cinder Kretzchmaria deusta

Glistening Inkcap Coprinellus micaceus

Fire-rug Inkcap Coprinellus domesticus

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Abundant Butterflies

As yesterday, Friday 10th April, was such a sunny, warm day I decided to walk my butterfly transect at Ringstead Downs. As the farm track from Hunstanton is presently closed I entered the downs from the Ringstead village end. I knew I had chosen a good day as soon as I started walking along the path. At this east end of the downs I counted 22 individual butterflies.  Once inside the reserve at the west end I walked my transect route and counted another 20 butterflies.  My totals for the afternoon were:-
  Peacock  18,  Small Tortoiseshell  8,  Comma  6,  Brimstone  5,  Small White  4,  Orange Tip  1
The butterflies were making the most of a temperature of 20 degrees and sunny, sheltered locations.
The 3 White Park cattle currently in the reserve were also enjoying the good weather.  The south-facing slopes were covered in flowers of Ground-ivy and the Ash trees were just coming into flower.

Two of the Commas

A Small White feeding on Ground-ivy
The Orange Tip (though looking more like yellow tip!)

Ash just coming into flower
The 3 White Park cattle