Monday, 1 October 2007

Beach Walk 1st Oct

The Sea Holly is withering where it grew...

...the Viper's Bugloss has been reduced to a pale skeleton... & hips can be found together... must be Autumn!!!
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Friday, 7 September 2007

More Spider Stuff...

I don't think I've ever seen a bigger Garden Spider than this one which was in the greenhouse this afternoon!

It was very active - shinning down a silken thread and up again in the blink of an eye!

This raggedy Speckled Wood was also sheltering/trapped in the greenhouse.
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Monday, 3 September 2007

A Spider

There have been an awful lot of these small spiders in the garden lately, notably on the catmint.THey hang upside down so could be a little tricky to identify. Much smaller than the Garden Spider.

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Shield Bug

I saw this on my top box as I set out to walk to Squires Gate in preparaton for the lads walk on Saturday (shudder...) The nearest I have come to identifying it so far is Hawthorn Shield Bug but this doesn't have such extensive darker areas on the wings & abdomen as that seems to. Update later...
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Saturday, 1 September 2007

Sour Grapes?

This caterpillar took no notice at all of the grapes Ivan gave me from his vine in the soon-to-be-mine greenhouse. It just carried straight on in the direction of my brassicas! (It didn't make it...)
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Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Caravan (1)

This yellow boulder was lying amongst the Limestone pebbles on the beach at Far Arnside.

A closer look reveals a fascinating landscape of minute perfections! I know very little about lichens so this rock will provide me with a good starting point.

There look to me to be two types (species?) here but what do I know? Will report back later.
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Caravan (2)

These two lichen were on limestone bedrock nearby. This one has a distinct ring around it. Perhaps it is different to those posted above?

And this is a pale grey like discarded spearmint chewing gum.
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Caravan (3)

This remaining fragment of vegetation shows the layered structure of the disappearing shore very clearly.

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Caravan (4)

I don't know what this is but it is small, beautiful, perfectly formed and abundant above the tid line at the moment.

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Tom likes dragonflies - dagonflies like Tom...
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Sunday, 19 August 2007

More from Norfolk...

The whole area was fringed with unspoilt beaches such as this one at Horsey Gap. Grey Seals were often in evidence a few metres out.

This is Great Ormesby Broad taken from the Eel's Foot Hotel the evening before Lisa and my fruitess day's pike fishing. (Well fruitless in terms of catching pike but we did see dragonflies, warblers, a kingfisher and a juvenile Great Crested Grebe fishing close to the boat... fruitless did I say? Sue in the other boat also saw a Marsh harrier)

This adult Grebe was near the excellent visitor centre on Ranworth Broad.
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Tuesday, 14 August 2007


There were dragonflies everywhere we went in Norfolk. This picture is of a kneeler in Ranworth Church, the 'Cathedral of the Broads' and indicates local pride in the Norfolk Hawker dragonfly. We did see 2 Norfolk Hawkers on Horsey Mere (identified by local guide 'Ross' from his boat) a few weeks after they should have finished for the year. I was hoping to see this species but wasn't very optimistic.

That other great Norfolk speciality, the Swallowtail Butterfly, had last been seen by Ross two weeks before our trip. He did however point out the Milk Parsley which is the sole food of the Swallowtail larvae.

This is a Black-Tailed Skimmer just outside the visitor centre at Ranworth Broad. This is well worth a visit for a very clear illustration of the local habitats, and how managed broads decline to Alder carr (with Alder and Willow sinking under their own weight as they grow in muddy water.) We also saw Black-Tailed Skimmers from our (rented) rowing boat on Great Ormesby Broad.

I will have to look this one up but I assume it is a female Common or Ruddy Darter.

This one is a Migrant hawker hanging from a slender branch on a sunny afternoon. If you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see the diagnostic golf-tee shaped mark on the second segment after the thorax.

The full list of dragonflies and damselflies for the holiday was:

*Norfolk Hawker
*Brown Hawker
*Migrant hawker
*Southern Hawker
*Emperor Dragonfly

*Common Darter
*Ruddy Darter

*Black-Tailed Skimmer

*Common Blue Damselfly
*Azure Damselfly
*Blue-Tailed Damselfly
*Red-Eyed Damselfly

*Banded Damoiselle

I have to admit I didn't distinguish between Common and Azure Damselflies in the field but had it on good information that both were present and saw a lot of blue damselflies!

At How Hill we were told of a stretch of bank for Small Red-Eyed Damselfly but sadly didn't have time to investigate.

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We're Back!!!

After a wonderful Norfolk holiday free from the internet we are back and buzzing with tales of mainly. GMTV had a special report on mosquitos in Norfolk the day before we arrived but they left us well alone I'm pleased to report.

I will try and fill in the holiday Nature Diary over the next few days but this female Common Darter (???) seen in Horsey Churchyard will have to do to be going on with.

I was thrilled by the sheer number and variety of dragonflies in Norfolk. I am reasonably confident that we identified 11 different species during our 10 day stay. Oh and Marsh Harriers, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker galore.....
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Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Fairhaven Lake I

I went to Fairhaven lake last week to see if I could find a Puss Moth caterpillar on the Poplars. I couldn't, but I think I saw (bit feeble I know but when I looked a second time it had gone) a Poplar Hawk Moth caterpillar.

There were loads of these bright orange eggs on the Poplar leaves. Shouldn't be too hard to identify!

As I was going across the Moss Road yesterday a predominantly blue hawker flew up to the windscreen I also saw one Corn Bunting and a small mouse like creature. The other evening there was a horde of Rooks feeding on the field. I am intending to watch them some time to see where they roost.
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Fairhaven Lake II

No Puss Moth caterpillars but this Soldier Beetle Cantharis pellucida

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