Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Friday, 17 July 2009

Harwood and Steng moss

Any Lichen experts out there?...Cladomia sp

The pink mist of Wavy hair grass

Yesterday was warm and sunny so I had a walk around Harwood forest and over Steng moss. This was my first opportunity for a while to catch up with Large heath. I knew I would see one because after a couple of shots the camera batteries went dead. In fact there were plenty of other photo opportunities missed by the time I got back to the car. I only saw 2 Large heaths and one of them was very worn, one Dark green fritilary, several Small heaths and the commonest butterfly in Northumberland at the moment....Ringlet; without exaggeration numbers over Steng moss must have been 500+. Lots of unidentifiable micro moths and some kind of Carpet moth was kicked out of the grass.

Walking through Steng moss is not a pleasant experience. I covered about a mile but it was like walking six and with every step you were ankle deep in water. I was also eaten alive with Horse flies and over the next few days I'll be picking sheep ticks off Bennyboy.
Other wildlife seen were Stonechats feeding fledged young; possibly a second or third brood, the male looked stunning. Buzzard and it was nice to see some Crossbills. There were several calling in the forest and 16 flew over Steng moss towards Harry's wood. I also came across hundreds of Peacock caterpillars on a nettle patch and several spikes of Bog asphodel.


Kingsdowner said...

Extreme bog-wading!
Shame about the camera battery too.

Northumbrian Birding said...

You should have gone today there would not be many flies :) !!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The only Cladonia I (think I) know off the cuff is C. impexa which I found all through the heathy area on Headon Down on the IoW last year. I've got a dried bit of it here and it doesn't look dissimilar to yours.

abbey meadows said...

Thanks for the comments...I must wear a long sleeved top next time! I'll take your word for it Rob, I have an excellent photographic guide but there are so many similar species. This cushion of Cladonia was at least a metre in circumference.