Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Saturday, 31 July 2010

Druridge bay

Hadston dunes

Bloody cranesbill

Looking North east over Ladyburn lake with Common clubrush in the forground

Branched bur-reed

Down at Druridge bay country park and beach yesterday. Most notable things were Terns feeding close inshore. Up to a hundred in a feeding frenzy but most of them were Common and Sandwich with a few Arctic among them. A Roseate Tern flew past them heading South. Also lots of Gannets, Kittiwakes and Fulmars and this attracted a couple of Arctic skuas. There were 19 Red throated divers and one Black throated...the first I have seen in the bay for years. I was too low on the beach to get any photos of them so a few in the dunes and around the lake will have to do.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Strange Boletes

Scarlatina Bolete (Boletus luridiformis)

Sepia bolete? (Boletus porospporus or B cisalpinus)

Bitter Beech Bolete (Boletus calopus)?

Cottingwood comes into its own at this time of year as the best area in Morpeth for variety of fungi. It also brings with it some challenges and there are dozens of Boletes at the moment but putting a firm id on them is difficult as they look so different as they age. I've posted a couple but I would welcome any comments as to the true id however, I believe the scarlatina is correct.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Crow Garlic

I came across about ten plants of Crow garlic (Allium vineale), also known as Wild onion growing on the roadside at the bottom of the bank below High house wood. It is a common plant in Southern England but it is thinly distributed in Northumberland. Most of the records come from the north of the county (VC68) chiefly along the coastal strip but only a handful from VC67 but Swan's Flora of Northumberland records them from the Morpeth area. It is the first time I have seen this plant.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Old haunts revisited

I went back to stobswood to see how the Broad leaved Helleborines are doing. The ones in the Beech wood are confined to the eastern corner and have been heavily grazed pesumably by Rabbits. However, in the pines behind the old brickworks I counted two to three hundred plants in just a couple of hundred yards and these were just the ones next to the track. Not a lot to see as the weather was poor, very cold and wet. I had a look at Felton Lane but the clearings here are quite overgrown but I did see Red squirrel and a fine show of Slender St Johns wort (second bottom). Wild Parsnip (bottom) is a new plant for this area.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Borough Woods

Pictured above are some pics from this morning along the banks of the Wansbeck in the Borough woods. The top pics appear to be a variant of Common spotted orchid, it has no spots on the leaves and unusually it was growing in dense shade on a steep bank with Common twayblades. Below that is Betony, two insects that I don't know the name of, slimemould Fuligo septica flava and Common Jellyspot.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A bit of rain...

Haa hill awash with Rosebay willowherb 

Strange fungi at the base of an old Beech

Grey wagtail juv

Hares foot inkcap (I think)

Balkan Clary

Greater Knapweed

Oyster mushroom

...then the fungi appear. The pics were taken at Carlisle park today. The unusual fungi looks like Daldinia fissa which prefers burnt wood so I'm probably wrong. Haresfoot inkcap would be a new one for me if I'm correct with the id. Some of the plants are naturalised but attractive all the same.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Stobswood and Ulgham

Chimney Sweeper moth, Ulgham

Hairy Bindweed, Ulgham

Speckled Wood, Stobswood

Hairy St. Johns wort, Stobswood

River Lyne at Ulgham...beginning to dry out!

Vipers Bugloss, Stobswood

Tall Melilot, Widdrington tip

I went up to Widdrington tip and walked around Stobswood. The orchids here are past their best but other plants are coming into flower. Tall or Golden melilot is common around this area, Knapweed and Wild Carrot attract a lot of insects but today was a bit windy to bring out the best. There was a lot of butterflies on the wing, Ringlet, Meadow brown, Common blue and Small skipper, the latter were in their hundreds particularly on the flower heads of Creeping thistle and there was also 3 Speckled woods and Brimstone moth. At the site of the old brickworks the main plant here is Vipers bugloss where there were hundreds of plants and nearly all of them had 5 & 6 spotted Burnet moths on them.
On the way home I called in at Ulgham and lots of Ringlets and 50+ Chimney sweeper moths in the meadows. Lots of waterside flowers like Purple Loosestrife, brooklime and one of my favourites in this area Hairy Bindweed.

Hemlock Water dropwort, Ulgham

Ulgham meadows and woodland is a fine place for a quiet waterside stroll.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Borough woods

Chicken of the woods

Lots of these on Nettles

Dryads saddle

Orchids in the paddocks below High house wood

I have been walking locally through the Borough and High house woods. Lots of butterflies on the wing with Ringlets and Speckled wood. I have also had these species in the garden this week. Dry weather means a lack of fungi but plenty of the above species in the woods. At Abbey woods this morning there was a family party of Bullfinches.