Just before work late morning I quickly nipped Bennyboy across the road for a walk. On the open grassy area next to the mature Ash tree were 2 Green Woodpeckers feeding. There are thousands of ants around at the moment but I was still surprised to find them so close to the house (I could see them from the front window)! The adult male preferred the deeper grassy areas before flying to feed opposite a parked car and the juvenile female was feeding on the shorter turf.
Friday, 17 August 2012
False fox Sedge (Carex otrubae)...Cresswell dunes
Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata)...St Thomas street, Newcastle
Creeping Cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans)...Cresswell dunes
Sexton Beetle ( possibly Nicrophorus interruptus)...Cresswell dunes
White beaked-sedge (Rhynchospora alba)...Northumberland mires
Greater Spearwort (Ranunculus lingua)...Cresswell
Toad Rush (Juncus bufonius)...Stobswood opencast
Wednesday, 15 August 2012
Walking along the track over the newly reclaimed Stobswood opencast is always productive with many plants colonising the grassy expanse. On a previous visit last week a magnificent Marsh Harrier was quartering the area behind Middle Stobswood farm. A bit too far away for picture really. Yesterday evening was a bit late for looking for birds and plants but the highlight for me was a Great crested Newt walking across the road near Ulgham park farm. It is many years since I saw my last one. I believe the orange in the tail suggests that it is a female. There was a small moth on the road beside it but I don't know what it is. Nearby is a superb established pond with mature Reedmace on the Southern shore where Swallows were flying in to roost.
Wednesday, 1 August 2012
Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragram)
Target species Great Sundew (Drosera anglica)
Round leaved Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia)
Bog Rosemary (Andromeda polifolia)
Stagshorn Clubmoss (Lycopodium clavatum)
Emperor moth caterpillar
Saw quite a few of these ??
One of three Cuckoo's - they may have been feeding on the above
Wood tiger moth
Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos)
Crowberry (Empetrum nigram)
A lovely day yesterday was spent over at the mires in West Northumberland with IRD. Remote and incredibly wet, you have to be prepared to get soaked even with your wellies on. The bogs we visited were exceptionally wet with healthy plant communities. The target species were Great Sundew and Bog Rosemary two species I haven't seen before and one or two other species I've only seen in the mountains of Scotland. We pretty much cleaned up with the plants we went to see but lots of other wildlife around. The first day I have seen more than a dozen butterflies on the wing. The best being Large Heath but not resting for a picture. A male Stonechat was the first I have seen inland for 3 years.