Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Saturday, 18 August 2012

2 Green Woodpeckers

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

Great Crested Newt

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

West Northumberland mires

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)

Red Deer

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.