Late October/early November might not be the best time of year to see Majorca's wildlife at its best but it is still warm, the kids love it and there is always lots to see. It was alive with insects particularly butterflies and day flying moths. the most obvious was Crimson Speckled and Hummingbird Hawkmoth. Clouded Yellow, Swallowtail, Painted Lady and Long tailed Blue were numerous. I found it difficult to drag myself away from 'waste' areas such as corners of car parks and supermarkets due to the abundance of flowering plants and associated insect life. I managed a few pics but can't identify most of the above insects. Some plant pics have been stored for future identification but I did like Rock Samphire and Asparagus alba
Lots of birds to see but I wasn't running around all of the island. Eagles and Vultures are nice, Hoopoes and Cirl Buntings even better but the most charismatic bird on the island is the Sardinian warbler with its distinctive call and quirky behaviour greeting us each morning in the pines next to our balcony.
Liberty Cap (Magic mushroom, Psilocybe semilanceata)
Canary Shouldered Thorn
Garden Rose Tortrix
Not the bird but Bramble picking along the old Wanny line always turns up something different. Walking across Morpeth common towards the old line there were thousands of magic mushrooms growing among other fungi. The top picture is of an older specimen and the moths are from recent catches from the moth trap in my garden. I only came home with a bag full of Brambles.
On Saturday I was picking Brambles near High Common House farm between Morpeth and Tranwell when I came across Common Fleabane growing in a ditch. There were about 12 plants and there had been more but the road side had been mowed a few days earlier. This is not a common species in the county and it is in fact the first time I have seen it up here. Nearby there was a family group of Willow Tits. The Chicken of the woods was growing on a dead Oak in Carlisle park, Morpeth.
Common Club-rush (Schoenoplectus lacustris) Widdrington tip
Young Sedge Warbler at Ulgham park pond
Japanese Rose (Rosa rugosa) Ulgham park
Walking over the old opencast at Stobswood produced little except a few species along ditches and ponds but north of the railway at the former tip there was an incredible number of butterflies. I counted 113 Speckled wood (first recorded here in 2005) and that was just in the vacinity of the old tip and not the woods around Stobswood itself. Wall Brown 33 and Small Copper 21. These are the highest numbers I have noted over the years in this area and no doubt there would have been more if I had time to walk further around the woods of Grangewood and Woodburn.
A female Peregrine was flying over the tip heading towards Felton Lane and a flock of about 60 Linnet were on the Southern shore of Widdrington moor lake.