Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Butterflies of Stobswood and Widdrington

Speckled Wood

Small Copper

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.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Pegswood Moor

Musk Mallow (Malva moschata)

Hoary Plantain (Plantago media)

Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum)

Thousands perhaps hundreds of thousands of spent pupa cases probably of Burnet moths all over the moor.

Walking across Pegswood moor just outside Morpeth is like walking across the surface of another planet. The former opencast has a crater like centre and surrounded by spoil from the opencast with little or no top soil. Botanically it is quite interesting though with one of the best sites locally I know for Hoary Plantain (Plantago media) which is not particularly common in the county. At this time of year many plants are past their best but in this area including Pegswood bypass Lady's Bedstraw (Galium verum) has exploded in abundance this year and single clumps like the one above are lush and quite tall.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Branched Bur-reed

Branched Bur-reed (Sparganium erectum) are common waterside plants well distributed in the county but they are extra special when you come across them in your local patch. About a hundred of them were almost hidden among the fading stems of Hemlock Water-dropwort and Great Willowherb in Bailiff's Letch, a small spring at East Stobswood. I'd like to know what the eggs are on the underside of one of the leaves.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Cresswell and Lynemouth

A forest of Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) at Lynemouth

Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria) Cresswell dunes

Sea Arrow Grass (Triglochin maritima) Cresswell

Sea Aster (Aster tripolium) Cresswell

Large White butterfly

Botanic survey at Cresswell this morning. Most notable things were outside the square but Whimbrel on the beach was nice and hundreds of Giant Hogweed near mouth of river Lyne. Dozens of Large White butterflies along dunes with smaller numbers of Peacock, Common Blue and Small Copper.