Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Monday, 30 June 2014

Some new plants

Dotted Loosestrife

Biting Stonecrop

Wood Sage

I'm still adding plants to the lengthening plant list of the Stobswood area. Dotted Loosestrife was not a surprise as it is a common garden throw out but Biting Stonecrop and Wood Sage were more surprising. There are lots of Alchemella plants but I'm not skilled at telling them apart. At the tip area there were high numbers of Orchids and butterflies. On June 26th I counted over 1200 Ringlet butterflies within the confines of the old tip and the plantation opposite. The opposite plantation has over 10,000 Common spotted Orchids and I have counted over 4000 Northern Marsh Orchids here this year. Large skipper numbers have been 54 and 32 Common Blues all within the confines of the two plantations. No Mother Shipton moths this year but dozens of Common Wave and Yellow Shell. On Saturday a fine male Marsh Harrier was quartering the plantation before casually making its way North via the East side of Widdrington Moor Lake.
Around Morpeth Speckled Wood butterflies have been numerous in June and I counted 12 basking on the footpath down Abbey woods. On the bike I have noticed several Bird Cheery trees covered in the webs of the Bird cherry Ermine moth near Mitford. A Little Owl has been sitting on one of the stunted Beeches between Meldon and Molesden.

Saturday, 7 June 2014

The rewards of mothing

This magnificent Puss Moth was sitting just outside the trap went I went up at dawn this morning to check the trap following a warm night. There were other nice moths in the trap like Small Angle Shades, Common Swift and Clouded Silver. The Puss moth would have made a nice breakfast for the birds feeding young in the garden had I checked the trap any later. 
Mothing is also a part of my social life as me, Heather and my daughter Amber were having a drink in the summer house last night watching the first moths flitting around the light. Amber commented on her friends dads who like football and beer and its embarrassing when they ask 'what does your dad do in his spare time'?
No matter which path I have taken in life it has always been unsociable hours from dog walking before school, long hours working at opencast coal sites, shift work at hospitals, early rising children, birding/ringing/twitching, Badger and Bat watching and now Mothing to add to the 'baggy eyed' list of hobbies. Only Wild Flowers and Butterflies like 'sensible hours'. This morning was rewarding not only for the quality species of moths that were attracted to the trap but the beautiful morning that dawned over Morpeth. many birds feeding young, Fox running along the path, Grey lag Geese and Cormorants flying overhead. A nice group of young recently fledged Great spotted Woodpeckers waiting to be fed by their parents. No human voices or the noise of motor traffic just bird song. The first hour after dawn is undoubtedly the finest hour of the day no matter where you are in the country.