Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Stobswood again

Blackberry picking at the old brickworks I noticed dozens of Butterflies on the Buddleja including 4 Painted Ladies, 12 Red Admirals, over 20 Peacocks, Dozens of Large Whites and a few Wall Browns.

The pond at Grangewood is dominated by Water Soldier (Stratiotes aloides) and the bottom pic is another new plant but no doubt an introduction: Galingale (Cyperus longus).

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Old Fodder

Lucerne (Medicago sativa)

White Melilot (Melilotus albus)

I like a walk around old opencast mining sites and at Pegswood Moor the poor thin soils around a deep sided pool may be poor for looking for birds but interesting plants always turn up at these sites. Lucerne is growing around most of the North side of the site. It is a plant that was introduced as a fodder plant in the 17th century and known as Alfalfa and has probably come with wild flower seeds which have been planted around the former mining site. Growing nearby is White Melilot. My first and last sighting of this plant was at Stobswood brickworks in 2001 but couldn't be found over the following years. Hundreds of these plants are in flower at Pegswood Moor at the moment.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Wildlife at the brickworks

Small Copper

Robin's pincushion



Some kind of black bee on Canadian Goldenrod

Creeping Cinqufoil

Trailing Tormentil

Still hanging on in there

Broad leaved Helleborine

Still plenty of colour at the old brickworks at Stobswood and another plant for the list. The Broad leaved Helleborine is having an exceptional year this year with thousands of plants scattered through Grangewood including the pine plantations around the old pit heap. Red Squirrels still have a toehold here and Eyebrights and Blue Fleabane are also flowering in their thousands. Tormentil (Potentilla erecta) is a common plant here but the plant pictured above is Trailing Tormentil (Potentilla anglica); a new addition. It is a scarce plant in the county and I came across a healthy patch where the old railway embankment is or in the case where it is growing where part of the embankment was leveled to accommodate a mobile phone mast. The resulting flattened area is an excellent stony area where thousands of Blue Fleabane have colonised along with many other plants. There are still many plants to discover here.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Sutherland and Caithness

Amber at Loch Fleet looking towards Ben Brhaggie. The controversial statue of Lord Sutherland just visible

Common Seals either sleeping or fighting

Some wildlife from Embo dunes

Isles of Orkney

Heath Cudweed

Not long back from 10 days in the North of Scotland. A nice variety of wildlife to look at including fishing Ospreys at Loch Fleet and Salmon leaping at the Falls of Shin. The pic of the Salmon is from Amber's phone; they were too quick for me! Some of them were tagged. The dunes at Embo were very good for plantlife and low tide at the Dornoch Firth was incredible with many maritime plants some of them new to me; Baltic Rush included. It was nice to see Common and Heath Cudweed; two species that are now hard to find in Northumberland. Knotted Clover was another new plant but it was past its flowering best. I think a visit here in late June would be a good time to see even more plants.