But first, one of the years highlights for me, came not by staking out a mining subsidence pond in the Northumberland coalfields, no, but just by having a five minute sit in the garden.
I remembered at about 6pm last night that this weekend is Garden Bioblitz time, so armed with a bottle of 'Sol' and a notebook, we took a wander around our acreage. Now, its not the hanging gardens of Babylon so the said stroll took no more than half an hour in total. During that time 83 species were recorded! Mainly plants, but also birds, insects and moths from the trap.
However, a little mystery appeared to be struggling amongst our non-native bluebells. It was a Bumblebee with a huge rusty red rear end and a yellow stripe at the front of the thorax.
So this evening I have consulted some experts on Social Media ( no, real ones!). Ryan Clarke on Twitter said monticola and called me lucky, while on FB the Bees, Wasps and Ants Recording Soc said exactly the same! Everyone concurs so it must be right.
Amazing. Cant be many coastal records surely....
|Mountain Bumblebee Bombus monticola but not up a mountain...|
Right, back to today.
Highlight of our intermittent forays away from the car and flask this morning was a nice patch of Early Purple Orchid in the dunes at Warkworth. With 100+ spikes it was a pity they were all but over. I'll try earlier next year...
|Early Purple Orchid|
Nearby the Craster rock edge was a vision in blue with loads of Spring Squill in flower. This is a rare plant in Northumberland, and it favours right down to the rock edges on the whin sill rock. Very nice...
|Spring Squill at Craster|
120. Arctic Tern
122. Roseate Tern