Thursday, June 21, 2012

Last Sunday...

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Young Tree Sparrow
I got up early looking forward to getting out and about, but was met with a strong NE wind and rain. This eased off to dull drizzle by 8am, and myself and JWR headed up the coast.

Low Newton Pool and scrapes had a few birds including Black tailed Godwit, 11 Gadwall, Teal, a male Wigeon and 7 Shelduck while the dune bushes had a good show of local warblers with Blackcap, Chiffcahff, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler and 2 Reed Warblers singing in the background. A lone Black headed Gull was incubating, maybe trying to restart the old colony...On the way back to the car, day flying Long Eared Owl was on the fence next to the main car park, a nice bonus.

A few moths flushed from the damp trackside vegetation - Common Pug (ok, this one was in the phone box) 2 Timothy Tortrix and 2 Epiblema cynosbatella.

At a loose end because of the weather, we took a look up at Spindlestone Quarry near Bamburgh. No birds were around but the flora was quite interesting on the scree and old slag areas ( I wonder if 'old slag' gets me more hits?). Not being too clever on botany, our list is as follows -

White Stonecrop, Red Valerian, Birds foot Trefoil, Black Medick, Hop Trefoil, Candy Tuft, Hares foot Clover, Thyme, Herb Bennet, Herb Robert, Rough Hawkbit, Wood Sage, Barren Strawberry, Pirri pirri Bur, Ribwort Plantain, Greater Plantain, Pineapple Mayweed, Nipple Wort, Common Cudweed, Curled Dock, Red and White Clover, Maiden Pink and Perforate St Johns Wort.

Some of those must be right.

Hop Trefoil

Common Cudweed
Later on in the garden were 8+ young Tree Sparrows from my boxes plus about 8 adults. A male Great Spotted Woodpecker fed a juvenile, one on each feeder, leaning across.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Catch Up...

Just a few snaps from the last couple of weeks to test out the new PC.

Cocklawburn Links

A few weeks back we took a trip just over the border into Scotland, all of about 35 miles from home. Our target was the Small Blue butterfly, a species with a scarce and fragmented distribution in the UK.

Firstly we checked out Cocklawburn Links where masses of its food plant, Kidney Vetch was growing. Unfortunately no butterflies though.

We then drove north to a spot on the coast near Lamberton, where after a bit of a trek we found our quarry.

Small Blue male.

A Small Blue female?

This one showing the distinctive underside.
We had over 20 Small Blues flickering about the scree, including females egg laying and males behaving territorially. Typically for the species, it prefers areas with less of the food plant and lays eggs on isolated small plants rather than the bigger clumps.

A Small Heath keeping watch.

The grass moth was quite common, Crambus lathionellus.
A few other butterflies were around, 5+ Small Heath, 5+ Wall and a good few whites sp.

This area around Burnmouth / Lamberton is excellent for butterflies with Grayling and Northern Brown Argus later in the year too. Well worth a day out.  

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Next week...

At last a deadline. Midweek coming will see a new lease of life into the 'From the Notebook...' I.T section. It cant come soon enough for me. This bloody thing plodding away, it takes too much time to upload images and posts...

Unlike the weather suffered by the south east, this weekend was very pleasant indeed, with loads of jubilee celebrations in the village. I was almost glad to get back to work for a rest!

Back soon ( I hope)..