THOROTON + DCW
Back in Rushcliffe to mop up some missing species for the atlas and the day began with a dull humid feel and developed fair-weather cumulus and a fresh breeze. Despite the wind, we spotted 13 species of butterfly, which is a good total for a day out in Notts and especially good for this agriculturally intensive region. Two of the absentees were Common Blue (though we did see a Brown Argus) and Small Skipper (though we did see Essex Skipper). One Small Copper was the most notable of the sightings.
Dave caught a glimpse of a Spotted Flycatcher in the churchyard (and corrected my flyover Sparrowhawk into a Kestrel – well, we all make mistakes!)
Plant notables were Bifid Hemp-nettle Galeopsis bifida, Dwarf Spurge Euphorbia exigua and Crimson Clover Trifolium incarnata.
The latter two were along a wide field margin that had previously been sown with a conservation mix and the Phacelia Phacelia tanacetifolia, Borage Borago officinalis and Chicory Cichorium intybus were clearly derived from that source but the others could have found their own way in. The Euphorbia is an RPR species and the Trifolium is an infrequent casual nationally that used to be cultivated a a forage crop and originates from southern Europe.
The verges of some of the lanes had Flax Linum usitatissimum at regular intervals suggesting spillage from a previous harvest.
The mason who made the gargoyles had a wicked sense of humour and imagination.
The village is famous (according to the information panel) for its medieval dovecote and if you look carefully, there is actually a Collared Dove perched on top of it.
I often wondered (but never bothered to find out) what dovecotes like this were for and it turns out it was for food; the fledglings are very tasty and easy to harvest if you time it before they can fly.