TUESDAY 19TH MAY 2020

COTGRAVE COUNTRY PARK + DCW

Much warmer than expected especially early on, but the sunshine brought out the insects and I think this is my first Nottinghamshire Dingy Skipper. I’ve looked for them here in the past without success but recent sightings raised my optimism and I found this one within minutes of arriving at 09:30.

Dingy Skipper

Soon after I found Dave (we are following the rules and arriving under social distancing) we went into full entomological mode and got Burnet Companion….

Burnet Companion

Green Hairstreak….

Green Hairstreak

and Four-spotted Chaser:

Four-spotted Chaser (Libellula quadrimaculata)

within the space of a few minutes and a Small Heath and a Holly Blue also put in appearances.

Things calmed down later as we further explored this rather interesting and extensive country park. The plantations are developing and the grasslands have a nice variety of wild flowers, although their origins are dubious.

I expect that this one, doing very well in the Grantham Canal that runs through the site arrived on its own.

Potamogeton crispus
Three-spined Stickleback

People seem to introduce fish into places where they would better not be (if wildlife is a consideration) but Sticklebacks are not on their list of desirables, so this one is certainly a natural resident.

Helophilus pendulus

This rather distinctive hoverfly with its striped thorax has few confusion species but the black line separating the abdominal segments makes it a male H. pendulus.

There were lots of damselflies both teneral and adult but of the three commonest confusion species, today’s seemed all to be Common Blue Damsels.

Following yesterday’s heron experience, today we watched a young mother take an interest in another Grey Heron and take what must have turned out to be a poor photo with her mobile phone, of a bird that had flown 25 metres to avoid her attention. She then called to her disinterested children, with a convincing demonstration from her animated, outstretched arms ‘it flew…. with its wings’: Clear evidence that lockdown is bringing nature back into our lives.

We chatted later, and her accent suggested east London origins so her delight in discovering what wings do and her confusion between pelicans and herons is perhaps forgivable. Or am I being unfair?

THURSDAY 6TH JUNE 2019

WILFORD CLAY PIT + TK

Nothing can better four hours in the company of Tannavi and the nature to be found at this terrific little nature reserve other than more hours.

Quaking-grass

Briza media is a lovely distinctive grass with spikelets that dance and tremble. It is not at all common generally except on basic soils and it is very frequent here.

I’ve visited this Notts Wildlife Trust reserve on several occasion as have many other naturalists and botanists so I’m pleased to have found a first for the site (if BSBI maps are anything to go by) in the form of Sulphur Cinquefoil Potentilla recta.

Sulphur Cinquefoil

As the day warmed up (we were on site by 7:15) the invertebrates gained our attention and several Burnet Companions were the highlight among these.

Burnet Companion on Hay-rattle

Tannavi is beautiful and clever and delightful – here she is photographing a Burnet Companion and her photos are much better than mine.