The circumnavigation of Blotts having produced only 1 Dunlin and 1 Common Sandpiper by way of migrant birds and this first of the year Small Copper, I set off in search of Green Hairstreaks.

Small Copper

I’ve only ever found them near the car-park but Alan Clewes kindly drew my attention to a couple in what he knows as a favourite bramble patch a hundred metres away.

Green Hairstreak

A subsequent search found no more but there was compensation with two more firsts of the year; this immature male Common Blue damselfly…

Common Blue Damselfly

….and a Small Yellow Underwing (moth).

Small Yellow Underwing

A few years ago, I found Changing Forget-me-not at Holme Pierrepont and its still there in good numbers and just coming in to flower.

Changing Forget-me-not

Aeroplanes are pretty scarce at the moment so I snapped this one but a Hobby got in the way and spoilt it!


There were four or five Hobbys cruising around picking off airborne insects and they were joined by a few less accomplished Black-headed Gulls.

MONDAY 16th MARCH 2020


After four successive days work, a sunny morning got me out on a spontaneous trip to Skylarks with the additional motivation of several goodies on the menu.

I was overly generous in inviting along the resident dogs (Staffie and poodle) along with my closest human residents which spoilt the experience but they kept out of the way while I scoped up Red-necked Grebe, Smew (3 including a drake) and a Long-tailed Duck.

They were all way beyond the capacity of my little camera but the rapid chimes of a confiding Dunnock drew my attention.


The ring suggests a resident bird but as far as I am aware, the local ringing group does not operate here much these days so this may be an elderly bird?

There is a large grassy area to the north of the watery bits of the new reserve (Blott’s Pit) that doesn’t seem to have a name but did have some heather on it a few years ago indicating its sandy nature so I’ll call it Heath Field for now and I found this on it:

Otidia bufonius

I’m going to stick my neck out here and assert that this is Otidia bufonia though the literature is rather short on information about this particular Otidia or suggestive that it should be in a wood.



A Sunday morning stroll with my ‘fam’ in the expectation of seeing some migrant birds but it turned out to be mighty dull on the ornithological front with only Sedge Warbler new for the year. I revised my plant naming expertise instead (Common Twayblade is almost in full flower) and found this disorientated Hornet in one of the Anglo-Saxon huts…


…and a Brown Argus in the meadow area.

Brown Argus with Sticky Mouse-ear and Cut-leaved Cranesbill


Our baby Great Tits are coming along nicely.



Another unsuccessful go for the Green Hairstreaks was preceded by a circuit of Blotts where I fortuitously got two Linnets for the price of one….


….and a lark ascending.


In searching for the elusive butterfly, I was distracted by a few flowers: I suppose this ranks as Wild Pansy Viola tricolor but mmmm – only two colours so not the genuine article which is apparantly rather rare.

Thyme-leaved Speedwell (Veronica serpyllifolia)



Part of the nature reserve is within the tetrad for the Willow Tit survey so we incorporated this with a general nose around without much in the way of new stuff to show for it but there were quite a lot of calling Water Rails. Needless to say, there were no Willow Tits. The area to the west of Blotts is very rich in bryophytes which Dave points out and usually names but so far they have not sunk in. This photo turned out nice but the others can remain on file.

Photo of Pseudoscleropodium purum
Pseudoscleropodium purum
Photo of Little Egret
Little Egret

Little Egret was unusually confiding and the Polypody is still there. Dave says is is Intermediate Polypody Polypodium interjectum but the circular sori and parallel sides to the leaves point me to Common Polypody.

Photo of Intermediate Polypody
Intermediate Polypody

A new plant for me was Lesser Chickweed Stellaria pallida. It is tiny and prostrate, has no petals on its tiny inconspicuous flowers and disappears after its early spring flourish so is understandably thought to be under-recorded. If you can find an open flower they (usually!) only have two stamens which is the only certain way of distinguishing it from Common Chickweed (which occasionally also lacks petals!)

Photo of Lesser Chickweed
Lesser Chickweed

Two Mistle Thrushes stood motionless on a grassy sward, allowing me to approach one of them for a picture.

Photo of Mistle Thrush
Mistle Thrush