WEDNESDAY 29TH JULY

GOTHAM + DCW

We must be getting well known here (though we do keep ourselves to ourselves largely) as we spent another full day in the parish starting with a search for a national rarity last recorded here by Dave 30 years ago. In looking, we (or rather, Dave) found this Hieracium – one of the notorious hawkweeds. This one had lots of leaves along its stem (mostly more than 15) and so is Hieracium section Sabauda and since H. sabaudum is said (by Stace) to be the common one in central England, it’s probably that one.

Common Carpet

This Common Carpet put in an appearance and as it is so fresh, I thought it should grace this page.

Having failed to find to find the intended plant, we explored the Sandbanks nature reserve finding Sanicle, Hay Rattle, Great Burnet, Burnet Saxifrage and a Marbled White that flitted about too much for a decent photo.

Marbled White

Disappointingly we only found the remains of last season’s Carline Thistle with no 2020 plants on show and neither did we find Common Twayblade but that may be because we didn’t look hard enough.

Chalcid Wasp?

This looks a lot like Torymus auratus in Brock’s Insect guide but I’m not putting money on it as there are 75 British and Irish species in its family (Torymidae). If I’m right about the family it is a Chalcid wasp; these are closely related to gall wasps but they do not produce galls but are rather, parasitoids of those that do. (Torymus auratus actually goes for various oak galls and since this one is hanging out on a lime leaf then I’m probably wrong about the id).

Here is another identification to be regarded with caution;

Opilio canestrinii

My first attempt at identifying a harvestman, and from a photograph at that is, I dare say quite risky but it looks close to other photos. If correct this is a recent coloniser having first been found in the UK in 1999 but is said now to be common and widespread and to be likely to oust the two native Opilios.

After a fill of chalky grassland and scrub, we set off for an afternoon session on the moors, passing by the location for the rarity and lo and behold, there it was. Lesser Meadow-rue (Thalictrum minus) where I had come across it a couple of years ago without realising the significance – or its true identity. This is a garden throw-out here though it is a native plant elsewhere but it is not the commonest garden Meadow-rue which turns out to be Thalictrum aquilegiifolium (French Meadow-rue).

Banded Demoiselle

I don’t recall seeing these so far from water but this one was in the village, some distance from the brook where I assume it originated.

The moor loop produced quite a big Wych Elm, loads of Greater Burnet-saxifrage, a Buff Footman and a pair of Yellow Wagtails. There was also lots of water-starwort in the dykes identified in the field (by Dave) as Callitriche obtusangula (Blunt-fruited Water Starwort),

Buff Footman
Blunt-fruited Water-Starwort (with Three-spined Sticklebacks)

An update from Dave will be of interest to Callitriche-philes: Dave took home five rosettes and found that 3 were C. stagnalis and 2 were C. obtusangula (all identified on pollen shape and/or fruit shape).