THURSDAY 7TH MAY 2020

HOLME PIERREPONT

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!

Aeroplane

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

WEDNESDAY 15TH MAY 2019

A WOOD WEDNESDAY – LAMBLEY DUMBLE

Lambley Dumble

My first visit to a dumble. I heard about them donkey’s years ago and I wasn’t disappointed to explore our miniature grand canyons that were formed at the end of the last ice age by the torrent of melting ice eroding the soft overlying rocks. That is a coarse summary of information from the interpretation panels there but I found the internet unhelpful in elaborating the formation of these dumbles – there are others.

This is not a part of Nottinghamshire known to me and it was also a first visit to Gedling country park though this was largely limited to the carpark which constitutes a convenient access to the much more natural countryside nearby as the dumble runs through rich areas of meadow

Our approach to the dumble caught the attention of the local farmer, whose wife and dog came out to see what we were up to and we took the opportunity to ask her about her herd. It consists of a Limousin bull and British Blue and Hereford cows which produce calves that go to slaughter at (I think) around two years old. (I recall that beef cattle were fattened for three years in the 1970s).

British Blues and Hereford

My trips out of Rushcliffe with its largely clay soils inevitably find new plants and the first today was Wood Speedwell Veronica montana which immediately struck me as unfamiliar. Sanicle was another new one for me. Two lifers in one day!

Wood Speedwell

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage, Hard and Soft Shield-ferns and Woodruff featured in and around the dumble while the meadows had Bugle, Devil’s-bit Scabious, Burnet-saxifrage, Tormentil and Pignut.

Red and Black Froghopper

Insects caused some digression from the target class with many Red and Black Froghoppers and a Small Yellow Underwing moth among those getting named.

Small Yellow Underwing

Grasses are maturing to an identifiable state and I’ll be revising hard. Here’s one for starters; Giant Fescue Schedonorus gigantea (formerly Festuca gigantea) is big and has impressive auricles.

Giant Fescue