MONDAY 8TH JULY 2019

WILLOUGHBY ON THE WOLDS WITH DCW

Nottinghamshire is not as big as it once was; boundary changes have annexed bits into neighbouring counties and south of Willoughby, a tongue of land between Kingston Brook and the A46 was once in Nottinghamshire and remains in the vice county of Nottinghamshire aka VC56. For such a small area we managed a decent list which included notables such as Thorn-apple Datura stramonium, Water Forget-me-not Myosotis scorpioides, , Common Hemp-nettle Galeopsis tetrahit, and the alien bramble Rubus laciniatus.

Thread-leaved Water-crowfoot

Thread-leaved Water-crowfoot R. trichophyllus, I learned, has smallish flowers with petals that don’t overlap and has only capillary leaves – so no floating laminar ones. It was in a pond that had several interesting aquatics. including this Jointed Rush Juncus articulatus.

Jointed Rush
Marsh Foxtail

Marsh Foxtail Alopecurus geniculatus is quite common nationally but I don’t seem to come across it very often. It looks rather like Black-grass A. myosuroides but the habitat is quite different and if you search among the stems you will find that they are ‘kneed’. (I recently found some Black-grass in a crack in my yard).

One more grass – they are at their best now –Silver Hair-grass Trisetum flavescens was scattered around the tetrad with this plant in a gutter of the A6006.

Silver Hair-grass

Rarity of the day was an equal first to Dropwort Filipendula vulgaris and Strawberry Clover Trifolium fragiferum but the former was not in flower and its photo turned out to be unexciting so the clover gets the award.

Strawberry Clover

I would have walked straight past it. Dave didn’t though because although he had never walked along Occupation Lane before, his years of experience told him to look out for it. Not just anywhere along it, but in the middle of the rutted track.

We finished the day off with a look along Kingston Brook which is a near to natural a stream here than you are ever likely to find; wending, undercutting the bank, deep and wide in places and narrow enough to step across it in others.

TUESDAY 7TH MAY 2019

WILLOUGHBY ON THE WOLDS + DCW.

Despite a forecast high of around 11°C the sun, when it shone, brought out a good range of butterflies including our first Small Copper of 2019.

Small Copper

The others were more predictable but here they are anyway: Speckled Wood, Orange-tip, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone and Holly Blue.

Willoughby Church

The churchyard of St. Mary and All Saints eventually revealed a decent but not spectacular list of plants including the almost inevitable Field Wood-rush Luzula campestris but it’s very disappointing to see how much they loathe Swallows there. How lovely would it be to have a pair of busy parents swooping in and out, oblivious of the passing congregation. Tear down the mesh I say.

Willoughby church porch

Various piles of dumped material in the square, create risks to life and limb (well limb anyway) in discovering the diverse range of garden throw-outs. They included cultivated Wood Spurge Euphorbia amygdaloides ssp. robbiae Peach-leaved BellflowerCampanula persicifolia and Perennial Cornflower Centaurea montana.

Despite pressure to keep up with my mentor, I did manage to look at the occasional insect and bagged another cranefly Tipula vernalis.

Tipula vernalis

Note the dark stripe along the abdomen.