Friday, 31 July 2009

Creeping Ladies Tresses OMFL! 30th July 2009.

Views of the Creeping-Ladies Tresses and sleeping Spoonbills.
As I had the day off from work I spent the day in Norfolk with Dave Mack, looking at a Pacific Golden Plover at Breydon Water next to Great Yarmouth. Seeing thirteen sleeping Spoonbills, a probable "Baltic Gull", and a free pasty at Cley NWT, and finally finding some Creeping Ladies Tresses in Holkham Woods.
Not far from the nudist beach at Holkham we found at least eight flowering spikes of these small orchids and about ten rosettes under the pines.
So a new orchid for my British list and just another 15 species until I've seen all the British Orchids!

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

More Broad-leaved Helleborines at Cloud Wood LRWT.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been checking out Cloud Wood LRWT for the different varieties of Broad-leaved Helleborines. I found at least 140 flowering spikes around the rides of the wood. The Helleborines are highly variable ranging from the "normal type"to the rare form "Var.viridiflora" and some even looking like the very rare Young's Helleborine!
I did notice that most of the plants were along the rides but the more interesting varieties occurred on the nearby spoil heaps or were major coppicing had taken part in the wood.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Cossington Meadows LRWT 25th July 2009.

I checked out Cossington Meadows this morning and the sightings I saw included 4 Green Sandpipers, 1 Dunlin and the usual waders on the various pools and scrapes. 20+ Common Terns were still around the HobleyPool and Upper Marsh area.Other wildlife sightings I saw included good numbers of Butterflies(8 species) and Dragonflies(4 species).One minus point of the morning was some numpty shooting again on the opposite side of the river to the reserve and I just wonder when and were the shooting season actually starts and finishes?!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Life on the Verges again......

Common Poppies

Pyramidal Orchids
Small Scabious

Knapweed Broomrape

Although I have an interest in Orchids on the flora front, I must admit sometimes Limestone flora can be superb and above are a few photos of the different plants I have found whilst doing the Life on the Verge surveys.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Broad leaved Helleborines at Cloud Wood.

Two photos of the rare form Var.viridiflora.

Normal "type" of Broad-leaved Helleborines.

I nipped over to Cloud Wood LRWT yesterday to check on the Broad Leaved Helleborines which occur on the rides of the wood.
Over the couple of hours I found at least 140+ flowering spikes and at least 14 plants which showed characteristics of the rare form Var.viridiflora.
Although most of the plants were still coming into flower I expect the helleborines to be at there best in a couple of weeks.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Wood Sand Cosso 2nd July 2009.

Hi all, following a report via my pager of a Wood Sandpiper at Cossington Meadows, I checked the site out the next day after I had finished work.
Although the details of the Wood Sand was a bit brief, I knew that the Wood Sand would be on the pools between Tern Pool and Hobley's Lake if it was still there?Reaching the Upper Marsh Pool the adult Wood Sandpiper was feeding quietly in the middle of the scrape, along with seven Green Sandpipers, a couple of Redshanks and good numbers of Lapwings.
On Hobley's Lake I noted that the Common Terns must have had a good breeding season as I counted at least 35 birds flying and resting around the lake.So hopefully this is the start of a good autumn passage of waders down the Soar Valley, even if it's still only just started July!!

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

"Life on the Verge" surveys!!

Greater Knapweed near Saltby

Saltby Airfield outcrop
Two photos of the rare form
Var.chlorantha Bee Orchid

Over the last few days (Saturday and Yesterday)I have been completing a few plant surveys for the "Life on the Verge" wildflower project (see the Link). The areas I have checked out included near Pickworth in Rutland and around Saltby Village in Leicestershire.
Although I'm a bit of novice when it comes to identifying most wildflowers, the guide supplied by the project helped greatly.
The highlights I found included small numbers of Bee Orchids,Southern Marsh and Common Spotted Orchids at Pickworth and Pyramidal and Bee Orchids at Saltby.
At the nearby former RAF Saltby airfield I also checked out the limestone outcrop here and to my surprise I found the best bit of Limestone flora I have ever seen in Leicestershire!! Highlights here included a record count of over 170 Bee Orchids and the cherry on cake for me was finding a single plant of the rare form Var.chlorantha Bee Orchid. This is probably the first ever record for Vc 55, so to say I was pleased was a bit of an understatement!?

Over the next couple of weeks I will checking a few more sites for this project, and hopefully more interesting sightings to come?
Finally on the birding front I did also see a Turtle Dove and Spotted Flycatcher at Saltby, so sometimes it does help to go off the beaten track to find scarce migrants in the county.