Showing posts from July, 2021

Warham Camp & Stiffkey Fen, 21 July 2021

Five Honeyguiders met up on a gloriously sunny day on a minor road just south of the village of Warham to visit Warham Camp, an Iron Age hill fort and one of North Norfolk’s most important chalk grassland sites. While we waited for the group to assemble we explored the road verges and found some nice stands of agrimony and a six-spot burnet moth nectaring on a scabious flower. Six-spot burnet moth on scabious. We walked a short distance up the road before turning off on the track down to the camp. The tall hedges were alive with insects including a rosy footman moth. We also spotted many galls on dog rose - some were clearly robin’s pin cushions, caused by the wasp Diplolepsis rosae while others were small, smooth pea-shaped galls. We assumed the latter were young galls of the former but research back at home revealed that they were actually smooth rose pea galls caused by the wasps Diplolepis nervosa or Diplolepis eglanteriae . Smooth rose pea galls. As we walked onto the outer bank

Foxley Wood and Sculthorpe Moor, 9 July 2021

After several rainy days it was a relief to arrive at NWT’s Foxley Wood nature reserve, albeit after a detour via Themelthorpe, on a dry day with sunny intervals. The local butterflies must have been grateful for the improved weather: our first ringlets were in the car park and I glimpsed a white admiral flying away. Ringlet, by far the most numerous butterfly today. Six of us walked into the wood, where wide rides meant lots of flowers, including hundreds of common spotted orchids, and a steady string of butterfly sightings, with large skipper, large white, comma and meadow brown along these first stretches, though it was still ringlets that by far outnumbered all of these. Common spotted orchids, Foxley. At the main crossroads, a choice: towards where people were waiting around some tall oaks, or turn right along a wide and sunny ride. We chose the latter, taking advantage of the good weather at this point. It was a good choice as along here we soon found a lovely, freshly-emerged wh

Honeyguide blogs to stop arriving by email

Honeyguide blogs will stop arriving by email during July 2021. The 'Honeyguide blogspot' is set up on Blogger, which is run by Google. The system is now showing an  announcement that "automated emails to your subscribers will no longer be supported." The timescale given is July, though without an exact date. While there is a facility to extract the emails of the those who have subscribed, we think that a more practical way to be alerted to a new blog is by following Honeyguide’s Facebook page , where blogs get posted. Apart from this one, which is too dull! Blogs are also listed on the Honeyguide news page . We appreciate that Facebook and other social media are not everyone's cup of tea and we've all read criticism of Facebook and other tech giants. My perspective is that a lot of this is down to users. It's not perfect but we find Facebook is a practical way to share wildlife photos, blogs and other updates. The Honeyguide e-newsletter will continue as n

Buxton Heath and Holt Lowes, 2 July 2021

The day started well when Honeyguider Ann Greenizan arrived at mine and found caterpillars of toadflax brocade moth on purple toadflax in my front garden. But we were still in good time for today’s morning at Buxton Heath which was, initially, in overcast weather. Usually you’d hope for sunshine to find the heath’s star butterfly, silver-studded blue, but after four wet days they were evidently keen to be out and we found them immediately on low-growing bell heather close to the car park. Better still, the conditions meant they were moving slowly, allowing for close views and photographs. As the weather brightened we found many more, both here and on the western side of the heath, and in places there seemed to be scores on the wing. Silver-studded blue, male. Silver-studded blues, mating pair, on bell heather. The silver 'studs' are best seen on the browner female. We moved towards the boggy area in search of plants, though firstly some birds deserve a mention. A yellowhammer