Southrepps Common and Pigneys Wood, 23 August 2021
Two new sites for Honeyguide days out today, the first thanks to our guide for the morning, former Southrepps resident Helen Crowder. For an August morning it was decidedly chilly, in case anyone reading this blog wonders why there is no mention of invertebrates this morning.
|Angelica, Southrepps Common.|
|Marsh helleborine, in seed (Jillian Macready).|
|Marsh lousewort (Jillian Macready). |
Beyond the common, Helen led us through a woodland of Scots pine, sweet chestnut and bracken. This brought us to an attractive property with various bird boxes and a lovely garden, and a large open outbuilding which where a dozen or so swallows were perching, mostly over a tarpaulin presumably carefully placed to keep their droppings away from a vehicle. Sheep here were the breed Kerry Hill, Helen says. Then alongside the path there was a long strip sown with an arable wild flower mix: corn marigold, cornflower, musk mallow, haresfoot clover, wild carrot and seedheads of corn cockle. Three of us stopped to look at a moth on ivy: straw dot was the conclusion.
|Arable wild flower mix.|
|Straw dot moth ((Jillian Macready)|
Tim and Cheryl led a careful convoy to the car park for our afternoon walk at Pigneys Wood. At last we had some sunshine, ideal for eating picnic lunches and bringing out some butterflies including a speckled wood in the car park and a painted lady on a buddleia near the information board. We looked at yellowy-green galls on alder leaves, caused by a mite Acalitus brevitarus.
|Small tortoiseshell, Pigney's Wood (Jillian Macready).|
|Southern hawker, male (Jillian Macready).|
|Dark bush cricket, female (Jillian Macready).|
|Harvestman, Pigneys Wood (Jillian Macready). Tentative ID: Leiobunum rotundum (e.g. here).|
|Long hoverfly Sphaerophoria scripta on heather (Jillian Macready).|
|Marmalade hoverfly Eipsyrphus balteaus (Jillian Macready).|
Only very low-growing gorse was in flower and a careful sniff revealed a lack of almond scent, suggesting it was western gorse, also found on other east Norfolk heaths. Narrower flowers and a ‘harder’ yellow colour add weight to this ID. By now the warmth had brought out lots of gatekeeper butterflies.
|Western gorse in the heathland creation at Pigneys Wood.|