Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Waldridge is still in bloom ... if you look hard enough

Two days of strong westerly wind and showers is not really what the naturalist wants. The garden seemed devoid of live and the fell was so windswept that anything that moved was quickly blown out of sight.
I had a slow walk along the 'new' road from Poppyfields to the Brass Castle/ Waldridge Hall farm junction not expecting to see anything. I managed to find 34 species of flowering plant still in bloom, a number such as Common Ragwort and Common Red Poppy only had a few flowers remaining but others such as Fox-and-Cubs (Hieracium aurantiacum) seemed to be almost at their peak.

Common Red Poppy
Common Ragwort

 Feeding on the last of the autumn nectar and sheltering from the wind were two species of hoverfly, Volucella pellucens and Eristalis tenax as well as two Speckled Wood and a Red Admiral.  I was occassionally looking up as well as down and though there was little flying, two Mallard, 34 Lapwing, single Meadow Pipit and Grey Wagtail  and the first of the winter Common Gulls flew over. So 34 species of plant in flower (plus another dozen in fruit),  2 species of butterfly, 2 species of hoverfly and 12 species of birds were all seen along one small stretch of road. Sometimes you just have to look a bit.

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