Friday, 24 August 2012

Nasturtium Goings-on

The wet weather has continued all week so finding things of interest has been difficult at times.
3 Siskins in the Hermitage woods are possibly local breeders or early wintering birds. A Common Swift on the other hand was on it's way south on 23rd and most probably my last of the year.

My last Swift of the year?

The moth trap has been out a few times but nothing really noteworthy except for a species of micro Limnaecia phragmitella. This is an uncommon species in the NE and frequents Bulrushes where the larvae feed all winter inside the fluffy seedbeds. It was a first for me.

Limnaecia phragmitella

It's been an awful year for butterflies and the few periods of sunshine have not brought out many. Green-veined & Small Whites have been the commonest, with a few Meadow Brown, Wall and Peacock.  2 Southern Hawker dragonflies were on the fell during the wing, but even those spent most of the time perched up rather than flying as did a single Common Blue Damselfly.

Hoverflies have not fared much better and even the usually very common Marmalade Fly (Episyrphus balteatus) has been on the scarce side, with me only seeing a few on fell during the week. The Drone Fly Eristalis tenax and its close relative Eristalis pertinax were by far the commonest during this period together with a handful of Helophilus pendulus and a couple of Eristalis horticola.

Eristalis horticola

Helophilus pendulus

In the pasture above South Burn Woods a few garden Nasturtium plants have appeared. Looking closely they all seem to have been planted, with loose soil and compost around them. Though why plant these in the middle of a horse field I'm not sure why. More strangely in the woodland by Brass Castle Pond there are some more but it's very difficult to tell if these have been planted too. Strange goings on by the looks.

Nasturtiums in the horse field and amongst the
bracken in the nearby woodland.

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