Thursday 17 March 2011

So Far...So Good

On Monday I foolishly stated publicly that I would walk from Beer to Branscombe and back four times a week until I am lean and fit (or dead). Well it's now Thursday and amazingly I've done it three times. I've almost not done it though, for instance this morning just sitting on the sofa reading was looking rather appealing and then a text from Bun telling of Sand Martins at Black Hole Marsh tempted me to take the easy option and go there, at least I'd see a migrant or two! By eight o'clock I was yomping my way over to Branscombe again and not seeing any Wheatears. The only migrants I've seen in the last two days have been a few Chiffchaffs and a Stonechat. No further sightings of the Dipper or any Firecrests either. Still it's very early days and I have seen two non birdy firsts for the year, a Peacock yesterday and a female Adder this morning. I haven't made it up all the steps from the undercliff without stopping for a breather yet. I wonder how many repeats of the walk it will take until I can? I'll soon know I suppose.

Here's a couple of photos from today....I walked the beach at Branscombe today and I saw quite a bit of this kind of thing..
Still, after four years 'BMW Parts Galore'
 First 'lying out' Adder I've seen this year. A nice big female.
I used the zoom here.

This afternoon I had to take Rex for a walk ( I can't really take him on my Branscombe walk because he's too much of a hindrance ( in the nicest possible way) now he's so old). I took him to Holyford Woods for a change, these are an ancient woodland and quite rightly an East Devon District Council LNR. I saw my first Brimstones of the year here with at least half a dozen of them on the wing. I also saw a few interesting plants, amongst the obvious Primroses and Celendines there are lots of much more inconspicuous and boring looking plants. Well, that is until you look more closely. Here's a couple I noticed today. I didn't know what this first one was until I looked it up at home.

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage.
Very pretty even with generally green flowers. Another plant with green flowers is this...
Seen here growing with Bramble, Ivy, Celandine and Dog's Mercury.
It's very inconspicuous, in fact so much so that its generic name Adoxa, is derived from the Greek meaning  'without glory'. It's a very unusual plant too and is the solitary species in the family- the Adoxacae. It has the most unusual flower-head, consisting of five flowers, one facing upwards with four petals and four facing outwards with five petals. They almost form a cube, giving the plant it's other well known name of 'town-hall clock'
They are only just coming into flower but this one was  almost fully  formed.

Another highlight was a fabulous fungi I don't recall having seen for donkey's years...
Scarlet Elf Cup
Walking down into the woods I noticed a Buzzard circling and calling, not that unusual, but when I looked at it through bins I could see it was carrying something, it circled higher and higher, probably part of a courtship display. I didn't get my camera out until it was rather too high for a decent photo, but I got these.
It's carrying what I think is a Vole. Not convinced?
How about now? 
Click to enlarge, you can see its little fuzzy body and short tail.
The moth trap's been out the last two nights and is catching quite a few moths, five more here, four new for this year and one that I think is a new one for us, I certainly don't remember catching one before but that doesn't mean much! ;-)
 New for garden? Red-green Carpet. (although it has no discernible red on it)
 Dotted Border
 Oak Beauty
Pine Beauty. Stunning Moth.


Andrew Cunningham said...

Some excellent early moth catches. Also the Adder prompts a desire to visit Beer Head soon!

Karen Woolley said...

Andrew. Just the one Adder at the moment...I'll certainly let you know when there a few more.