Earsham/Bath Hills/Outney Common walk, 2 July 2022

A walk we have done many times but one of our favourites. 

It proved to be rather good in terms of wildlife too. Odonata included an obliging male Scarce Chaser at Bath Hills plus Brown Hawker, Norfolk Hawker, Southern Hawker, Emperor, hundreds of Banded Demoiselles, Red-eyed Damselfly and the first Emerald Damselflies of the year. Other insects were Bumblebee Hoverfly and Field Grasshopper. The latter on a shop window in Bungay!

Plantwise it was equally good with the Waveney having River Water-dropwort, Hoary Willowherb, Arrowhead, Flowering Rush, Water Figwort and Small Teasel with Common Club-rush and the scarce Tubular Water-dropwort on the marshes and False Brome in the woods. Best of all however were Dewberry at Bath Hills (a plant I've looked for in the past and never seen) and the strange sight of naturalised Eastern Larkspur near the sluice at Earsham. I also paid homage to the Cut-leaved Bramble on Outney Common as I was so close.  

                                                                                                                                     Scarce Chaser
                                                                                                                                Bumblebee Hoverfly
                                                                                                                                     Field Grasshopper
                                                                                                                              Eastern Larkspur
                                                                                                                                    False Brome
                                                                                                                                   Water Figwort
                                                                                                                                      Hoary Willowherb
                                                                                                                           Tubular Water-dropwort
                                                                                                                                   Cut-leaved Bramble
                                                                                                                                Common Club-rush
                                                                                                                               River Water-dropwort
                                                                                                                                  Small Teasel
                                                                                                                              Flowering Rush

A garden in Pulham St Mary, 1 July 2022

I've been working on a house in Pulham St Mary for the last fortnight and it's a place I always look forward to visiting. The owners are like-minded nature lovers and their garden is lovely. As well as 3 Hummingbird Hawkmoths (see my last post) I have had 2 Red Kites, 2 Turtle Doves, Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, nesting Swifts, Swallows and House Martins, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler and then on my last day - a pair of Spotted Flycatchers. I dashed home for my camera so I could get some shots of these charming but increasingly rare breeders. 

Hummingbird Hawkmoths, 28 June 2022

It seems to be a very good year for Hummingbird Hawkmoths if what I have seen on social media is anything to go by. After one in our garden over the weekend I saw one briefly yesterday where I am working in Pulham St Mary just down the road. Today, in the same garden I was treated to prolonged views of 2 together nectaring on a big patch of valerian. Even with my phone I managed to capture a couple of videos and this rather pleasing shot. A Red Kite also glided low over the garden in the early afternoon. 


Four-leaved Allseed and other Suffolk goodies, 26 June 2022

With Stuart Read having found the mega rare Four-leaved Allseed growing in his road (!) in Great Cornard I duly popped down this morning to take a look. I found a few clumps of it growing in pavement cracks by the curb just 20 yards from his front door! Only really known from coastal sites in the SW it is a fantastic find albeit a rather insignificant looking 'micro-weed'. 

While in the area I called in at a RNR near Long Melford to see Wild Liquorice and to my surprise I found a goodie of my own - Crested Cow-wheat. 3 or 4 plants were found at what looks like a new site for this very scarce and lovely plant. Along the same verge were Field Scabious, Common Restharrow, Agrimony and Wild Basil.

                                                                                                                                Four-leaved Allseed
                                                                                                                                 Wild Liquorice

                                                                                                                                 Crested Cow-wheat
                                                                                                                                       Wild Basil
                                                                                                                                   Field Scabious
                                                                                                                             Common Restharrow

More botany on the mean streets of Norwich! 24 June 2022

Having been tipped off about some Flowering Rush that is actually flowering (it often doesn't!) I headed into Norwich on a busy Friday evening to do some chores and also pop in to see it. 

It was right where I expected but difficult to photograph as the river bank there is fenced off. Within a few yards of it was also a small patch of River Water Dropwort. Deciding to have a short walk along the riverbank heading towards the city centre I was surprised to find some naturalised garden escapes growing out of cracks in the pavement along the river wall - Garden Lobelia, Cape-jewels (aka Nemesia) and Passionflower. Best of all however was a plant that I initially thought was a spurge of some sort but actually turns out to be False Thorow-wax. Some people think it may be Thorow-wax so I await adjudication or possibly a return visit to examine the fruits in a few weeks time!

Whilst working in Pulham St Mary earlier in the day I'd also found Lesser Bulrush and Greater Spearwort making it an extremely productive botanical day. Not to mention 2 Turtle Doves on territory in Pulham St Mary too!

                                                                                                                             False Thorow-wax
                                                                                                                                  Flowering Rush
                                                                                                                                  Garden Lobelia
                                                                                                                                    Lesser Bulrush
                                                                                                                                Greater Spearwort

A quick trip down to the Brecks, 18 June 2022

No spring/summer would be complete without at least one botany trip to the Brecks. Having been laid up with a bad back most of the week I relied on Belinda at chauffeur me around and luckily most of the plants were on or near to the roadside. One was barred by a 5-bar gate which was tricky to get over but I managed it! My 2 main targets were Flixweed and Twiggy Spurge and I found both nice and easily at 2 sites a couple of miles apart. Also seen between the 2 spots were the rare Small Alison and plenty of Sand Lucerne in a variety of colours. A stop while passing Ramparts Field resulted in loads of Maiden Pinks in great condition. I even managed a short walk in the Kings Forest clocking up the abundant Sand Sedge, Crested Hair-grass, a patch of gone-over Lily of the Valley plus Cuckoo and Willow Warbler.

At home later I discovered we have Creeping Jenny now in flower a stones throw from the house.

                                                                                                                                  Twiggy Spurge
                                                                                                                                         Small Alison

                                                                                                                                    Sand Lucerne

                                                                                                                                     Maiden Pink
                                                                                                                                   Sand Sedge
                                                                                                                                        Creeping Jenny
                                                                                                                                  Crested Hair-grass