Saturday, 1 August 2020

Big Butterfly Count on the Horsefield

Big Butterfly Count on the Horsefield

Wanting to complete another Butterfly Conservation Big Butterfly Count, I took the opportunity of a fine sunny morning.  Although it began sunny and hot while I was there it clouded over and the brisk breeze made conditions quite challenging.  

The absolute highlight of the count was a small copper.  It allowed a few photos before flying off over the bund towards the woodland burial ground.  Despite returning the the spot several times it didn't reappear so I might go and investigate the burial ground.  Where there is one, there ought to be more.

Count results:
  • Common Blue x1
  • Small copper x1
  • Small Skipper x1
  • Gatekeeper x3
  • Green-veined white x1
  • Meadow Brown x1
  • Large White x1
Outside the count time I found 2 more common blues, all three being males, a single peacock and several g spot burnet moths.  There were quite a few more meadow browns but numbers were down on recent visits and I saw no ringlets at all.

To view large, please click on an image
Small Copper
                                                                Common Blue
                                                                Common Blue
                                                              Gatekeeper
                                                                Meadow Brown
                                                               Meadow Brown
                                                                Small Copper
                                                                    Small Copper
                                                                    Small Copper

Thursday, 30 July 2020

Reliving Childhood Memories

Reliving Childhood Memories

We had arranged to meet up of a socially distanced lunch with friends at Woodhall Spa's Teahouse in the Woods.  As well as a very enjoyable lunch and catch-up it gave me an opportunity to revisit some childhood haunts and make some images for a project on 'Childhood and Memory' that I am working on in which I am combining images of today with family archive shots and historical photographs.

We began with a walk through the town where I particularly wanted some shots of the site of the old Woodhall Spa Station and level crossing, especially with the post office, the original building, in the background.

From the 'crossroads' now a roundabout we wandered through the woods where we used to play.   After photographing the Spa Baths, now derelict and waiting restoration, and the Kinema in the Woods, we drove down Green Lane to Mill Lane to photograph the house where my parents lived when I was born.  There is an old family photo of me as a toddler sitting in the field opposite with the old mill tower in the background.  Although a row of bungalows has been build in front of the field, it is still possibe to get into and we enjoyed recreating the photo.  We were also able to walk down to the river.

Next came Kirkby Lane and the old reservoir where I used to go and play with a friend whose father managed the waterworks.  This is now Kirkby Moor LWT nature reserve and the old scots pine tree on the moor that we used to climb has now died and fallen over, but I am pleased to say that it is still there.  As an added bonus the heather was just coming into flower.

Finally it was time for a brew of tea by the car and then home for fish cake chips and mushy peas.

To view large, please click on an image.


                                                               Common Darter
'The House, Mill Lane'
                                                        Tea House in the Woods
                                        Looking along the old railway to the station
                                                            St Peter's Church
                                                               St Peter's Church
                                                The site of Woodhall Spa Station
                                                The site of Woodhall Spa Station
                                Site of the level crossing with the post office to the left
                                                                Station Road
                        Janet's was once Hundleby's Grocers where mum used to shop
                                                        St Andrew's Church Yard
                                                    St Andrew's Church Yard
                                                Station Road from 'The Crossroads'
                                                                    'The Woods'
                                                                 'The Woods'
                                                                     'The Woods'
                                                                 'The Woods'
                                                                 'The Woods'
                                                                 'The Woods'
                                                                 'The Woods'
                                                            The Spa Baths
                                                               The Spa Baths
                                                        The Kinema in the Woods
                                                        The Kinema in the Woods
                                                                The Newt Pond
                                                                River Witham
                                                        'The House, Mill Lane'
                                            Path along the edge of Ostler's Plantation
                                                               The Climbing Tree
                                                            The Climbing Tree
                                                            The Climbing Tree
                                                            The Climbing Tree

Monday, 27 July 2020

A Breezy Day at Rimac

A Breezy Day at Rimac.

As a good day was forecast for Sunday, we decided to head for Rimac, part of the Saltfleetby/Theddlethorpe National Nature Reserve on the Lincolnshire coast.  Although it was a warm and pleasant day it turned out to be very breezy which made insect photography challenging (20C and 13mph SW wind).  On arrival I made for the large pond on the freshwater marsh, hoping for dragonflies, particularly emperor.  There were plenty of dragonflies about but only darters.  Damselflies were on the wing as well and I was pleased to get a shot of an emerald.

Floristically, the reserve was looking very attractive, the grassy old dunes a riot of colour and studded with yellows, blues, pinks and purples.  Flowers included catsear, hawkbits, birdsfoot trefoil, lots of common centaury, vipers bugloss, eyebright, red clover, white campion, yarrow, mignonette and ladies bedstraw.  Dewberries were starting to produce their luscious blackberry-like fruits and on the freshwater marsh were marsh helleborine with marsh and pyramidal orchids well past their best.

Butterflies included meadow browns, ringlet small skippers, peacocks, gatekeeper and male and female common blue.  We enjoyed watching a marsh harrier for a brief spell before returning to the car for a brew and some lunch.

Refreshed we made another sortie before driving back to Saltfleet to have a look at Paradise Lagoon.  I was well pleased to find 11 black-tailed godwit, replendent in summer plumage.  I even managed some photographs, although they were quite distant.

Before returning home we called in at Howden's Pullover and I was delighted to see a stunning display of sea lavender turning the salt marsh into a haze of lilac.  Who needs Provencal lavender?  Well, maybe, but the Lincolnshire coast at this time of year is as good as it gets.  There was even a whimbrel calling.

A magical day.

To view large please click on an image.
Male common Blue
                                                             Female Common Blue
                                                                Male common Blue
                                                                Male common Blue
                                                                Emerald Damselfly
                                                               Emerald Damselfly
                                                                    Gatekeeper
                                                            Ruddy Darter, Male
                                                             Ruddy Darter, Male
                                                           Ruddy Darter, Female
Ruddy Darter, Female
 Ruddy Darter, Male
Black-Tailed Godwit
Sea Levender