Friday, 18 December 2015

Wildflowers and Insects in The New Forest

Here's a selection of wildflowers from this summer in the New Forest and a few insects too.

Yellow Centaury - Cicendia filiformis

Coral Necklace - Illecebrum verticillatum

Ivy-leaved Bellflower Wahlenbergia hederacea 

Bog OrchidHammarbya paludosa

White Beak-sedge - Rhynchospora alba

Least Water-pepper - Persicaria minor

Lesser Bladderwort - Utricularia minor

New Forest Bladderwort - Utricularia bremii

 Autumn Ladies Tresses - Spiranthes spiralis

Field Gentian - Gentianella campestris

Southern Damselfly - Coenagrion mercuriale

Minotaur Beetle - Typhaeus typhoeus

Hornet Robber Fly - Asilus crabroniformis.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Purbeck Inverts

As promised a follow up to my Wildflowers of Purbeck post, mostly featuring invertebrates. No birds I'm afraid. Apart from plenty of Dartford Warblers I didn't really see any of note.

Adonis Blues on Ballard Down

This must be the most colourful female Adonis Blue that I've ever seen.

This is the latest Silver-studded Blue that I've seen (August 16th).

Brown Argus

Clouded Yellow hiding on a stem of Yellow-wort. 
Very effective camouflage. I'd never have noticed it if I hadn't watched it land there.

Small Tortoiseshell on Fox and Cubs

Lulworth Skipper

Cinnabar Moth Caterpillars

The European Beewolf - Philanthus triangulum

Long-winged Conehead - Conocephalus discolor
Female of the uncommon brown form.

Male Large Marsh Grasshopper - Stethophyma grossum

Female Large Marsh Grasshopper - Stethophyma grossum

Roesel's bush-cricket - Metrioptera roeselii

Female Sand Lizard  - Lacerta agilis
Yes, I know it's not an invert but one reptile didn't really warrant a mention in the title.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Wildflowers of Purbeck

I've spent a lot of time in the Purbeck region of Dorset this summer with my friend Andy who knows the area very well and I've seen lots of new plants. Here are a few of them and also a few I've seen before but warranted a photo none the less. I've also seen quite a few butterflies and other wildlife in the region which will follow in my next post.

A spectacular display of Common Centaury

This is the lighthouse at Anvil Point near Durlston Head. On the windswept short turf around it one can find a variety of Common Centaury which is adapted to the harsh environment by becoming very low growing with stemless flowers.

Tufted Centaury - Centaurium erythraea var. capitatum

The view looking west from Emmetts Hill. This is the stunning setting for a plant I'd been unsuccessfully looking for for a while. Easier when you know someone who knows where it is!

This is it in the foreground. White Horehound, not the most spectacular of plants but there's something about it I like. Don't know what it is though!

White Horehound - Marrubium vulgare

Corfe Castle
On this hill overlooking the village we saw a couple of different species of St John's Wort

 Perforate St. John's Wort - Hypericum perforatum
One of the commonest St. John's Worts but deserving of a photo for the backdrop alone. We also (after a fair bit of searching) saw the much less common species...

Pale St.John's Wort - Hypericum montanum

This is the Swanage Railway and along this embankment can be found Pale Toadflax and its rare hybrids with Purple Toadflax and Common Toadflax

 Pale Toadflax - Linaria repens

Common x Pale Toadflax  - hybrid  Linaria x sepium (L. vulgaris x repens)

Purple x Pale Toadflax - hybrid Linaria x dominii (L.purpurea x repens)

Corky-fruited Water Dropwort - Oenanthe pimpinelloides

Elecampane - Inula helenium
Some of the plants in this impressive clump were over seven feet tall!

Knotted Hedge Parsley - Torilis nodosa

Nettle-leaved Bellflower - Campanula trachelium

Fringed Water Lily - Nymphoides peltata

Thorn Apple - Datura stramonium


Wormwood - Artemisia absinthium

Vervain - Verbena officinalis

Cross-leaved Heath - Erica tetralix
A very pretty pale pink form. 

Dorset Heath - Erica ciliaris 

Yellow Bartsia - Parentucellia viscosa

Yellow Centaury - Cicendia filiformis 
Even though the sun was shining we were too late in the day to see the flowers of this tiny plant open. They only open in full sun and usually before midday. Fortunately we caught up with some open flowers in the New Forest at a later date, photos of which I'll put on here in the near future.