For illustrated talks on natural history and history see www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

For illustrated talks on natural history and history click here for www.peterlovetttalks.co.uk

Saturday, 31 July 2021

Dodder on the South Downs, Pyecombe, Sussex

 


This meadow on a south facing slope at Pyecombe is extremely rich in plant species even if, superficially, it looks like Ragwort dominates.  

Above, Ragwort plus St John's wort, clover, eyebright and...
Dodder, Cuscuta epithymum.
This extraordinary parasitic plant has rootless thin stems which twine over its hosts and steal nutrients from penetrating haustoria (ref: https://www.britannica.com/science/haustorium )
Lacking chlorophyll it has leaves reduced to red scales.  Flowers are in dense clusters as above.


The Pride of Sussex, a Bellflower is magnificent this year further up on Wolstonbury Hill.

Nettle-leaved Bellflower

Harebells, a Bellflower


A glorious display of Round-headed Rampion, "the pride of Sussex" our county flower.

Sunday, 18 July 2021

Some Damselflies of Wakehurst Place and the Loder valley, West Sussex, 17 July 2021

 

The mating wheel of White-legged Damselflies.







Beautiful Demoiselle.



Thursday, 15 July 2021

Damselflies and Dragonflies Nature walk, Pulborough Brooks

 

Egg laying Azure Blue Damselflies
In reverse order!!!  [You might think I should have learned by now!] here are some pic's from today's nature walk...... and the next five from my garden when I got home.
Click on any picture to expand it.



Large Red Damselfly


Female Demoiselle

Water Plantain


Meadowsweet

Male Banded Demoiselle



Tansy

See https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/wildflowers/tansy


Liz, Daphne and the naturalist Keith, whose extensive botanical knowledge was a great asset on this walk.
Purple Loosestrife


Lesser Stitchwort
Because the four of us had RSPB membership cards, the planned route was changed to go though the reserve before joining the public footpath across the Brooks.

Common Blue Damselfly on the path in RSPB reserve.
Please see https://british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/common-blue-damselfly/

Sneezewort

We were able to visit a hide and observe some birds:  
Lapwing and chicks;
Egyptian geese doing an Egyptian dance;
On the way, a Blue-tailed Damselfly.

View from the hide.
A Redshank.
Out-of-focus Common Darter
See https://british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/common-darter/
Rather than an Emperor, this looks more like a Southern Hawker laying eggs on the far side of the pond below.

Water Crowfoot

Peacock

Azure Damselfly

Helophilus sp hoverfly in the stagnant pond in front of RSPB entrance. 
Helophilus sp
This was a lovely walk on a hot day, thanks to the company of like-minded naturalists, whom I thank for joining it.

Blog Archive