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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: )
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.

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


Male Banded Demoiselle



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


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
Rather than an Emperor, this looks more like a Southern Hawker laying eggs on the far side of the pond below.

Water Crowfoot


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.

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