Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Weetslade Dragons

It was a bit late in the day to look for Dragonfly but a wander around the ponds in Weetslade Country Park this evening produced the goods
Black-tailed skimmer

This was very easy to photograph since it would not rise unless I was less than a couple of feet away. Saw only the one.

Four-spotted chaser - There were four or five on one pond and a couple on the other

Was unable to identify this one, which I am guessing is egg laying?

Amongst the wildflowers were many Ringlet, Small Skipper and Common Blue.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Plenty to watch

A short walk along the bridlepath which starts at Banks Pond last evening brought a nice selection of butterfly, moth and insect.
Common Blue

Small Skipper



Burnet Moth

Have been unable to identify this Damselfly - any ideas?

This is the stretch where they were seen

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Longframlington Swallows

A couple of days ago we visited Longframlington Gardens where there were good numbers of Swallows with their brood on the wing.
Here are a few waiting to see if there would be any more meals provided

There were dozens of these Chimney Sweeper moths in the wild garden

During a brief stop at Felton we had a few minutes peering over the bridge where, I think, these small Brown Trout were idling the day away

Wednesday, 23 June 2010


Am trying to get a handle on the location of Dragonflies around a number of locations.
I started out being really optimistic having earlier located many Damselfly in just about every spot I looked and in great numbers - Stannington, Gosforth Park, Havannah, Blaydon, Gibside, Prestwick Carr, Banks Pond, Big Waters.
But although this warm weather turned up, The Dragons hav'nt. At least not yet in any great numbers.
Only Banks Pond, and Big Waters have come up with the goods so far, but we shall press on.
Yesterday, Banks Pond had at least two Emperor as well as Four spotted Chaser

The Emperor's just would not alight. Watched a pair for 30 minutes and never saw them stop yet.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Unlucky 13?

Watching these swans over the past few weeks I had thought that they were doing their creche thing. After watching Springwatch and the severe demarcation between families I began to realise that this group of 13 young must belong to one brood.
Must be pushing the record books surely?

Friday, 18 June 2010

Bridle Path

An evening stroll up the bridle path at Prestwick Carr brought a group of 7-8 young Long-tailed Tit out in the evening sun

and this Red Admiral was doing more of the same.

What the....?

During a recent visit to Woolsington Ponds watching Damselfly I saw a couple of these creatures swimming eel-like just below the surface. They were 4"-5" long which they could vary by making themselves thinner and longer. They also looked to be flat across the back rather than rounded. Like nothing I have seen before

Any ideas?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Orchid Puzzle

I have been trying to get a handle on orchid identification, and amongst other things have used the forum at Wild About Britain website to assist in this endeavor
So it came as a bit of a surprise to learn that the following are all the same species ie Common Spotted Orchid. It appears that it is a strain that has no problems with mixing its genes with some of the Marsh orchids, hence the variations

These are all around the perimeter of Woolsington Ponds.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

With a bit of help....

After lunch today I was trying to decide where to continue my hunt to break this years duck for Dragonfly. Then with precise timing PCF's lunchtime report popped up.
That made my mind up to retrace his steps with the following outcome
Four-spotted chaser

Banded demoiselle

Common Blue

Thanks Peter.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010


Still have not come across a Dragonfly including todays visit to Woolsington Ponds and Havannah, but there were loads of Damsels at Woolsington including this one

Monday, 14 June 2010

Ident help please

I spent an hour in the Gosforth Park NR hide earlier this evening. I watched these young birds being fed but could not get a decent pic of the adult to help confirm their identity

This was the best of a poor bunch for the adult. They just would not rest. Any help appreciated.

Caught sight of this striking male on the way out

Sunday, 13 June 2010

A bit of a mixture

A couple of hours at Gosforth Park NR the other evening brought a bit of variety.
After trying to get a photo of this Damselfly on a reed stem without success, it landed on the back of my hand and loitered for more than a minute.

I had been expecting to see good numbers of these by the reed edges but the highest concentrations are in those areas where there are good numbers of flying insects such as the pathway along the South edge of the reserve. Suppose it makes sense. I had been hoping for a Dragonfly sighting but no luck.
However this Sedge Warbler gave a good rendition all of the time I was there

This Tenthredo was just finishing off a meal.

and in the south West corner of the reserve was a patch of vegetation with about fifty of these aptly named Red and Black Froghopper. They are about 1cm long.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Field Guides

I'm sure most of you will be aware of the excellent field identification guides produced by the Field Studies Council @ www.field-studies-council.org. I have recently added to my library and when the average price is £3.50 and the delivery time two days, (although they quote 7-10 days), they represent good value.

If you are not familiar with them, have a look.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Days like this!

Mum told me about days like this - wet,windy,cold and lonely.

But she never mentioned this!

Despite a brave stand off and a few pecks on the head the young Starling managed a few crumbs before deciding on discretion

Monday, 7 June 2010


This first image is of Toothed Cup - Tarzetta cupularis
It appeared as a part of a cluster of about a dozen and this being the largest at about 2 centimeters diameter

Deer Shield - Pluteus cervinus with a 15cm diameter cap.

Both were spotted in Gosforth Park NR this afternoon