Monday, 17 November 2014

Autumn bouquet

Castle Hills, Bungay
October 17th, 2014

These photos of Castle Hills were taken in mid October, when several wild flowers were still in bloom, including Buttercup, Cranesbill, Daisies and White Campion.

This photo, taken near the top of the hill, shows a variety of grasses with St Mary's Church tower in the background

A general view of the hill

Daisies among a lovely variety of foliage near the bottom of the hill

A Buttercup. Should Buttercups and Daisies still be out at this time of year?

I think this is a Cranesbill, possibly Dove's-foot Cranesbill?

White Campion growing half-way up the hill

On the same day, I spotted a reddish coloured dragonfly or damselfly whizzing around but not close enough to see what it was, and as it wouldn't settle I was unable to photograph it.

Submitted by Adele Goodchild

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Pond and Dyke Dipping Walk on Outney Common - Part 2 - The Hard Dyke

This is a very belated post about the the Dyke Dipping in the Hard Dyke on Outney Common, organised in June by the Bungay Suffolk Wildlife Trust Group and the Wild About Bungay Community Wildlife Group, as part of a pond and dyke dipping walk on the Common.

Saturday June 14th 2014

After our pond dipping we walked across the common to the Hard Dyke. On the way to the dyke we stopped to look at some of the plants and wildlife on the 'Hards' area of the common: we saw: Sand Sedge (which is normally only found in the Brecks), Water Chickweed (Myosoton aquaticum), Lesser Stitchwort, Yellow Rattle, Bladder Campion, Hempnettle and American Blackberry

Water Chickweed

Funnel web spider's web

We also saw Grasshopper nymphs, Grasshoppers, Large Skipper Butterflies, Meadow Brown Butterflies and Sheet and Funnel Web spider’s webs on our way to the Hard Dyke.. 

Hard Dyke

Enthusiastic Dyke Dippers

Jeremy Hall identifying water plants

At the Hard Dyke we began dyke dipping and found many small water creatures including: Dragonfly larvae........

Dragonfly larva

and a very menacing looking Water Scorpion.....

Water Scorpion, two Water Boatmen and a Pea Mussel

Water Scorpions and Ramshorn Snails

We also found Ramshorn snails, a Stickleback fish, Great Diving Beetle larvae, Diving Beetles, Water Shrimp, Water Louse and Smooth Newt tadpoles.......

Smooth Newt Tadpole

Water Boatman and Stickleback fish

Great Diving Beetle larva and Ramshorn Snail

Water Boatman, Stickleback fish, Great Diving Beetle larva and Ramshorn Snail

Above the dyke we spotted an egg-laying Hairy Dragonfly, several damselflies and a Northern Hawker Dragonfly in flight.

Water plant botanist Jeremy Hall explained to us that this particular section of the dyke had several clean water indicator plants like Water Violet, but that this small area where we were dipping, was the only botanical species-rich section of this dyke, because most of the rest of the dyke channel had become completely overgrown and choked with Reed mace and Bur-reed, as well as overshadowed by willow and alder shrubs and trees. 

We found many water plants in this section, including Tubular Water Dropwort, which is an NERC Section 41 rare and endangered species plant, requiring protection.

 Tubular Water Dropwort

Tubular Water Dropwort

Tubular Water Dropwort

Jeremy advised that initially an area of the dyke would need hand clearing this autumn, around these water plants and for a stretch on either side, carefully pulling out all the Reed mace and Bur-reed from the channel, in order to allow the Tubular Water Dropwort and other water plants like Water Crowfoot, Water Violet, Water Plantain, Celery-leaved Crowfoot, Lesser Spearwort, Marsh Speedwell, Broad-leaved Pondweed, Water Mint, Water Forget-me-not, Marsh Bedstraw, Angelica and Nuttall's Water Weed etc, to survive and spread into a larger area of the dyke.

(A section of the Hard Dyke was carefully hand cleared this month (early November 2014), by a working party from the River Waveney Trust, with kind permission from the Outney Common Owners Group - For a full report, see the upcoming blog post on the dyke clearing - many thanks to the RWT working party for all their hard work and the care they took with this. Hopefully this action will save these water plants for now and allow them to spread further along the dyke in the coming year or two).

Below are some of the many beautiful water plants we found in the Hard Dyke....

 Broad-leaved pondweed with Water Violet in the background

Water Violet

Marsh Bedstraw

Common Water Crowfoot

Celery-leaved Water Crowfoot

Water Plantain

Water Forget-me-not

Water Mint and Water Violet leaves

Trifid Bur- Marigold

Fool's Watercress

Gypsywort leaves

Ragged Robin

Botanist Jeremy Hall returned to the Hard Dyke the following day (15th June) to carry out a full botanical survey of aquatic and emergent plants in the Hard Dyke. Below is a full list of the plants found in and along the Hard Dyke in summer 2014:

Creeping Bent (Agrostis stolonifera), 
Water-plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica),
Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)
Fool's-water-cress (Apium nodiflorum)
Greater Pond-sedge (Carex riparia)
Common Spike-rush (Eleocharis palustris)
Nuttall's Waterweed (Elodea nuttallii)
Marsh Horsetail (Equisetum palustre)
Marsh-bedstraw (Galium palustre)
Floating Sweet-grass (Glyceria fluitans)
Reed Sweet-grass (Glyceria maxima)
Mare's-tail (Hippuris vulgaris)
Water-violet (Hottonia palustris)
Soft-rush (Juncus effusus)
Fat Duckweed (Lemna gibba)
Ivy-leaved Duckweed (Lemna trisulca)
Gypsywort (Lycopus europaeus)
Water Mint (Mentha aquatica)
Water Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides)
Tubular Water-dropwort (Oenanthe fistulosa)
Broad-leaved Pondweed (Potamogeton natans)
Common Water-crowfoot (Ranunculus aquatilis)
Lesser Spearwort (Ranunculus flammula)
Celery-leaved Water Crowfoot (Ranuculus scleratus)
Ragged Robin (Lychnis Flos-cuculi)
Trifid Bur-Marigold (Bidens tripartita)
Branched Bur-reed (Sparganium erectum)
Greater Reedmace Bulrush (Typha latifolia)
Marsh Speedwell (Veronica scutellata)

Rose Titchiner, Bungay, Suffolk

Friday, 7 November 2014

Autumn glory

October 17th, 2014
Bungay Castle and St Mary's Churchyard

Here are some pictures I took in mid-October. I think the flowering cherry tree by St Mary's looks lovely. 

I am not sure what the red creeping plant is but thought it cheered up the castle tower! 

The green plant was also growing in a crevice on the castle wall.

The daisy-like flowers were underneath a tree along the path past St Mary's; I don't know what they are either!

Submitted by Adele Goodchild

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Osprey Fishing on Broome Lakes

Brome Lakes, near Bungay - late September 2014

The photos of this beautiful Osprey were taken at Broome Fishing Lakes in late September. It stayed about for three weeks hunting fish and resting before it made its long journey home to Africa. I can still feel the excitement of seeing it.......

Frances Crickmore

Jewel-like Spider Web

Fen Farm, Flixton

I saw this beautiful little spider behind the farm on the fen at Flixton I loved how the little raindrops glistened in the sun.

Frances Crickmore

Birds on Outney Common Pond and Water-meadows

August 2014 - Outney Common Pond and Outney 'Lows' Water-meadows

I saw a couple of birds on Outney pond on the morning August 22nd about 7am and would very much like some advice about exactly what they are? I know the pictures are poor quality but I would be very grateful if someone could manage to identify them for me please.

I think that one may be a juvenile Great Crested Grebe that kept diving down  and the other a juvenile Cormorant which just sat on the bank during the brief time that I was watching (it was raining hard!)  but my knowledge is very limited.  

Last year I saw several cormorants sitting in the trees in and around the Outney pond and lakes but I haven’t seen any so far this year. I wondered if they had been scared of by the fishermen or just declined in number or moved on maybe?

I took this photo near the river through the 'Lows' on Outney Common on 28th August.  I couldn’t see any other geese anywhere but this one seemed to be acting as a watchdog for this little group of Mallards and presumably liked their company also.  I think it is a Greylag goose but not sure so help needed again.

I think is an oyster catcher taken at the creek which runs through Outney meadows and the Moorhen which was hiding in the water lilies on the pond on the common?

Candoula,  Bungay, Suffolk

Summer Sightings

The Silver Y Moth. 14 July, 2014, 3.54 p.m. Last year when I saw this moth for the first time it had me thinking that I had discovered a real rarity, but I was quickly disillusioned! It has a subtle beauty and I was very surprised to open my front door one day back in the summer to find this one on the Valerian that had seeded itself at the side. In the lighting at that moment it was well camouflaged.

Blue Banded Demoiselle 15 July 2014, 4.55 p.m. An absolute stunner, this little creature. And it knew what to perch on to show its colour off to good advantage! It seemed to have no fear at my creeping up on it, and even when I held my breath and cautiously moved aside a fern frond it didn't stir.

Red Admiral Butterfly 20 August 2014, 9.23 a.m. This year there seem to have been quite a few of these about in my garden, whereas in previous years it has been quite a "catch" when one has appeared. 

Garden Spider 4 September, 2014, 11.50 a.m. Contrary to when I was young, I now find spiders fascinating. That's providing, of course, that it isn't a large one on my bedroom ceiling. I can no longer screech "Mummeee."

Lastly, a not-very-exciting photo of a drowned spiderweb on the sill of one of my windows, taken after a terrific downpour on 7 October. It really wanted a sparkle of sun to light up the raindrops, but it was on a north wall, which gets no sun at this time of year.

Ivy Collins, Bungay, Suffolk.