Sunday, 19 June 2016

Wildlife Dawdle at Wembury

Saturday June 18th and I headed off to Wembury for a walk in the warm sunshine to try and sooth my weary soul after a very trying week at work where I have felt tired and irritable, not helped by the bigoted and ignorant comments made to me by a retiring work colleague I have worked alongside for nearly 13 years and the on-going ups and downs of my lovely sister-in-laws haematology treatment on my Unit, now in its 4th week.

I was feeling a bit flat and listless and so my walk turned into a dawdle but I had a very pleasent time enjoying the wildlife and the sunshine and the views.

With the fantastic footage of birds at their nests on Springwatch on BBC2 now at an end for this year it was nice to see various fledglings flitting about - stonechat, whitethroat, robin, blue tit and blackbird young were all seen. Plenty of singing birds seen and heard too including chiffchaff, blackcap, pheasent, whitethroat, linnet, wren, cirl bunting, dunnock and stonechat.

 Male Whitethroat

 Male Whitethroat

Male Cirl Bunting

Along the beach a little egret, a curlew, 3 male mallards, oystercatchers and 3 rock pipits were seen while a raven and 3 buzzards flew overhead along with a swift, a bird I don't see very often at Wembury.

Butterflies were on the wing and I had nice views of my first 2 meadow brown of the year along with 3 painted lady, 2 small tortoiseshell, 1 male orange tip, 2 large skipper, 1 male common blue and small whites. No moths in the toilet block but I did find 6 spot burnet and lackey moth caterpillars and a gallium carpet disturbed from the vegetation along with a faded diamond back moth on a daisy flower.

 Large Skipper

 Meadow Brown

 Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Diamond Back Moth

3 common lizards including a large green one with a damaged tail and bloody nose beetles were also seen including yet another pair mating -  perhaps I should come back as a bloody nose beetle in my next life!

After a pasty and coffee for lunch at the cafe I caught the bus home, stopping off at The Morley Arms by Laira Bridge to look at 2 clumps of pyramidal orchids growing on the grass verge that I had noticed earlier on the bus ride out. One clump was more advanced with the flowers open but the second clump had yet to flower fully - I hope they get a move on before the council comes along and mows the grass.
Pyramidal Orchid

I wandered over to Blagdons Meadow, a Plymouth City Council nature reserve, where a rowing club meet was taking place at the clubhouse at the top end and it was very sad to see loads of cars parking up on the grass of the meadow. The site has a locked gate which was open so I guess the Council had allowed the parking, you wouldn't think the meadow was a County Wildlife Site with rare plants and invertebrates present.

I had a wander around and found 2 meadow browns and 2 common blues in the increasingly cloudy conditions but there was no sign of any small heath again. Plenty of burnet companion moths were flitting about but many were showing signs of wear and had lost their orangey hindwing colouring.

 Meadow Brown

Burnet Companion

False Oil Beetle

The southern marsh orchids were also starting to go over and had turned much paler but were still putting on quite a show. I also found 5 bee orchids which were weedy and straggly looking especially when compared to the large and robust specimen I found at Billacombe Railway 2 weeks ago.

 Southern Marsh Orchid

 Bee Orchid

Bee Orchid

Heading home and I felt a little better about life, the universe and everything, wildlife certainly helps to keep me sane and anchored to my place in the world.

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