Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Bluebells, Not Quite So Late

The Bluebells here are not quite so late this year, probably about a week later than previous years, certainly not three weeks late as some experts have predicted.   We went to Edmondsham to see the Bluebells, they are nearly at their peak.

Bluebells (2)


This Spring, I have seen a lot of Seven-spot Ladybird, far more than I have in previous years.  On this piece of log, there was several of them.
Seven-Spot Ladybird

Early Purple Orchid with a Dandelion in the background.  Spot the Ladybird:-) 
Early Purple Orchid

Monday, 26 April 2010

The Mining Bees Are Back

These little bees, the mining bees, are back in my garden, making little holes in my lawn.  Apparently there are 60 different species of Andrena mining bees in UK, so take your pick which one this is.  They are solitary bees, each female builds her own nest and looks after her own young.   When the female has finished her nesting, she will plug up the hole.  The young bees will not emerge until next Spring.  I had a go at getting some close up images of these bees.  The best way was to have one perched on my finger, it was difficult to take a picture with just one hand:-)  These little bees do not sting or their sting is so weak that it does not penetrate the skin.

Tawny Mining Bee

Tawny Mining Bee (3)

Mining Bee Nest

Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Great Brain Training Exercise

Take pictures of wild flowers, then when you get home, search your books and the Internet for their ID - is a great way of exercising your brain.  The real exercise of the brain comes when you go out again, see these flowers again and then try to remember what they are.  

Lousewort.  Taken at Kingcombe nature reserve.

Coltsfoot.  Taken at Powerstock nature reserve.
Coltsfoot (2)

Wood Anemones.  Taken at Kingcombe nature reserve.  One of our familiar wild flowers that is not forgettable.
Wood Anemones

The furtile shoots of the Horsetail.  Taken at Powerstock nature reserve.
The Flower of the Horsetail(2)

River Hooke at Kingcombe nature reserve.
River Hooke

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Coastal Walk

Some more images I took on our walk yesterday from Worth Matravers to Hedbury Quarry.

Spider Orchid, there were loads of these along the cliff tops to Hedbury Quarry from Winspit.
Spider Orchid (2)

White Green Winged Orchid
White Green Winged Orchid

Skylark, not a brilliant picture, but I class myself lucky to get this one.

I had to do a bit of research to find out what this bird is and the closest I come to is Linnet. There was a flock of them, five I counted, and Linnets do flock together.


Gorse (2)

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Fossils and Lizards

Fossils and lizards seem to go together.  We had a great day out today, beautiful sunshine and no wind.  We drove to Worth Matravers in the Purbecks and then walked from there to Hedbury Quarry.  Our main reason for going to this quarry was to see the Wall lizards and we were not disappointed, they were everywhere in this quarry, I had a brilliant time photographing these little lizards.  We appear to have four species of lizards in the UK:

Common lizard
Sand lizard
Wall lizard
Western Green lizard (a new lizard found on the cliff tops of Boscombe and Southbourne)

Most people know about the Common lizard, some may know about the Sand lizard, but I wonder how many people know about the Wall lizard (I certainly did not know about them until very recently)  The Western Green lizard is a recent discovery, so I expect vertually no one has heard of these.  I have found a useful website about British reptiles:

Wall lizard, I am not sure about who is male and who is female.  The only difference seems to be is that the males are slightly larger than the females.
Wall Lizard

Wall Lizard (13)

This one was watching me while I was watching him
Wall Lizard (21)

This lizard came towards me, maybe he thought he could shoo me off :)
Wall Lizard (8)

Difficult to say if these are two males
Wall Lizard (4)

This was a surprise, a Common lizard, in the same location
Common Lizard (2)

Ammonite Fossil

Ammonite Fosils