Saturday 14 June 2014

A Day of Discovery at Beacon Hill Park, Newark

My leg is crocked.

Well and truly.

My right achilles is injured, so no running for me, and I was very disappointed to miss Parkrun this morning.

It is frustrating, and not running always makes me feel chubby and lazy. But, it is not going to stop me gettting out, it means that everything will be slower. And although it may not be calorie burning, going slower means you miss less.

And so it proved today.

As I headed up the back of Beacon Hill from Clay Lane, I  noticed a lot of insects fluttering about; meadow brown butterflies - but no ringlets as I've seen here in the past in large numbers - bumblebees, and a lot of the little beige, white and grey micro moths you always see skittering from stalk to stalk in the long grass. However I also noticed a striking, criss-cross marked "lep", an attractive cream colour with darker markings.

"Fritillary"!!! my mind screamed to itself excitedly. As I failed to photograph the first one, I noticed several more. Visions of congratulations from the local wildlife and butterfly bods flashed before me, as I was confirmed as the discoverer of the first colony of a rare butterfly colony in Nottinghamshire.

Sadly for my ego, a close look at its antennae revealed no bobbles. It was a day flying moth, a latticed heath as it turned out, an attractive summer moth of no great rarity.

So, I continued on through the estate onto Beacon Hill Estate, and hence to the reserve. I have decided the nursery is the best area to find things these days, and the back path through woodland to the soutern edge of the pasture. Blue cornflowers were out, attracting large skipper butterflies, and what I think may have been big vestal cuckoo bumblebees judging by the absence of pollen basket and the lemon curd coloured edging to the abdomen.

Further round the nursery, ringlet butterflies per usual did their teasing refusal to be photographed.

But it was up on the main pasture I had my other discovery, as I stalked a lemon yellow day flying moth. After another failed photo op, I looked at my feet, to find some bee orchids looking up at me.

My first bee orchids! My first orchids at all in fact. And I had no idea there were any on Beacon Hill Reserve. A well named species, who's bee mimicking flower tricks male bees into pollinating it. But it didn't fool me.

Today, slow, steady and injured won the race!

Looking down the back of Beacon Hill towards Clay Lane
Plenty of ox eye daisies to be seen here
A stunning latticed heath moth
Suspected vestal cuckoo bumblebee
Drat, out of focus. Large skipper again, I think
Attractive blue flowers in Beacon Hill meadow
Bee orchid. Reminds me of Gerald Scarfe's naguthy flowers from The Wall
Library tree bumblebee
Aphids love my sycamores. Bees love the aphid sugar secretions
Blackbird fledgling

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