Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Currently in flower at FW

Just a few flower pics taken on Monday 26th June.

Lots of hogweed, mostly white but some pink.

Yellow vetchling and bramble both about to flower in profusion.

Creeping thistle - a bit of an invader but good for nectar.

Two colours of clover and still some dandelions

Agrimony or 'Aaron's Rod'

Clumps of birdsfoot trefoil, especially where we cut the grass back earlier in the year.

  Yarrow: this one with a female thick-legged beetle (Oedemera nobilis

Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

Ribwort Plantain or Lamb's tongue

Ragwort and Great Willowherb


Dock now going to seed

Goatsbeard seedheads

Note the closed flowers to either side.

Figwort also going to seed.  
You can recognise figwort by feeling the square stems.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Butterflies in black and white - or is it brown and orange

Now flying at Filnore Woods:

Our most spectacular butterfly now flying is the Marbled White.  They like to sunbathe and are relatively approachable.  They apparently show a preference for purple flowers to get their nectar.   

If the marbled white is easy to approach and photograph, the Ringlet is almost impossible.  They are very dark brown, almost black, with tiny white circles on their wings and a white edge. You don't notice them until they fly.  Then they flap listlessly between the grass stems and you think they will stop any minute but they don't.

Photo: butterfly conservation

A faster flyer is the Meadow Brown.  I managed to zoom in on this one  eventually but I kept losing him because he blended into the background so well.

All the above three butterflies are in the 'brown' butterfly section and their caterpillars feed on various grasses.  

The Comma butterfly lays its eggs on nettles.  It has a very ragged outline but is a very fast flyer so you may just see a flash of orange as it zips past.

Photo: BBC

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Invertebrates in the afternoon

Photo: Alan Watts

Tony Smith of The Bristol Naturalists' Society kindly gave up his Saturday afternoon last week to come and open our eyes to some of the miniature wonders at Filnore Woods.

Such things as cinnabar moth caterpillars feeding on ragwort flowers.

Or a spider wrapping a bee in silk, ready for the larder.

Photo: Alan Watts

We were soon getting our invertebrate eyes in and finding our own tiny animals.  Some were very small so a hand lens was needed to see them but we also saw numerous butterflies, lacewings, true bugs and moths.

 At least one of the party has yet to be converted to entomology but our youngest attender was very keen and soon off on his own zoo quest.
 Photo: Alan Watts

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Ash keys

We tend to think of berries and seeds being things of the autumn but already in May the ash tree's 'keys', the winged fruits with the seeds inside, were well developed and just waiting to ripen. 

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Meadow buttercup

We have two types of buttercup at Filnore.  I haven't provided a photo of the common creeping buttercup, which is a familiar weed in your garden and maybe in the lawn, with its creeping stems and threefold leaves.  It grows much shorter than the tall meadow buttercup below, which stands tall above the grass.

And look at the divided leaves of the meadow buttercup.  This shows it is the more refined relative of its creeping cousin.

Snobbery among the grass blades.