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Mid-Summer Species

Saturday, July 23rd 2016

Rayed Knapweed was recorded on the middle moor last year and it has spread this year.  It is a good food source for bees.  This one was rather sleepily feeding and getting covered in white pollen in the process.

Bee on Rayed Knapweed

The middle moor is beautiful and the flower colours show through the grasses.

Middle moor

Yellow Rattle, buttercups and Bird's-foot Trefoil show yellow and are easily recognised, then something different catches your eye.  Bird's-foot Trefoil can have orange and red colouration but a pure orange one is unusual.

Orange Bird's-foot Trefoil

When we notice a new species, especially a plant, we expect it to stay where it was seen.  In October 2013 Goat's-beard was growing on the verge near the Stonepile.  If you want to see the flower you must visit before noon, as the other name for this flower is Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon, meaning that the flower closes at noon!  The seed head develops and that is usually what is obvious.  This plant disappeared from the area but last week was found growing near the weir.  When plants 'move' there is always the question - How did it get there?  As the seed heads are dandelion like, presumably the seeds were moved by the wind, although I suspect it was somewhat of a circuitous route through the  trees!

Goat's-beard seed head

Wasps are busy collecting material for their nests.  They find the wooden hand rails and benches ideal for this purpose.  You can see the lighter marks where they have removed some of the wood.

Wasp collecting wood for nest

Next week Eco Club is going out to count species, so I hope that the Soldier Beetles co-operate and remain on the Angelica flower heads.

Soldier Beetles on Angelica

There is a third brood of duckilings on the lake.  We should be able to see her and count her young.

Mallard and ducklings

Green Leaf Beetles were plentiful during the spring but their larvae are less so now and only a few have been found on the underside of Alder leaves.

Green Leaf Beetle larvae

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