Tyne Watersmeet

 

Tyne Watersmeet is an SSSI, noted for its invertebrate life, Flora, Bryophyte and Lichen communities, at the confluence of the North and South Tyne rivers. On a sunny morning in early March the River Tyne sparkled silver and peaty bronze in the sunshine. The carboniferous rock strata provides a range of siliceous, limestone and river bank (riparian) environments. From this viewpoint on Warden rocks a male Goosander flew past heading upstream.

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Wild daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) were already in flower, distinguishable from the cultivated varieties by the strongly coloured trumpets glowing between six translucent tepals and long papery bract. It is the only native British daffodil.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAViolets are commonly seen on the riverbank. Sweet violet (Viola odorata) was in flower. The petals can be rich violet or white and the spur lilac, the leaves have rounder tips than other violets.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Wood anemone (Anemone nemoralis) is an indicator species of ancient woodland, this one, on the brink of flowering.

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Early in the year plants may be recognized by their leaves. The hairy looking leaves in the picture below are of Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) and the leafy liverwort growing beside it Greater Featherwort (Plagiochila asplenoides).

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Alternate leaved Golden Saxifrage (Chrysoplenium alternifolium) has attractive leaves appearing amid the Ivy.

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Ivy seems to be spreading rapidly even smothering this Lesser celandine (Ficaria verna) in flower. The longer leaves sprouting nearby are hooded at the tip suggesting it is Yellow Star-of-Bethlehem (Gagia lutea), a locally rare plant.

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Snowdrops were abundant, their grey-green leaves, by way of contrast, are not fused at the tip.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWoodland mosses frequently covered riverside rocks such as this Common mouse-tail (Isothecium  mysuroides),

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and Swan’s neck thyme moss (Mnium hornum).

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A Beech twig played host to a fungi that looks like Beech Barkspot (Diatrype disciformis), found on the woodland floor of a mixed plantation. Common Crossbills were calling from the Scots Pines, though difficult to spot, while Coal, Great and Blue tits, Chaffinch and Yellowhammers fluttering from tree to tree. Judging by the eaten pine cones, squirrels had been dining there and Badger feeding holes provided evidence of a nearby sett. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Other plants noticed:Greater Woodrush (Luzula sylvatica), Arum Lily (Arum maculatum), Dogs’ Mercury (Mercurialis perennis), Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum), Sanicle (Sanicula europaea), Primrose (Primula vulgaris), Pignut (Conopodium majus), Leopard’s Bane (Doronicum pardalianches).

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Reference:

SSSI

Rothley Circular Walk

This winter walk took a route along part of the the Wanney line, Rothley Lake, Crag and Mill.

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Without leaves it was difficult to identify this tree from it’s shining berries but the fallen leaves looked like cotoneaster so probably it was Hedge cotoneaster (Cotoneaster lucidus.)  A flock of Fieldfare were seen nearby so the berries might be as attractive to them as to us.

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The path took us along the Wanney or Wannie line named after the river Wansbeck. Originally thirteen miles long, starting from Morpeth, it reached Rothbury in 1870 after seven years in construction. It was used to carry coal, stone, livestock, lime and passengers before its closure to passengers in 1952 and freight in 1963. Sir Walter Trevelyan, owner of Wallington (1846-1879) was the driving force behind the building of the railway. The revenue that came to the estate was spent on his house and improving the estate.

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On the way we sought out this  venerable hollowed ancient ash tree. Ash trees can live for 400 years or more if they have been coppiced or pollarded. The hollow structure actually helps them survive longer.

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Evidence  of ridge and furrow cultivation in the photo above, typical of the open field system in the middle ages when non reversible ploughs were used. It survives on higher ground where arable fields were converted to sheep walk in the 15th Century and not ploughed since.

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The characteristic S shaped pattern of ridges ploughed by oxen is shown in comparison to the straight rig and furrow. Oxen were yoked in larger teams than horses and since they ploughed in a clockwise direction needed more turning room. In the background, Rothley Crags shows its windy exposures by the lack of vegetation unlike the plantation below.

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These interestingly shaped leaves belong to Intermediate wintergreen (Pyrola media).

 

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The lake forms part of the deer-park created by Sir William Calverley-Blackett (2nd Baronet) the owner of Wallington Estate who built Rothley Castle as a folly and the Codger Fort to prove loyalty to King George II during the Jacobite rebellion. The lake was landscaped by Capability Brown. The bird feeders by the lake hide were thronged by tits: Blue, Great, Coal and a pair of delightful Marsh tits. Nuthatch and chaffinch also visited while a Crossbill was heard in the trees.

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The lake surroundings have been planted with Scots Pine, Sitka spruce and Beech but moss thrived among old stumps as did Caluna vulgaris and Bilberry. Given the red stems, this moss is Red-stemmed feather moss (Pleurosium schreberi) an inhabitant of open heathy woodland.

c portentosa.JPGLichens survive in exposed moorland conditions of Rothley Crag. The lichen above is Cladonia portentosa, perhaps not as widespread as it should be in these conditions. Parmelia omphalodes, below, commonly seen on exposed base-poor rocks such as the Rothley grits.

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Sphaerophorus globosus is a bushy attractive lichen apparently fairly common in upland areas.

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Sphaerophorus fragilis, however, forms more compact cushions, lacks the pinkish tinge and usually grows at greater altitude.

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All we saw of Rothley mill was this attractive trough. The mill was a water-powered cornmill on the Hartburn, now a private dwelling, interesting in legend as the dwelling place of Queen Mab and her fairies. A dipper was seen on the Hartburn and a yellowhammer on the trees nearby.

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Reference:

Lichens – Frank S. Dobson

Collins Wild Flower Guide- David Streeter at al.

 

 

 

Blackhall Rocks

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This beach photo taken from the top of the Magnesian limestone cliff outcrops laid down during the late Permian ( 300-250 mya). Formed by lagoonal deposits left by the rising and falling levels of the Zechstein sea, various formations can be seen including the Hesleden Biostrome from the beach.

A closer view of the rubble on the beach reveals a stony residue of colliery waste dumped on the beach from local mine workings. The colliery closed in the 1990’s but it was left for the tides to disperse the spoil out to sea. There is still a detectable sulphurous smell.

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The cliffs look more imposing from the beach.

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The laminations in the Biostrome are visible from close up as tightly packed thin layers. Finely laminated horizontal layers within the rock, each no more than a millimetre thick were formed from layers of filamentous blue-green algae that gradually accumulated on the shallow bed of the tropical sea. The Biostrome consists almost entirely of dolomite rock and comprises a thick and highly varied boulder conglomerate overlain by a thicker unit of algal laminites. The conglomerate is formed mainly of rolled cobbles and boulders derived by erosion of the underlying (but unexposed) reef-flat rocks of the Ford Formation.

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Stromatolites occur in the form of large domes up to 20m across and 3m high, pictured below. They are intriguingly displayed on the shore. Structures of this size are currently unique to the UK, and rare in marine Permian strata generally.

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They are more difficult to spot in the cliffs, however, this picture shows the convex dome shaped ‘Crinkly Beds’ of this upper (stromatolitic) part of the biostrome.

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Evidence of a fault is shown below in the different strata on either side of the slipped glacial till. This fault between Limekiln Gill and Cross Gill brings the Seaham Formation and Seaham Residue (left) into contact with the Roker Dolomite Formation (right). The base of the Roker dolomite rises to the cliff top beneath the boulder clay.

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A closer view of the Seaham residue, predominantly thin-bedded limestone (calcite mudstone/wackestone with some interbedded coquina , packstone, grainstone, mudstone and concretionary limestone) with some dolostone.

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Towards the south, a block of the Roker formation had fallen on the beach. Not only were mud slides dripping down the cliffs; occasional rock falls littered the beach. The area, in the longer term, is under going progressive erosion.

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The Roker formation is a cream, oolitic dolostone with subordinate thin beds of fine-grained dolomite and breccias. It rests on the Concretionary Limestone Formation (seen above at the bottom) as rounded cannonball-like strata that occurs above the Hartlepool Anhydrite Formation offshore with a dissolution residue that overlies the Ford Formation onshore.

The glacial tills are 24 m deep of southwards-thickening Quaternary (late Devensian)  deposits overlying up to 10 m of Magnesian Limestone. They form a layered sequence of two stony clays separated by a sand and gravel layer from which perennial seepages cause instability and slips.

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The site is noted for cliff top magnesian grassland and plants such as Sea Spleenwort (Asplenium marinum ). It grows in crevices and fissures in rocks, caves and walls near the sea and within the sea-spray zone.

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The beach at Black Hall Rocks contains some of the largest cave formations to be found on the Durham coastline, the magnesian limestone cliffs here measure 15–32m in height. The Gin Cave is an example of a Sea (Littoral) Cave. Colourful red algae, probably Hildenbrandia rubra decorates the walls.

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A  tantalizing view of the beach from within one of the caves. Caves are formed by the action of destructive waves hitting the cliffs with great force. The action concentrates on weak points within the rock, this may be a fault line or the bedding planes of sedimentary rocks, such as limestone.

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Caves in headlands may eventually erode right through to create an Arch in the rock. This will continue to erode and eventually the arch will collapse leaving a free-standing pillar of rock known as a Stack. The coastline here used to feature many stacks. These are no longer present through either natural causes or human intervention.

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A group of ringed plover and a few Redshank were seen patrolling the tideline.

 

 

Reference:

http://archive.jncc.gov.uk/pdf/gcrdb/GCRsiteaccount3016.pdf

https://designatedsites.naturalengland.org.uk/PDFsForWeb/Citation/1000255.pdf

https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC205F8_gin-cave-earthcache-black-hall-rocks

Claxheugh Rock

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This is an impressive rock by the south bank of the river Wear near Sunderland. On approach a Peregrine falcon took flight from the top.

The river cuts through exposures of  Carboniferous (Upper coal measures) and Upper Permian age. Carboniferous age rocks are exposed on the far shore as a distinguishable,  deeply weathered, purple coloured rock layer below the bright yellow lower Permian sandstone. Between these layers is an unconformity or gap in the geological record.  Permian yellow sandstone have been widely quarried and acted as a porous reservoir for natural gas out under the North Sea.

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Carboniferous strata is also revealed on the Claxheugh side, in crumbly mudstones of different shades of grey. Coal seams were not visible but the dark grey suggests a high carbon content.

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Below the flaky layer, harder sandstone shows the wavy ripple marks indicative of a marine origin.

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These marks on the rocks look like trace fossils left by burrowing creatures.

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The Claxheugh exposures lie entirely within a fault-bounded trough; the Claxheugh fault shown below forms the Eastern edge and the Ford Fault further down, the western boundary of the sequence.

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 A closer view of Claxheugh Rock, derived from Clack’s Heugh, a crag in Mr Clack’s property, reveal the join between the Basal Permian Yellow Sands, Marl Slate, Raisby Formation and Ford Formation above. The reef of the Ford formation comprises a great mass of buff and brown dolomitic bryozoan dolomitic limestone and ancient stromatolites. Their appears to be another unconformity here at the boundary with the blocky Permian sandstone.

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A submarine slide canyon appears as a disturbance feature in the picture below.

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Thin Marl slate facies can be seen below. Comprising finely laminated, buff and grey, dolomitic shale  in brown, carbonaceous, plastic clay, it has been marked by graffiti.

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Besides the Peregrine, the rock was encircled by a ‘train’ of Jackdaws. The tide was low and Shelduck, Curlew, Redshank and Cormorant were seen in small numbers while in the surrounding  scrubby woodlands Chiff-chaff were calling. Although bees and butterflies were zooming around, only Small tortoiseshell butterfly was clearly identifiable.

Once the Hylton ferry ran across the Wear, now the boats look abandoned and there is no crossing now.

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Reference:

http://jncc.defra.gov.uk/pdf/gcrdb/GCRsiteaccount2086.pdf

Bedrock and Building Stones- Dr Andy Lane 2014

New Year Flower Hunt

As part of the BSBI (Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland) hunt for flowering plants I looked out for plants in flower while on a walk to Holywell Pond on 30th December 2018.

In Seaton Sluice this Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense) had a good head of flowers. Creeping thistle is easily recognised by its sweet smell.

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Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)  a member of the Asteraceae family has a long flowering flowering season.

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Our walk took us  uphill over arable fields where, on a wide head-rig, many once common arable plants were growing. Scented Mayweed (Matricaria chamomilla) is famed for its fresh apple scent, down curved petals and herbal properties.

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Wild Pansy (Viola arvense) is usually white with one yellow  coloured petal acting as an insect guide. It also has medicinal uses but is generally poisonous.

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This Field Speedwell (Veronica persica) also had a mix of colours; white lower petals and violet blue upper ones.

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Common fumitory (Fumaria officinalis) is another medical plant hence the name  officinalis.

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Like the Fumitory above, this Groundsel below looks the worse for the colder weather. It looked like Sticky Groundsel (Senecia viscosus).

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Two very striking dark lipped banded snails (Cepaea nemoralis) crossed our path.

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A field nearby often has Grey Partridge and pheasants grazing. They seem tame and probably bred for shooting.

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The surprise flower on the way back was Doves-foot Cranesbill (Geranium molle).  Usually in flower between April to September, it’s late flower reflects ongoing changes in seasonality (phenology).

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Although the birdlife was scarce on the pond, we caught the Pink-footed geese flying  back to the pond after foraging somewhere.

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Big Waters – Birdlife

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Big Waters is the largest mining subsistence pond in SE Northumberland and it attracts a wide variety of wildlife to its many habitats. The Northumberland Wildlife Trust maintains a reserve around the lake. The Greylag geese wheeling in the photo above were numerous, rivalled in size only by a flock of Canada geese. In a similar way to the geese, three winter visiting Whooper Swans, alternated feeding sites between fields and lake.

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Lapwing had claimed the island with black-headed and Common Gull. The Cormorants spread and dried their wings on the island and other platforms.

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A pair of Gadwall can be seen swimming in front of the geese, recognised by their black rumps and black/white speculum patches. There were Mute Swans, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted duck, Mallard in reasonable numbers, but I saw just one pair of Teal, one Wigeon and two Goldeneye. Another birdwatcher spotted a Buzzard on a tree.

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Tree Sparrows are a speciality here and enjoy the well-defended feeders as did the Great tits, Bluetits, Chaffinches, Reed Bunting and robin. Brambling were on the list in the hide but not sure whether I could distinguish them from the Chaffinches.

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I thought the bird shown below was a Yellowhammer.

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On my way back to Dinnington I came across a flock of Fieldfare feeding on Hawthorn trees and sometimes in the fields nearby, looking handsome through binoculars.

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Blyth South Beach to St Mary’s in December

This picture of South Beach shows the blue sky and white topped waves driving onto the sands invigorating dog walkers, sailors and surfers. The dunes are well covered in Marram and Lyme grass.

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The wind turbines on the horizon are two of the five that comprise Blyth Offshore Demonstrator Wind Farm.  Newly installed, they have gravity based foundations that ‘float and submerge’ in the 40 meter depth of water. They provide electricity for 34,000 homes and were built locally in Wallsend.

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The driving seas had whipped up foam and rainbow bubbles on the shore. According to the wiki: Sea foam, ocean foam, beach foam, or spume is a type of foam created by the agitation of seawater, particularly when it contains higher concentrations of dissolved organic matter (including proteins, lignin, and lipids) derived from sources such as the offshore breakdown of algal blooms.

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A raft of Eider Duck had no trouble negotiating the swells. They are true sea ducks feeding on molluscs especially mussels. A few of the males were still in their colourful breeding plumage. Eider are a feature of the Northumberland coast and are Amber listed.

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Oyster catchers were quick to feed on the rocks at Seaton Sluice as the tide receded. Like the Eider, they also eat cockles and mussels when at the coast.

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While walking along I took notice of the plants in flower such as the Prickly Sow thistle (Sonchus asper) shown below. The plants still in bloom were mostly ruderals like Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris), Daisy (Bellis perennis), Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris), Dandelion (Taraxacum agg.), Chickweed (Stellaria media), Shepherd’s purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium), Annual meadow grass (Poa annua), White Dead Nettle (Lamium album). Among the many sea-side plants, Thrift (Armeria maritima), though not in flower, had dried flower heads on show.

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As the tide ebbed many birds flew in to feed, like this Curlew. Redshank were fairly numerous but there were some Dunlin, Lapwing, Turnstone and two pairs of Ringed plover. Gulls of various kinds and crows had also taken to the rocks.

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The lake on the bird reserve held a pair of Canada Geese, Mallard, Heron, Moorhen and a flock of Teal. On the scrub by the wetland I had caught a glimpse of a small bird with a white belly. Although I wondered what it could be, a bird watcher later told me to watch out for a pair of Snow Bunting. It seems likely the birds I had seen were Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis). Regularly wintering along the coast they are Arctic specialists, though a few nest in the Cairngorms. On Whitley Beach, avoiding the walkers and dogs, a flock of Sanderling, another Arctic breeder also here for the winter, was in constant movement along the water’s edge by the tide wrack.

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At Seaton Sluice, on a stone wall, this Acarospora fuscata lichen looked like dried mud.  Crab’s Eye Lichen (Ochrolechia parella) was covering the wall tops in large white patches.

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This Lichen looked like Lecanora campestris with its dark red apothecia.

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On the same wall, always worth a visit, a brightly coloured Caloplaca glowed, perhaps C verruculifera?

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Lichen often grow on top of one another. The whitish base lichen is (Apsicilia caesiocinerea) but there is a Lecanora possibly L dispersa growing on top.

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References:

Wind Farm

Sea foam

Beadnell – Beach and Dunes

tern colony

A view of the beach showing the crates where Little Tern nests are raised above the incoming tides. The beach at Long Nanny is important for nesting Little Tern (Sternula albifrons), Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) and Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula). Starting with only three pairs of Little Terns in 1977, the numbers have increased each breeding season to a current total of 30-50 pairs. This makes Long Nanny a nationally important site for the Little Terns, with approximately 2% of the British breeding population using the site. It is also home to the largest mainland breeding colony of Arctic terns in the UK.  The site is protected by a 24 hour watch since the birds are in danger from high tides, foxes, dogs, birds of prey and egg thieves. We saw many Arctic Tern with sandeels in their beaks or noisily cavorting on the dunes. The Little Terns can be viwed through a scope at the Ranger Shed.

arctic tern

This dainty Common Gull pictured below was picking its way along the beach on yellow legs. We also noticed  Kestrel, Skylark, Linnet, Black headed gull, Black Backed and Herring gulls, Oyster Catcher, Dunlin and Eider Duck.

common gull

The dunes are covered with Marram and other grasses. As the day was sunny, flying insects such as this Small Copper ( Lycaena phlaeas) butterfly were flying. The larval foodplants of this species are Common and Sheeps’s Sorrel which I noticed growing along the dunes.

small copper

Butterflies are difficult to photograph but Common Blue, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Tortoiseshell, Six -Spot Burnet, Narrow bordered Five Spot Burnet moths and a Cinnabar Moth caterpillar were noted. A large strong fast flying butterfly with orange splashed wings proved to be a Dark Green Fritillary (Argynnis aglaja). It as a dune specialist and the larvae eat Dog Violet leaves.

This long green caterpillar was huge and easier to photograph. It is the larval form of the Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia); the adult has a wingspan of 9cm.

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The Dune plants were flowering well. A Marmalade Hoverfly was sipping from the flowers of the Storksbill (Erodium cicutarium).

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Some of the plants were in white flower. Restharrow (Ononis repens) is rare in in this form.

White ononis repens

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolium) also in its its much rarer white form.

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The Burnet Rosa (Rosa pimpininellifolia) is usually white but some plants were showing its classic black glossy hips already.

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Crow garlic (Allium vineale) was coming into flower continuing the theme of white flowers.

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Angelica (Angelica sylvestris) had begun to flower. undeterred by the coarse dune grasses.

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On the sandier areas away from the coarse grasses,  Mayweed was flourishing. We thought this one was Scented Mayweed (Matricaria chamomilla) since it had a detectable scent bit it is more likely Sea Mayweed.

scented mayweed

Growing nearby, more prostate and fleshy in form was Sea Mayweed (Tripleurospermum maritimum).

sea mayweed

Sea Rocket (Cakile maritima) often occurs near Sea Mayweed since they both are salt tolerant.

sea rocket

Frosted Orache (Atriplex laciniata) likes growing at the foot of the dunes straight up  through the beach sand. It has a mealy appearance.

frosted orache

Bloody Cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum) and Creeping cinquefoil (Potentilla reptans) added the contrasting colours of deep pink and yellow flowers to the grey dune grasses.

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Greenleighton Quarry Visit- Highlights

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A general view of the site shows the effect of the dry weather on the plants. Noticeably the Bracken was still green. Although we went there for botany, the disused quarry at Greenleighton is an SSSI site for Geology. It exhibits an exposure of the Great Limestone and overlying sediments of Namurian age (330 mya).  The Namurian is a subdivision of the Carboniferous Period. The limestone is 15 metres thick in places consisting of large posts and shaly beds between, a section is seen below.

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The limestone floor is calcareous with normally wet flushes. Adder’s-tongue fern (Ophioglossum vulgatum), although yellowing was distinctive and occurred in two areas.

addertongue

Red Bartsia (Odontites vernus) looking very stressed but coming into flower.

red bartsia

Many of the wet areas had dried out but this Shoreweed (Litterella uniflora) was identifiable sprouting through the mud.

Littorella uniflora

The delicate white flowers of the Knotted Pearlwort (Sagina nodosa) looked exquisite.

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In a wetter patch the Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia) made a striking splash of blue.

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We found a few spikes of Autumn Gentian (Gentianella amarella) a biennial plant, this one was just coming into flower.

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There were many other plants but I was not familiar with this Yellow Sedge (Carex demissa) smaller than the taller  growing glaucous and common sedges.

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Unfortunately we came across a young Ash (Fraxinus excelior) showing clear signs of ash dieback disease, in the diamond shaped lesions on the stem. First confirmed in Britain in 2012, Chalara or ash dieback is a disease of ash trees caused by a fungus called Hymenoscyphus fraxineus.

ash dieback

Comb Moss (Ctenidium molluscum), looking very dry, is a typical  moss of calcareous habitats.

Comb moss

A loose rock composed of a fossil colonial coral.

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The shell fragment below looks like Pleuropugnoides greenleightonensis one of the marine shell fossils the site is noted for.

Pleuropugnoides greenleightonensis?

The soft shales above the Great Limestone contained fossil Brachiopods as in the photo below. We did not find the other famous fossil, Cravenoceras leion, mentioned in the SSSI citation.brachiopod

The fossil rock provided a resting place for this colourful Meadow Grasshopper.

meadow grasshopper

As we were leaving this bird pellet was found. It could be from a Little Owl since it is rich in insect remains.

little owl pellet

References: SSSI citation

 

 

 

Harbottle- Plants, Lichens, Mosses

While mainly exploring the Geological features here, the vegetation and wildlife deserves some attention. Harbottle Moors consist of extensive areas of dwarf shrub heath with associated blanket bog and valley mire. Sandstone ridges are covered by heather (Calluna vulgaris) with, crowberry (Empetrum nigrum), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and bracken (Pteridium aquilinum). See Harbottle Moors SSSI. Bilberry was abundant and forming berries whereas Bracken was yet to take over the landscape. Deergrass (Trichophorum cespitosum) formed large patches of  cover over a ground layer of bog mosses  Sphagnum spp.

 

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Sundew (Drosera rotundifolia) was growing well by the footpath and coming into flower.

sundew

It is a carnivorous plant, the leaves catch insects which stick to them. When the leaves curl up the insect is trapped and digested by the mucilage, thus supplementing the Sundew’s diet in the otherwise nutrient deficient soils. The plant below was a puzzle to me, I think it is Cross leaved Heath (Erica tetralix) but the hairy leaves could belong to Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) which does grow here.

erica tetralix

Common Haircap Moss (Polytrichum commune) likes such damp conditions and was plentiful. Its golden capsules are distinctive.

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Sphagnum mosses are difficult to differentiate.This glorious pink hummock looks like S capitifollium and it is an important peat former since it tolerates drier conditions.

s capillifolium

The moss below could be S palustre another former of hummocks.

s palluster

I took a small sample from a wetter area, the area had dried out in the recent period of low rainfall.  It could be S fimbriatum. Round brown fungi were associated with the bog, probably Bog Bell (Galerina ssp.)

s fimbriatum

I  recognised this sedge as Star sedge (Carex echinata).

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However, these sedges were more difficult to identify perhaps the larger is Slender Tufted Sedge (Carex acuta) and the smaller White Sedge (Carex curta).

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Lichens were everywhere. This looks like Cladonia portentosa.

c portentosa

These ones had bright red apothecia on their cups, perhaps Cladonia diversa.

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Are these could be Cladonia floerkeana or even C bellidiflora?

c bellidofora.JPG

This does look like C bellidiflora, tall and squamulous, and the green twiggy fingered one C subulata.

C Bellidiflora, C subulata

Yet more lichens! The cups  with red  pycnidia look like C diversa again, but the ones with the brownish fruits might be C cervicornis.

c diversa c cervicornus

Hares-tail Cotton Grass ((Eriophorum vaginatum) dotted the moorland in white fluffed heads  asign of a thriving moorland. Tormentil and Heath Bedstraw were common while Heath Milkwort was less prevalent.

harestail

We came across a large Green Tiger Beetle and a Two Banded Longhorn Beetle shown below  as it sunbathed on the bonnet of a car.

Rhagium bifasciatum.JPG

I failed to photograph any butterflies or moths but saw Small Heaths flying over the heather moors.

At the start of the walk a Cuckoo delighted us as we climbed up the crags, calling  for a long spell from the treetops. On the way down a Raven soared above us, black feathers gleaming in the sunlight.