Glen Parva & Glenhills Nature Reserve - Species List

Key to the list at the end of each section:
Black - Bio Blitz 2015 not photographed
Blue - Bio Blitz 2015 photographed
Red - photographed & identified by Volunteers

Latest photographic additions to the species list:
Common Hawker Dragonfly, Mistle Trush, Grey Willow Tree, Bullace Tree, Redwing, Bee fly, Ramsons

Amphibians

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Hover over a picture to enlarge the image













Common Frog - Rana temporaria
Sue & Roy 20140421

Common frogs metamorphose through three distinct developmental life stages — aquatic larva, terrestrial juvenile, and adult. They have corpulent bodies with a rounded snout, webbed feet and long hind legs adapted for swimming in water and hopping on land. Common frogs are often confused with the Common toad Bufo bufo, but frogs can easily be distinguished as they have longer legs, hop, and have a moist skin, whereas toads crawl and have a dry 'warty' skin. The spawn of the two species also differs in that frogspawn is laid in clumps and toadspawn is laid in long strings.




Frog spawn

The frogspawn that you see floating in ponds is made up of thousands of single eggs, each one having a tiny black tadpole embryo surrounded in jelly.
Frogs lay so many eggs because as they do not look after their young most do not survive to adulthood. From the three thousand eggs that one female lays, only around five will become adult frogs. The rest of the eggs or tadpoles may be eaten by birds, fish, newts, water beetles, dragonflies or simply dry up before hatching.
At first each tadpole embryo will eat the jelly that is around it until it is ready to hatch.













Common Toad - Bufo bufo
Sue & Roy 20140502

The toad is an inconspicuous animal as it usually lies hidden during the day. It becomes active at dusk and spends the night hunting for the invertebrates on which it feeds. It moves with a slow ungainly walk or short jumps and has greyish brown skin covered with wart-like lumps.
Although usually a solitary animal, in the breeding season large numbers of toads converge on certain breeding ponds, where the males compete to mate with the females. Eggs are laid in gelatinous strings in the water and later hatch out into tadpoles.




Toad spawn
John F 20150411

Toad spawn can be easily identified.
Rather than the dense clusters of spawn laid by frogs, toad-spawn is laid out in strings containing a double or triple row of eggs (a single row of eggs would indicate a natterjack toad, though these are rare and not likely to be found in gardens). Tadpoles of the two species are more difficult to distinguish between, but toad tadpoles are generally darker, often black, unlike the brown tadpoles of frogs. Both of these can be distinguished from newt tadpoles by the absence of external feathery gills.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Common Frog - Rana temporaria

Common Toad - Bufo bufo
Smooth Newt - Lissotriton vulgaris

 

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Bats

Noctule Bat - Nyctalus noctula
Jools P 20131019

The Noctule is one of the UK's largest bats and often emerges early in the evening, before sunset. It may fly high and fast over open habitats making steep dives to chase its prey.
It eats small flies and also larger beetles and some moths. It is mainly a tree-dwelling species and most often roosts in woodpecker or rot holes in trunks and branches. Data on the population trend of the noctule are collected through the Field Surveys of The Bat Conservation Trust.
Picture taken during a bat box checking session. It is an offence to handle bats unless licensed to do so.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Common Pipistrelle - Pipistrellus pipistrellus
Daubenton's Bat - Myotis daubentoni
Natterer's Bat - Myotis nattereri
Noctule - Nyctalus noctula
 
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Bees, Wasps, Ants

Common Carder Bee - Bombus pascuorum
Sue & Roy 20140509

These bees reach a body length of 15–18 mm (queen), 9–15 mm (worker) and 12–14 mm (drone).
The thorax is yellowish or reddish-brown. The first four abdominal segments have greyish hair, while the fifth and sixth tergite hairs are yellowish or reddish brown. However, the species is quite variable in colour.
Queens appear between early April and mid-May, and workers appear at the end of April/early May to mid-October. Young queens and drones can be found from mid-August to late October. When queens search for suitable places to nest, they fly just above the vegetation, for example on forest edges, investigating cavities such as holes in the ground or niches in dead wood and grass. The nests can be constructed above or underground, preferably in old mouse nests, but also in bird nests, barns, and sheds.
Common Wasp - Vespula vulgaris
John F Oct 2016

The common wasp usually forms large colonies below ground, but occasionally nests may be made in wall cavities, hollow trees and attics. Queens emerge from hibernation during the spring, and they search for a suitable location in which to start a new colony. She then begins to build the nest with chewed up wood pulp, which dries to make a papery substance. A few eggs are laid, which develop into non-reproductive workers. These workers eventually take over the care of the nest, and the queen's life is then devoted solely to egg laying. At the end of autumn a number of eggs develop into new queens and males, which leave the nest and mate. The new queens seek out suitable places in which to hibernate, and the males and the old colony (including the old queen) die.
Early Bumblebee - Bombus pratorum
Sue & Roy 20140313

The queen is black with a yellow collar (the band around the front of the thorax), another yellow band on the first tergite (abdominal segment), and red colouration on the tail (terga 5 and 6). The male has a wider yellow collar, yellow colouration on both terga 1 and 2, and a red tail, also. The workers are similar to the queen, but often with less yellow colouration; usually the abdominal, yellow band is more or less missing. The head of the bumblebee is rounded, and the proboscis is short. The bumblebee is quite small; the queen has a body length of 15–17 mm, the worker 10–14 mm, and the male 11–13 mm.
Field Cuckoo Bumblebee - Bombus campestris
John F June 2017

There are six cuckoo bumblebee species in the UK. There are a few features that most cuckoo bumblebees have that set them apart from ‘true’ bumblebees. They are the back legs that are covered in hair, with no pollen baskets – you will never see a cuckoo bumblebee with pollen lumps on its legs & the wings that appear dusky or dark.
The pattern can vary quite considerably, however females and males in the commonest form have two yellow stripes on the thorax and none on the abdomen. Some lighter forms do have a faint yellow band on the first segment of the abdomen. The tail is often a green-yellow and can be quite extensive, often reaching more than half way up the abdomen. Some males may be completely black. The wings are strongly dark tinged, with a dusky appearance.














Hornet - Vespa crabro
John F Feb 2017

I think this is a last years hornets nest, but it could be a wasps.

Queen hornets begin the construction of hornet nests in order to house their eggs. The queen lays one egg within a cell and builds her way out, constructing a comb. Nests are built tier after tier. The eggs hatch into larvae. The larvae develop into sterile adult females. These female workers then assume the responsibilities of nest building and brood tending, while the queen’s sole duty is to lay the eggs from which future generations are born in late summer. The queen will begin to produce male hornets, whose only purpose is to mate with queens. These fertilized females seek hiding places for the winter. The size of a hornet nest grows in proportion to the size of the colony. Nests may grow to be as large as basketballs through subsequent generations of workers. However, nests are only used once; worker populations perish in winter, leaving only the fertilized females to begin new colonies in the coming warm seasons.
Ichneumon wasp - Amblyteles armatorius
John F June 2017

One of the many medium to large (15mm) black-and-yellow banded species. The spine on the top of the thorax together with a precise colour pattern on the abdomen in both sexes distinguishes them from the many other very similar species. Watch out for other species with extra spots of yellow or white on the abdomen.
Males are distinctive in having wide yellow stripes on the abdomen with a black stripe between, together with a yellow tip to the abdomen and broadly black hind femur. Females are similarly distinctive but the yellow bands on the abdomen are narrower and curved, rather ring shaped.

Ichneumon Wasp (female) - Diphyus quadripunctorius
John F Oct 2016

A large and distinctively marked black and yellow species with the femora (thighs) on the rear legs being orange in the female and yellow in the male. The species is sexually dimorphic with females having a pale section on their antennae and very different abdominal pattern to the males.
Red-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lapidarius
John F July 2017

The Red-tailed Bumblebee is a very common bumblebee, emerging early in the spring and feeding on flowers right through to the autumn. It can be found in gardens, farmland, woodland edges, hedgerows and heathland: anywhere there are flowers to feed on. As with other social insects, the queen emerges from hibernation in spring and starts the colony by laying a few eggs that hatch as workers; these workers tend the young and nest. Males emerge later and mate with new females who are prospective queens. Both the males and old queen die in the autumn, but the new queens hibernate.
The female Red-tailed Bumblebee is a very large, black bumblebee with a big red 'tail'. Males are smaller and, as well as the red tail, have two yellow bands on the thorax and one at the base of the abdomen.
Tawny Mining Bee - Andrena fulva
John F April 2017

The Tawny Mining Bee is a common, spring-flying, solitary bee, which nests underground, building a little volcano-like mound of soil around the mouth of its burrow. The Tawny Mining Bee is on the wing from April to June, which coincides with the flowering of fruit trees like cherry, pear and apple. The female collects pollen and nectar for the larvae which develop underground, each in a single 'cell' of the nest, and hibernate as pupa over winter.
It is a gingery bee that can often be seen visiting its nest in the lawn during the springtime. Females are larger than males, and covered in a much denser layer of orange hairs. The males have a distinguishing white tuft of hairs on the face. There are several other species of mining bee, which are difficult to tell apart.
Tree Bumblebee - Bombus hypnorum
John Ellis

Recorded in the 2015 BioBlitz and if you look carefully you will see a white tail under the wing.
Queens, workers and males all have a black head, brown-ginger thorax, black abdomen with a white tail. The proportion of white on the tail does vary significantly but is always present. This species was first found in the UK in 2001, but is now found throughout most of England and Wales. It prefers to nest above ground, often inhabiting bird boxes.
White-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lucorum
John F Oct 2016

The White-tailed Bumblebee is a very common bumblebee which emerges early in the spring and can be seen feeding on flowers right through to the autumn. It can be found in gardens, farmland, woodland edges, hedgerows and heathland: anywhere there are flowers to feed on. As with other social insects, the queen emerges from hibernation in spring and starts the colony by laying a few eggs that hatch as workers; these workers tend the young and nest. Males emerge later and mate with new females who are prospective queens. Both the males and old queen die in the autumn, but the new queens hibernate.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Common Carder Bee - Bombus pascuorum

Common Wasp - Vespula vulgaris
Early Bumblebee - Bombus pratorum
Field Cuckoo Bumblebee - Bombus campestris
Garden Bumblebee - Bombus hortorum
Honey Bee - Apis mellifera
Ichneumon wasp - Amblyteles armatorius
Ichneumon Wasp - Diphyus quadripunctorius
Red-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lapidarius
Small Black Ant - Lasius niger
Tawny Mining Bee - Andrena fulva
Tree Bumblebee - Bombus hypnorum
Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee - Bombus vestalis
White-tailed Bumblebee - Bombus lucorum
Yellow Meadow Ant - Lasius flavus
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Beetles

7 Spot Ladybird - Coccinella septempunctata
John F July 2017

Its elytra are of a red colour, but punctuated with three black spots each, with one further spot being spread over the junction of the two, making a total of seven spots, from which the species derives both its common and scientific names from the Latin septem = "seven" and punctus = "spot".
In the United Kingdom, there are fears that the seven-spot ladybird is being outcompeted for food by the harlequin ladybird.
The species can secrete a fluid from joints in their legs which gives them a foul taste. A threatened ladybug may both play dead and secrete the unappetising substance to protect itself.
22-spot Ladybird pupa - Psyllobora 22-punctata
Sue & Roy

The newly emerged larvae (immature ladybirds) do not look anything like their parents; they are black and grub-like. During this stage they eat lots and shed their skin three times before pupating. The pupa stage lasts about a week and from this the new adult emerges. The new adults must eat lots of aphids to build up reserves to see them through the winter months.
The 22-spot Ladybird is a small ladybird found in a wide variety of habitats, particularly grassland, woodland edge, towns and gardens. It feeds on mildew on various plants. The lifecycle of a ladybird consists of four phases: the egg; the larval stage, during which the larva undergoes a series of moults; the pupa in which the larva develops into an adult; and the adult phase, during which the female lays egg in batches of up to 40.
Common Cardinal beetle - Pyrochroa serraticornis
Sue & Roy 20140701

The Red-headed or 'Common' Cardinal beetle is a red to orange beetle with, as the name suggests, a red head. It is approximately 20mm long and found throughout Britain. The rarer Black-headed Cardinal beetle, similarly found at sites across Britain, is larger and a deeper blood red.
Cardinal beetles prey on other insects while their bright red colour prevents them being the target of other predators which believe them to be toxic.
They bask for long periods on large leaves often near water – the Grand Union Canal being one particular hotspot.
Devil's Coach Horse - Staphylinus olens
John F

These aggressive, carniverous predators are commonly found across the UK and Europe in a variety of habitats. The Devil’s Coach Horse can sometimes be mistaken for an earwig but when threatened its scorpion-like posture will give the game away! The Devil’s Coach Horse belongs to the Rove Beetle family, called the Staphylinidae which are sometimes referred to as the ‘Staphs’ for short.
It is the largest of the rove beetles and can reach a length of around 28mm. Typical to this family, the Devil’s Coach Horse is a long-bodied, uniformly black beetle with an extended exposed powerful abdomen with shortened wing cases (elytra). Although able to fly its wings are rarely used.
Sadly it lost part of it's tail while we were creating a wildflower patch Sept 2016.













Harlequin Ladybird - Harmonia axyridis
John F Oct 2016

This is one of the most variable species in the world, with an exceptionally wide range of color forms. It is native to eastern Asia, but has been artificially introduced to North America and Europe to control aphids and scale insects. It is now common, well known, and spreading in those regions, and has also established in South Africa and widely across South America.
This species is conspicuous in North America where it may locally be known as the Halloween ladybeetle. It earns this name as it often invades homes during October, in order to prepare for overwintering. In Japan, it is not generally distinguished from the seven-spot ladybird which is also common there.


John F June 2017

The larva and the pupa of the harlequin ladybird.
Red Soldier Beetle - Rhagonycha fulva
Sue & Roy 20140707

The common red soldier beetle will grow up to a centimetre. Nearly all their body is coloured red yellowish. Only the last bit of the elytra is black. The body is flat and elongated. The chitin armour is very soft, resulting in the German name of this species as Weichkäfer (meaning "soft beetle"). The black thread-like antennae are also relatively long. The equally long legs have an orange colour, which become notably darker only at the end.
These beetles are active during the daylight hours, when they will hunt mostly for small insects on top of flowers.

Swollen-thighed Beetle - Oedemera nobilis
John F June 2017

This beetle is often known by other names including the thick-legged flower beetle and the false oil beetle.
It is a pollinator of many open-structured flowers including cow parsley, ox-eye daisy and ­­­ bramble. The adults can be seen from April to September but the larvae are well concealed within the dry stems of plants where they feed and grow before emerging to become adults. These beetles are most frequently spotted in bright sunlight on flower heads on warm to hot days.

Thick-legged Flower Beetle - Ischnomera cyanea
John F July 2017

This beetle is about 12 mm long with bright iridescent blue/green elytra (wing cases), which sometimes gape to expose the body or wings. The top sections of its back legs are quite swollen.
Adults are found on many flowers including those of Hogweed and Hawthorn, often near hedgerows or wooded areas.

Wasp Beetle - Clytus arietis
John F June 2017

The Wasp Beetle is a small, narrow-bodied longhorn beetle. The larvae live in warm, dry, dead wood, such as fence posts and dead branches, and particularly favour willow and birch. The adults can be found feeding on flowers along woodland rides and hedgerows during the summer. The Wasp Beetle lives up to its name by mimicking the Common Wasp in both colouration and in its behaviour, moving in a jerky fashion similar to a wasp's flight. This mimicry keeps it safe from predators, even though it is actually harmless.

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

22-spot Ladybird - Psyllobora 22-punctata

7 Spot Ladybird - Coccinella septempunctata
Black Clock Beetle - Pterostichus madidus
Cardinal Beetle - Pyrochroa serraticornis
Devil's Coach Horse - Staphylinus olens
Great Diving Beetle - Dytiscus marginalis
Harlequin Ladybird - Harmonia axyridis
Soldier Beetle - Rhagonycha fulva
Swollen-thighed Beetle - Oedemera nobilis
Thick-legged Flower Beetle - Ischnomera cyanea
Wasp Beetle - Clytus arietis

Cantharis rufa
Leistus ferrugineus
Leistus fulvibarbis
Leistus spinibarbis
Nebria brevicollis
Notiophilus biguttatus
Oedemera lurida
Parethelcus pollinarius
Pterostichus niger
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Birds

Blackbird - Turdus merula
John F Oct 2016

Blackbirds are ground feeders pulling worms and pecking at insects and berries at the bottom of hedgerows. The males are all black and the females all brown except for the yellow-orange eye ring and beak. Breeding males establish their territories early in the year with rich warbling songs, and a pair may hold their territory throughout the year if the climate is favourable.Blackbirds are one of the commonest birds in Britain and there are thought to be over four million breeding pairs, although their numbers have suffered in the last 25 years. Albino blackbirds are not uncommon and many have white patches of feathers. Completely white individuals seldom survive, as they are more conspicuous to predators.
Blackcap (male) - Sylvia atricapilla
John F April 2017

A distinctive greyish warbler, the male has a black cap, and the female a chestnut one. Its delightful fluting song has earned it the name 'northern nightingale'. Although primarily a summer visitor birds from Germany and north-east Europe are increasingly spending the winter in the UK. The Blackcap's alarm call, "tacc", sounds like two pebbles striking one another.
Its song is rich and varied warble, usually starting with a chattering and finishing with a flourish of flute-like notes.
Blackcaps usually pick insects, such as caterpillars, flies and spiders from among the shrubs and trees during the breeding season. At other times, and particularly in the winter, they feed on fruit, such as berries.













Black-headed Gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus
John F November 2016

Not really a black-headed bird, more chocolate-brown - in fact, for much of the year, it has a white head. It is most definitely not a 'seagull' and is found commonly almost anywhere inland. Black-headed gulls are sociable, quarrelsome, noisy birds, usually seen in small groups or flocks, often gathering into larger parties where there is plenty of food, or when they are roosting.

Top winter plumage and bottom summer.

Blue Tit - Cyanistes caeruleus
John Ellis

Blue Tits are small birds with strong bills. One of the most noticeable features is the strong head pattern; the dark blue-black eyestripe and the brighter blue ‘skull cap’ are set against the white cheeks and forehead. The blue-green back becomes a brighter blue on the wings, while the underside is a bright lemon yellow. Although male Blue Tits are usually brighter in colour than the females, this difference is often not apparent in the field. Young Blue Tits are duller in appearance than the adults and have pale yellow, rather than white, cheeks.
Bullfinch - Pyrrhula pyrrhula
John F January 2017

Female on the left and the male on the right.
They are relatively recent users of our garden feeders, having been attracted to feeders by sunflower and other seeds. Seeds make up most of their diet and they favour plants like ash, elm and common nettle, but they do take insects when feeding their young.
They favour deciduous woodland, but have been increasing in gardens since the late 1990s.
In late winter/early spring, when the supply of seeds runs low, bullfinches turn to the buds of fruiting trees. They prefer flower buds over leaf buds as these are more nutritious, and can eat up to 30 buds a minute!
Buzzard - Buteo buteo
John Ellis

The buzzard is a one of the commonest and most widespread birds of prey in the UK and the rest of Europe. It can be seen flying at any time of the year and its presence may also be given away by its plaintive, cat-like “pee-uu” call.
They can grow over 50cm long with a wingspan of up to 137cm. The wings are broad and round with finger-like feathers at their ends. The buzzard is very variable in colour, but is most commonly a mid-brown, with a paler “V” on its breast. The upper wings are dark brown and the lower wings are brown at their front, with paler flight feathers behind.
This one is being harassed by a Crow
Carrion Crow - Corvus corone
John F

The Carrion Crow is a black crow, about the same size as a Rook, but unlike the Rook, the Carrion Crow has neatly feathered thighs, and feathers around the base of the beak. While at first appearance its plumage is black, on closer inspection it has a green and purple iridescence.
In flight, the Carrion Crow has a shorter head than the Rook, as well as having slower wing beats. The tail is squarer in the Carrion Crow, and the "fingers" at the wing tips are less splayed.
Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
John F Feb 2017

The chaffinch is the UK's second commonest breeding bird, and is arguably the most colourful of the UK's finches. Its patterned plumage helps it to blend in when feeding on the ground and it becomes most obvious when it flies, revealing a flash of white on the wings and white outer tail feathers. It does not feed openly on bird feeders - it prefers to hop about under the bird table or under the hedge. You'll usually hear chaffinches before you see them, with their loud song and varied calls.
Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita
John F March 2017

A small olive-brown warbler which actively flits through trees and shrubs, with a distinctive tail-wagging movement. Less bright than the similar willow warbler and readily distinguished by its song, from where it gets its name. Picks insects from trees and also flies out to snap them up in flight.
All year round, but most arrive in late March and depart in August and September.
Collared Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
John F January 2017

Collared doves are a pale, pinky-brown grey colour, with a distinctive black neck collar (as the name suggests). They have deep red eyes and reddish feet. Their monotonous cooing will be a familiar sound to many of you. Although you'll often see them on their own or in pairs, flocks may form where there is a lot of food available.
The Collared Dove arrived in Great Britain by 1953 (breeding for the first time in 1956) and Ireland in 1959.
Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
John F February 2017

A large and conspicuous waterbird, the cormorant has an almost primitive appearance with its long neck making it appear almost reptilian. It is often seen standing with its wings held out to dry. Regarded by some as black, sinister and greedy, cormorants are supreme fishers which can bring them into conflict with anglers and they have been persecuted in the past. The UK holds internationally important wintering numbers.
Usually seen flying over the nature reserve.
Dunnock - Prunella modularis
John F February 2017

A small brown and grey bird. Quiet and unobtrusive, it is often seen on its own, creeping along the edge of a flower bed or near to a bush, moving with a rather nervous, shuffling gait, often flicking its wings as it goes. When two rival males come together they become animated with lots of wing-flicking and loud calling.
Goldcrest - Regulus regulus
John F Mar 2017

The goldcrest is a very small passerine bird in the kinglet family. Its colourful golden crest feathers gives rise to its English and scientific names, and possibly to it being called the "king of the birds" in European folklore.
Once known as the golden-crested wren, the goldcrest is not only Britain’s smallest bird, but the smallest in the western Palearctic.
The average weight is around 5-6g; a wren weighs 7-12g.
Goldcrests are widespread throughout much of Europe, but in southern Europe are largely replaced by the similar firecrest.
Immigrants arrive in Britain from late August through to early November, departing the following March and April.
Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
John F Feb 2017

A highly coloured finch with a bright red face and yellow wing patch. Sociable, often breeding in loose colonies, they have a delightful liquid twittering song and call. Their long fine beaks allow them to extract otherwise inaccessible seeds from thistles and teasels. Increasingly they are visiting birdtables and feeders. In winter many UK goldfinches migrate as far south as Spain.













Greater Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos major
Karen O'Connell

About blackbird-sized and striking black-and-white. It has a very distinctive bouncing flight and spends most of its time clinging to tree trunks and branches, often trying to hide on the side away from the observer. Its presence is often announced by its loud call or by its distinctive spring 'drumming' display. The male has a distinctive red patch on the back of the head and young birds have a red crown.
They eat insects, seeds and nuts.
Great Tit - Parus major
John Ellis

The Great Tit has all the characters of the other tits and is unmistakable, given its large, robust size, relatively heavy bill and domed head. The head pattern shows a black cap (glossy in males), neck collar and bib set against white cheeks. The back is green turning blue-grey towards the rump and tail and on to the wings. The underside is a bright lemon yellow with a central black stripe running down from the throat. This black stripe is wider and more strongly developed in males than it is in females. Sometimes in the field you can see that in the male the black stripe extends across the belly to the base of both legs, while in the female it is not so broad and does not reach the legs.
Greenfinch - Carduelis chloris
John F February 2017

A common countryside bird found in woods and hedges, but mostly found close to man on farmland and in parks, town and village gardens and orchards. Only absent from upland areas without trees and bushes.
Greenfinch populations declined during the late 1970s and early 1980s, but increased dramatically during the 1990s. A recent decline in numbers has been linked to an outbreak of trichomonosis, a parasite-induced disease which prevents the birds from feeding properly.
Green Woodpecker - Picus viridis
Sue & Roy June 2017

The green woodpecker is the largest of the three woodpeckers that breed in Britain. It has a heavy-looking body, short tail and a strong, long bill. It is green on its upperparts with a paler belly, bright yellow rump and red on the top of its head. The black 'moustache' has a red centre in males. They have an undulating flight and a loud, laughing call.
What they eat - Ants, ants, and more ants. They use their strong beak to dig into ant colonies and eat the inhabitants.
Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea
John F May 2017

Grey herons are unmistakeable: tall, with long legs, a long beak and grey, black and white feathering. They can stand with their neck stretched out, looking for food, or hunched down with their neck bent over their chest.
It has a slow flight, with its long neck retracted (S-shaped).
They eat lots of fish, but also small birds such as ducklings, small mammals like voles, and amphibians. After harvesting, grey herons can sometimes be seen in fields, looking for rodents.
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
John F Jan 2017

Noisy and gregarious, these cheerful exploiters of man's rubbish and wastefulness, have managed to colonise most of the world. The ultimate avian opportunist perhaps. Monitoring suggests a severe decline in the UK house sparrow population, recently estimated as dropping by 71 per cent between 1977 and 2008 with substantial declines in both rural and urban populations. Whilst the decline in England continues, Breeding Bird Survey data indicate recent population increases in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Jackdaw - Corvus monedula
John F January 2017

The smallest member of the crow family, which also includes raven, carrion crow and jay. Like most of their cousins, jackdaws are just as much at home in farmland and woodland, as they are in urban landscapes. The latter is thanks to their adaptability and intelligence.
They are highly intelligent and social, and easily pick up tricks and new skills in the wild as well as in captivity. Once a tame jackdaw was trained by some Italian thieves to steal money from cash machines but it’s more common to see them working out how to gain access to bird feeders!
Jackdaws form strong pair bonds with their mates and are renowned for their devotion towards their partner. Even if they suffer from a few years of unsuccessful breeding, they still stay together, potentially due to the fact that they have invested so much time and energy into trying to raise young together.
Kestrel - Falco tinnunculus
John F Jan 2017

A familiar sight with its pointed wings and long tail, hovering beside a roadside verge. Numbers of kestrels declined in the 1970s, probably as a result of changes in farming and so it is included on the Amber List. They have adapted readily to man-made environments and can survive right in the centre of cities.
They are a familiar sight, hovering beside a motorway, or other main road. They can often be seen perched on a high tree branch, or on a telephone post or wire, on the look out for prey.
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
John F Oct 2017

The little egret is a small white heron with attractive white plumes on crest, back and chest, black legs and bill and yellow feet. It first appeared in the UK in significant numbers in 1989 and first bred in Dorset in 1996.
The yellow or greenish-yellow feet of the little egret are characteristic of this small heron, the coloration developing while the young are still in the nest.
They usually feed in fairly shallow water, moving forward with slow and deliberate steps, interspersed with frequent halts.
It is during these stops that an egret may extend one leg forward and, with a rapid vibrating motion, stir up the muddy or vegetated bottom of the water in which it is hunting. This action disturbs hidden prey, such as small fish, amphibians or invertebrates, flushing them into the open where the sharp-eyed bird can strike at them. It is thought that the yellow feet aid this process, being more obvious to potential prey than all dark feet would be in this sediment-filled water.














Long-tailed Tit - Aegithalos caudatus
Karen O'Connell (& John F Jan 2017)

The long-tailed tit is easily recognisable with its distinctive colouring, a tail that is bigger than its body, and undulating flight. Gregarious and noisy residents, long-tailed tits are most usually noticed in small, excitable flocks of about 20 birds. Like most tits, they rove the woods and hedgerows, but are also seen on heaths and commons with suitable bushes.
They mainly eat insects, occasionally seeds in autumn and winter.













Magpie - Pica pica
John F January 2017

With its noisy chattering, black-and-white plumage and long tail, there is nothing else quite like the magpie in the UK. When seen close-up its black plumage takes on an altogether more colourful hue with a purplish-blue iridescent sheen to the wing feathers, and a green gloss to the tail. Magpies seem to be jacks of all trades - scavengers, predators and pest-destroyers, their challenging, almost arrogant attitude has won them few friends. Non-breeding birds will gather together in flocks

 

The magpie nest - John F March 2018 .














Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos (Male top & Female bottom)
John F March 2018

The mallard is a large and heavy looking duck. It has a long body and a long and broad bill. The male has a dark green head, a yellow bill, is mainly purple-brown on the breast and grey on the body. The female is mainly brown with an orange bill.
It is the commonest duck and most widespread so you have a chance of seeing it just about anywhere where there is suitable wetland habitat, even in urban areas.
They eat seeds, acorns and berries, plants, insects and shellfish.The female is mainly brown with an orange bill.

Mistle Thrush - Turdus viscivorus
John F March 2018

This bird is common to much of Europe, Asia and North Africa. It is a large thrush with pale grey-brown upperparts, a greyish-white chin and throat, and black spots on its pale yellow and off-white underparts. The sexes are similar in plumage, and its three subspecies show only minimal differences. The male has a loud, far-carrying song which is delivered even in wet and windy weather, earning the bird the old name of "stormcock".
Found in open woods, parks, hedges and cultivated land, the mistle thrush feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates, seeds and berries. Its preferred fruits including those of the mistletoe, holly and yew. Mistletoe is favoured where it is available, and this is reflected in the thrush's English and scientific names; the plant, a parasitic species, benefits from its seeds being excreted by the thrush onto branches where they can germinate. In winter, a mistle thrush will vigorously defend mistletoe clumps or a holly tree as a food reserve for when times are hard














Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
John F 2017

Moorhens are blackish with a red and yellow beak and long, green legs. Seen closer-up, they have a dark brown back and wings and a more bluish-black belly, with white stripes on the flanks.
They can be found around any pond, lake, stream or river, or even ditches in farmland. Moorhens can live in cities as well as the countryside.
They eat water plants, seeds, fruit, grasses, insects, snails, worms and small fish.
Not to be confused with Coot or Water Rail,




Juvenile below
Sue & Roy 20140706

This is a bird sighting that gets many people confused because there is no picture of it in their bird book.
It doesn't look like a Water Rail or a Coot nor even it's parent the Moorhen.
Mute Swan - Cygnus olor
John F December 2016

Mute swan subfossils, 6,000 years old, have been found in post-glacial peat beds of East Anglia.
The mute swan is a very large white waterbird. It has a long S-shaped neck, and an orange bill with black at the base of it. Flies with its neck extended and regular slow wingbeats. The population in the UK has increased recently, perhaps due to better protection of this species. The problem of lead poisoning on lowland rivers has also largely been solved by a ban on the sale of lead fishing weights.
Young birds, called cygnets, are not the bright white of mature adults, and their bill is dull greyish-black, not orange, for the first year. The down may range from pure white to grey to buff, with grey/buff the most common.
Nuthatch - Sitta europaea
John Ellis

The Nuthatch is fairly easy to recognise. It is steely grey-blue above, pinky buff below and has a prominent black eyetstripe, white chin and dark, dagger-like bill. Nuthatches are busy and agile birds, typically seen working their way down a tree trunk searching for food.
Mud is plastered around the entrance, side and roof of the nest cavity. When using nest boxes, they usually plaster mud around the entrance hole and boxes should therefore be opened with care.
Red Kite - Milvus milvus
John F May 2017

OK the picture isn't great but you can just make out the grey on it's wings and there aren't many raptors in the UK with a forked tail. I've seen a couple of them about over Glen Parva recently.

This magnificently graceful bird of prey is unmistakable with its reddish-brown body, angled wings and deeply forked tail. It was saved from national extinction by one of the world's longest running protection programmes, and has now been successfully re-introduced to England and Scotland.

Redwing - Turdus iliacus
John F March 2018

Some redwings come from Iceland to winter in Scotland and Ireland. Others come from Russia and Scandinavia to winter in southern England and further south in Europe.
The first redwings reach the UK in October. They spend the autumn in hedges and orchards, where they feed on fruit and berries. As winter draws on, and the fruit is used up, they move onto open areas in search of earthworms.
In spring, redwings leave the UK for their northern breeding territories, where they nest low down in boggy woodland and birch forest. Many redwings that spent the winter in Spain and southern Europe also stop off in eastern England to refuel as they head back north. Each year, a few pairs remain to breed in Scotland.

Robin - Erithacus rubecula
Karen O'Connell

The UK's favourite bird - with its bright red breast it is familiar throughout the year and especially at Christmas! Males and females look identical, and young birds have no red breast and are spotted with golden brown. Robins sing nearly all year round and despite their cute appearance, they are aggressively territorial and are quick to drive away intruders. They will sing at night next to street lights.
They eat worms, seeds, fruits and insects.
Song Thrush - Turdus philomelos
John F May 2017

A familiar and popular garden songbird whose numbers are declining seriously, especially on farmland making it a Red List species. Smaller and browner than a mistle thrush with smaller spotting. Its habit of repeating song phrases distinguish it from singing blackbirds. It likes to eat snails which it breaks into by smashing them against a stone with a flick of the head, it also likes worms and fruit.













Treecreeper - Certhia familiaris
John F Mar 2017

The treecreeper is a bird that many people have not seen but with over 200,000 breeding territories in the UK, it is a lot more common than you might think.
It is rarely reported in gardens, but not necessarily because it isn’t there. A quiet, unobtrusive bird, it blends in with its habitat and rarely ventures out to bird feeders.
Treecreepers are more likely to be found in gardens between November and April, probably due to the fact that they are more conspicuous in the winter when there are no leaves on the trees.
They are solitary, sedentary birds – you’d be lucky to see more than a pair.
Once a treecreeper establishes a territory, it tends to stay within the boundaries.
Ringing research in Nottinghamshire found that the treecreepers studied did not usually venture further than 500m.
A local West Country name for the treecreeper is the ‘tree mouse’, which suits it perfectly.It climbs up tree trunks in a ‘mouse-like’ manner, supported by its long, stiff tail.Unlike the nuthatch, it can’t climb back down head first. It has to hop down backwards due to its tail getting in the way so will often choose to fly down instead.
If a treecreeper is disturbed, it generally freezes on the tree trunk. Its black and brown mottled plumage provides camouflage and makes it look like the bark of a tree. In my experience, the species has an annoying habit of avoiding you by moving quickly to the other side of the tree the minute you spot one.
In Britain, the treecreeper traditionally favours broadleaved woodland, though it is found in many other habitats. The treecreeper’s song and call is high-pitched and easily missed, sounding almost insect-like with a ‘see-see-see’ call.
Wood Pigeon - Columba palumbus
John F

The UK's largest and commonest pigeon, it is largely grey with a white neck patch and white wing patches, clearly visible in flight. Although shy in the countryside it can be tame and approachable in towns and cities. Its cooing call is a familiar sound in woodlands as is the loud clatter of its wings when it flies away.
They eat crops like cabbages, sprouts, peas and grain. Also buds, shoots, seeds, nuts and berries.
Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes
John F Oct 2016

Wrens are stocky, restless birds that are easily recognised by their rich brown plumage and short cocked tail which they flick repeatedly. The upperparts and flanks have dark barring and the pale eyebrow (supercilium) is prominent. The underparts are paler with grey barring. The bill is brownish and the legs are flesh-brown.
Juveniles look similar to adults but the eyebrow may not be as prominent until they get their adult plumage.
In flight, its wing beats are rapid and it usually flies short distances and in a straight line.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Blackbird - Turdus merula
Blackcap - Sylvia atricapilla
Black-headed Gull - Chroicocephalus ridibundus
Blue Tit - Cyanistes caeruleus
Bullfinch - Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Buzzard - Buteo buteo
Carrion Crow - Corvus corone
Chaffinch - Fringilla coelebs
Chiffchaff - Phylloscopus collybita
Collared Dove - Streptopelia decaocto
Cormorant - Phalacrocorax carbo
Dunnock - Prunella modularis
Garden Warbler - Sylvia borin
Goldcrest - Regulus regulus
Goldfinch - Carduelis carduelis
Great Spotted Woodpecker - Dendrocopos major
Great Tit - Parus major
Green Woodpecker - Picus viridis
Greenfinch - Chloris chloris
Grey Heron - Ardea cinerea
House Sparrow - Passer domesticus
Jackdaw - Corvus monedula
Kesterel - Falco tinnunculus
Lesser Black-backed Gull - Larus fuscus
Lesser whitethroat - Sylvia curruca
Little Egret - Egretta garzetta
Long-tailed Tit - Aegithalos caudatus
Magpie - Pica pica
Mallard - Anas platyrhynchos
Mistle Thrush - Turdus viscivorus
Moorhen - Gallinula chloropus
Mute Swan - Cygnus olor
Red Kite - Milvus milvus
Redwing - Turdus iliacus
Robin - Erithacus rubecula
Song Thrush - Turdus philomelos
Sparrowhawk - Accipiter nisus
Starling - Sturnus vulgaris
Swallow - Hirundo rustica
Swift - Apus apus
Tree Creeper - Certhia familiaris
Whitethroat - Sylvia communis
Willow Warbler - Phylloscopus trochilus
Wood Pigeon - Columba palumbus
Wren - Troglodytes troglodytes

Added by John F
Jay - Garrulus glandarius

Added by Jools Partridge
Barn Owl -Tyto alba

Added by John Ellis
Nuthatch - Sitta europaea

Added by Harry Ball
Common Tern - Sterna hirunda
Coot - Fulica atra
Fieldfare - Turdus pilaris
Garden Warbler - Sylvia borin
Little Grebe - Tacchybaptus ruff

Back to the top

Bugs














Dock Leaf Bug - Coreus marginatus
John F - Oct 2016 nymph below Sept 2016

The Dock Leaf Bug is a very common species in the British Isles and parts of Northern America reaching a length of 12-15mm (0.5-0.6in). Found on many flowers both in the garden and open grassy areas, often in small groups of both adults and larvae. It does not have the side stripes seen in other Shield Bug species and it's shoulders are more rounded. It has two small distinctive pointers in the front of the head between the antennae which have dark tips.
The Dock Leaf Bug is a large and mottled red brown squash bug with a broad oval abdomen, in the UK it it regarded as a member of the Shield Bug family. There is one generation per year, adults mating and laying eggs in spring. The larvae feed on dock, sorrel and other related plants in the Polygonaceae, new adults may be found from August onwards. Common and widespread in southern Britain, including Ireland, where it may be found in a variety of dry and damp habitats. Length 13-15mm. (0.5-0.7in)
Coreidae are a large family of predominantly herbivorous insects of which there are more than 1,800 species in over 250 genera. They vary in size from 7-45mm (0.25-1.7in)). Variable body shape, with some species broadly oval while others are slender. In North America they are colloquially called "Squash Bugs" as some of the species are a pest of squashes. Some exhibit parental care by carrying their eggs. Their general features are an oval-shaped body, four segment antennae, a numerously veined fore wing membrane.
There is one generation per year, adults mating and laying eggs in spring. The nymphs feed on dock and other related plants in the Polygonaceae; new adults may be found from August onwards.













Green Shield Bug - Palomena prasina
Sue & Roy 20140610

In Europe, the bright green shield bugs appear in May, having hibernated as imagos during the winter. They fatten for a month and then mate in June. Copulation is back-to-back in typical Heteropteran mating position, as they are not flexible enough for both to face forward. The female lays her eggs in hexagonal batches of 25 to 30, and a single female will lay three to four batches. The imago's colouration changes over the summer from green to a greenish brown almost a bronze, before death.

3rd instar nymph below
John F Oct 2016
Pond Skater - Gerris lacustris
John F July 2017

Also known as water striders, these bugs can skate, jump, and fly. Three pairs of long legs and water-repellent feet allow pond skaters to spread their, already light, weight and skate over the surface of water. Pond skaters are carnivorous and eat other insects.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Alder Spittlebug - Aphrophora alni
Birch Shieldbug - Elasmostethus interstinctus
Common Flower Bug - Anthocoris nemorum
Common Froghopper - Philaenus spumarius
Common Pondskater - Gerris lacustris
Dock Leaf Bug - Coreus Marginatus
Green Shieldbug - Palomena prasina
Lesser Water Boatman - Corixa punctata
Potato Leafhopper - Eupteryx aurata


Sedate Shieldbug - Troilus luridus
Spear Thistle Lacebug - Tingis cardui
Tarnished Plant Bug - Lygus rugulipennis
Anthocoris nemoralis
Deraeocoris flavilinea
Stenodema laevigata
Back to the top

Butterflies & Moths

Butterflies
Brimstone (Female) - Gonepteryx rhamni
John F

It is commonly believed that the word "butterfly" is a derived from "butter-coloured fly" which is attributed to the yellow of the male Brimstone butterfly, the female being a much paler whitish-green. The Brimstone has a most exquisite wing shape, perfectly matching a leaf when roosting overnight or hibernating within foliage. This is one of the few species that hibernates as an adult and, as such, spends the majority of its life as an adult butterfly. The distribution of this species closely follows that of the larval foodplant. In England, where it is represented by the subspecies rhamni, it can be found south of a line from Cheshire in the west to South-east Yorkshire in the east, although vagrants may turn up in other areas. In Ireland, where it is represented by the subspecies gravesi, its strongholds are in a small area that lies between the borders of West Galway, West Mayo and East Mayo, and a band running through central Ireland from Clare in the west to Kildare in the east.
Comma - Polygonia c-album
John Ellis

Ragged wing edges distinguish this orange and brown butterfly. Undersides are brown with a white mark shaped like a comma.
The Comma is a fascinating butterfly. The scalloped edges and cryptic colouring of the wings conceal hibernating adults amongst dead leaves, while the larvae, flecked with brown and white markings, bear close resemblance to bird droppings.
The caterpillars are also cryptic. They are black and white, resembling a bird dropping. In the U.K the larvae feed on Hop, Common Nettle, Elm, and Blackcurrant; in other parts of its distribution it also feeds on Sallow and Birch.
Common Blue - Polyommatus Icarus
Sue & Roy 20140529

Male has blue wings with black-brown border and thin white fringe. Female brown, similar to Brown Argus, but with blue dusting near body.
The Common Blue is the most widespread blue butterfly in Britain and Ireland and is found in a variety of grassy habitats.
The brightly coloured males are conspicuous but females are more secretive.
Caterpillars eat Common Bird's-foot-trefoil is the main foodplant. Other plants used include: Greater Bird's-foot-trefoil, Black Medick, Common Restharrow, White Clover and Lesser Trefoil.
Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonus
John F July 2017

Orange and brown, with black eyespot on forewing tip. Eyespots have two white pupils, not one, as in the Meadow Brown.
As its English names suggest, the Gatekeeper (also known as the Hedge Brown) is often encountered where clumps of flowers grow in gateways and along hedgerows and field edges. It is often seen together with the Meadow Brown and Ringlet, from which it is easily distinguished when basking or nectaring with open wings.
The larvae of feed on grasses, such as Rough and Smooth Meadowgrass, Smooth Meadow Grass, Sheep's Fescue, and are usually green or brown in colour.
Green-veined White - Pieris napi
John F May 2017

Wings white with prominent greenish veins on hind wing. Upper wings have one or more spots. Small White is similar but lacks the green veins.
Caterpillars eat a range of wild crucifers is used: Garlic Mustard, Cuckooflower, Hedge Mustard, Water- cress , Charlock, Large Bitter-cress, Wild Cabbage and Wild Radish. Nasturtium and cultivated crucifers are used occasionally.
Holly Blue - Celastrina argiolus
John Ellis

Wings are bright blue. Females have black wing edges. Undersides pale blue with small black spots which distinguish them from Common Blue.
The Holly Blue is easily identified in early spring, as it emerges well before other blue butterflies. It tends to fly high around bushes and trees, whereas other grassland blues usually stay near ground level. It is much the commonest blue found in parks and gardens where it congregates around Holly (in spring) and Ivy (in late summer).
The Holly Blue is widespread, but undergoes large fluctuations in numbers from year to year. It has expanded northwards in recent years and has colonised parts of midland and northern England.
Large Skipper - Ochlodes sylvanus
John F June 2017

A small widespread butterfly with a darting flight. Upperwings orange with brown margins with a few pale orange spots.
Male Large Skippers are most often found perching in a prominent, sunny position, usually on a large leaf at a boundary between taller and shorter vegetation, awaiting passing females. Females are less conspicuous, though both sexes may be seen feeding on flowers, Bramble being a favourite. Males have thick black line through centre of fore-wing.
Caterpillars eat Cock’s-foot and occasionally Purple Moor-grass and False Brome are used. Females have been observed laying eggs on Tor-grass and Wood Small-reed.
Large White - Pieris brassicae
Sue & Roy

The Large White is one of two species (the other being the Small White) that can claim the title of "Cabbage White" that is the bane of allotment holders all over the British Isles. The larva of this species can reach pest proportions, and decimate cabbages to the point that they become mere skeletons of their former selves. The female is distinguished from the male by the presence of 2 black spots, together with a black dash, on the forewing upperside. This is one of the most widespread species found in the British Isles and can be found almost anywhere, including Orkney and Shetland. This species is also known to migrate to the British Isles from the continent, augmenting the resident population in the process.


Meadow Brown - Maniola jurtina
John F July 2017

Orange and brown, with black eyespot on forewing tip.
Widespread and common throughout Britain and Ireland. Eyespots have single white pupils unlike Gatekeeper which has two and is smaller and more orange with row of tiny white dots on hind underwings. 
The Meadow Brown is the most abundant butterfly species in many habitats. Hundreds may be seen together at some sites, flying low over the vegetation. Adults fly even in dull weather when most other butterflies are inactive.
The caterpillar eat a wide range of grasses. Those with finer leaves such as fescues, bents and meadow- grasses are preferred, but some coarser species such as Cock's- foot , Downy Oat-grass, and False Brome are also eaten by larger larvae. Other species of grass are also believed to be used.

John F June 2017

Thought this was a Ringlet but now I think it'a a male Meadow Brown.
Orange Tip - Anthocharis cardamines
John F June 2017

The Orange-tip is a true sign of spring, being one of the first species to emerge that has not overwintered as an adult. The male and female of this species are very different in appearance. The more-conspicuous male has orange tips to the forewings, that give this butterfly its name. These orange tips are absent in the female and the female is often mistaken for one of the other whites, especially the Green-veined White or Small White. This butterfly is found throughout England, Wales and Ireland, but is somewhat-local further north and especially in Scotland. In most regions this butterfly does not form discrete colonies and wanders in every direction as it flies along hedgerows and woodland margins looking for a mate, nectar sources or foodplants. More northerly colonies are more compact and also more restricted in their movements.

Painted Lady - Vanessa cardui
Sue & Roy

This species is a migrant to our shores and, in some years, the migration can be spectacular. The most-recent spectacle, in 2009, is considered to be one of the greatest migrations ever, with sightings from all over the British Isles that are definitely on a par with previous cardui years.
It originates from north Africa, and it has been suggested that the urge to migrate is triggered when an individual encounters a certain density of its own kind within a given area. This theory makes perfect sense, since this species can occur in high densities that result in foodplants being stripped bare on occasion with many larvae perishing as a result.
Unfortunately, this species is unable to survive our winter in any stage. This is a real shame, for not only does this species often arrive in large numbers, but is a welcome sight as it nectars in gardens throughout the British Isles in late summer. This butterfly has a strong flight and can be found anywhere in the British Isles, including Orkney and Shetland. An interesting fact is that this butterfly is the only butterfly species ever to have been recorded from Iceland.













Peacock - Inachis io
Sue & Roy 20140424

Red wings with black markings and distinctive eyespots on tips of fore and hind wings.
The Peacock's spectacular pattern of eyespots, evolved to startle or confuse predators, make it one of the most easily recognized and best known species. It is from these wing markings that the butterfly gained its common name. Undersides of the wings are very dark and look like dead leaves. A fairly large butterfly and a strong flyer.
Caterpillar foodstuffs are Common Nettle, although eggs and larvae are occasionally reported on Small Nettle and Hops.


Peacock Caterpillar’s
John F 20140625

The eggs are ribbed and olive-green in colour and laid on the upper parts, and, the undersides of leaves of nettle plants and hops. The caterpillars, which are shiny black with six rows of barbed spikes and a series of white dots on each segment, and which have a shiny black head, hatch after about a week. The chrysalis may be either grey, brown, or green in colour and may have a blackish tinge. They grow up to 42 mm in length.
The recorded food plants of the European Peacock are Stinging Nettle, Hop, and the Small Nettle.
Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta
Roy & Sue

The Red Admiral is a frequent visitor to gardens throughout the British Isles and one of our most well-known butterflies. This butterfly is unmistakable, with the velvety black wings intersected by striking red bands.
This butterfly is primarily a migrant to our shores, although sightings of individuals and immature stages in the first few months of the year, especially in the south of England, mean that this butterfly is now considered resident. This resident population is considered to only be a small fraction of the population seen in the British Isles, which gets topped up every year with migrants arriving in May and June that originate in central Europe. Unfortunately, most individuals are unable to survive our winter, especially in the cooler regions of the British Isles.
Ringlet - Aphantopus hyperantus
John F

Underwing has distinctive eyespots: white centre, black inner ring and outer yellow ring.
When newly emerged, the Ringlet has a velvety appearance and is almost black, with a white fringe to the wings. The small circles on the underwings, which give the butterfly its name, vary in number and size and may be enlarged and elongated or reduced to small white spots; occasionally they lack the black ring. They are a dark brown butterfly and similar to male Meadow Brown.
Caterpillar foodplants are coarser grasses including Cock's-foot, False Brome, Tufted Hair-grass, Common Couch, and meadow-grasses. Other species of grass may also be used.
Small Copper - Lycaena phlaeas
Sue & Roy 20140529

Bright copper with brown spots and brown margin. Undersides orange-brown with spots.
The Small Copper is usually seen in ones and twos, but in some years large numbers may be found at good sites. Males are territorial, often choosing a piece of bare ground or a stone on which to bask and await passing females. They behave aggressively towards any passing insects, returning to the same spot when the chase is over.
Caterpillars eat Common Sorrel and Sheep's Sorrel are the main foodplants. Broad-leaved Dock may be occasionally used.
Small Skipper - Thymelicus sylvestris
John F July 2017

This golden skipper is often found basking on vegetation, or making short buzzing flights among tall grass stems. Despite its name, 4 skipper species found in the British Isles are the same size or smaller than the Small Skipper. The male is distinguished from the female by the sex brand on its forewings, which is a slightly curved line of specialised scent scales. This butterfly is widespread on the British mainland, south of a line running between Westmorland in the west and North Northumberland in the east. It is absent from Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. This species lives in discrete colonies of both small and large populations.
Small Tortoiseshell - Aglais urticae
John F March 2017

Bright orange and black wings with white spot in forewing which separates it from the larger and much rarer Large Tortoiseshell. The caterpillars feed on stinging nettles and small nettle.
The Small Tortoiseshell is among the most well known butterflies in Britain and Ireland. The striking and attractive patterning, and its appearance at almost any time of the year in urban areas have made it a familiar species.
Small%20White%20-%20Pieris%20rapae.jpg

The Small White, along with the Large White, can claim the title of "Cabbage White" that is the bane of allotment holders all over the British Isles although the damage caused by this species is significantly less than that of the Large White. This is one of the most widespread species found in the British Isles and can be found almost everywhere. It is relatively scarce in northern Scotland but has been seen as far north as Orkney and Shetland. This species is also known to migrate to the British Isles from the continent, sometimes flying in great swarms, augmenting the resident population in the process.

Speckled Wood - Pararge aegeria
John F April 2017

Dark brown with creamy white patches on wings.
Occurs in woodland, gardens and hedgerows. Butterflies often perch in sunny spots, spiralling into the air to chase each other.
The aptly named Speckled Wood flies in partially shaded woodland with dappled sunlight. The male usually perches in a small pool of sunlight, from where it rises rapidly to intercept any intruder. Both sexes feed on honeydew in the tree tops and are rarely seen feeding on flowers, except early and late in the year when aphid activity is low.
The eggs are laid on a variety of grass host plants and the caterpillar is green with a short, forked tail, and the chrysalis is green or dark brown.
   
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black
Brimstone - Gonepteryx rhamni
Comma - Polygonia c-album
Common Blue - Polyommatus icarus
Gatekeeper - Pyronia tithonus
Green-veined White - Pieris napi
Large Skipper - Ochlodes sylvanus
Large White - Pieris brassicae
Meadow Brown - Maniola jurtina
Orange Tip - Anthocharis cardamines
Painted Lady - Vanessa cardui
Peacock - Inachis io
Red Admiral - Vanessa atalanta
Ringlet - Aphantopus hyperantus
Small Copper - Lycaena phlaeas
Small Skipper - Thymelicus sylvestris

Small Tortoiseshell - Aglais urticae
Speckled Wood - Pararge aegeria
Added by Harry Ball
Small White - Pieris rapae

Added by John Ellis
Holly Blue - Celastrina argiolus
Moths
Beautiful China-Mark - Nymphula nitidulata
Sue & Roy 20140625

Wingspan 18-22 mm.
One of the more distinctive and beautiful members of the Pyralidae, this is another species whose larvae are aquatic, feeding on bur-reed (Sparganium) and other water plants.
Found fairly commonly around lakes, rivers and ponds throughout Britain, the moths are on the wing during July and August.
It flies in the evening and at night, and comes readily to light.
Burnet Companion - Euclidia glyphica
John F June 2017

One of the few day-flying moths, this species gets its English name from the fact that it is often found in company with Burnet moths.
It is relatively common in the southern half of Britain, becoming scarcer further north.
It inhabits open woodland, pastures and downland, and the larvae feed on clover (Trifolium) and trefoil (Lotus).














Cinnabar Moth - Tyria jacobaea
John F June 2017

Resembling no other British species, except perhaps the burnets (Zygaenidae), this is a fairly common moth in much of Britain.
It is generally nocturnal, but is quite often disturbed during the day from long grass, low herbage etc. At night, it comes to light.
The distinctive larvae, with their yellow and black hoops, generally feed gregariously on ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) and other related plants.
The flight period is May through July.




Cinnabar Moth Caterpillar
John F July 2017

Just loves to eat Ragwort.

Light Brown Apple Moth - Epiphyas postvittana

This originally Australian pest species was probably accidentally introduced into Cornwall in the 1930's and since then has spread quickly northwards, and is now regular in many parts, and very common in some areas. It flies in two generations between May and October.
Is an extremely polyphagous insect and considered to be a major pest of fruits (i.e. pome fruits such as apples) and ornamental plants (Danthanarayana 1975). Specifically, the worldwide distribution of light brown apple moth across dry, temperate, and tropical climates as well as a variety of geographic ranges suggests that the pest may be able to inhabit almost 80% of the continental U.S.

Ruby Tiger Moth Caterpillar - Phragmatobia fuliginosa
John F Oct 2017

Fairly widespread throughout Britain, this species is common in places. Showing a gradual variation in colour, with the brightest individuals in the south.
The average wings span of is about 34mm
It derives its name from its dark reddy/brown forewings.
The thinly scaled wings have a metallic sheen but their brightness can vary with dark borealis forms particularly common in the north.
One or two black spots are usually evident in the middle of the forewings, the top half of the legs are covered in red or brown hairs and the upper leg coated in red hair.
When disturbed during the day in sunlight they can appear dramatically red in flight.

Silver Y - Autographa gamma
Sue & Roy 20140609

Medium-sized, silver-grey moth with white y-shaped mark on the forewing. Found in most habitats. Some years, high numbers can be seen in gardens feeding at flowers.
Probably the UK's most common immigrant moth. Each forewing has conspicuous unbroken metallic silver Y-marking. Could be mistaken for the Ni Moth, which is generally smaller with a broken-Y mark or the Scarce Silver Y which is darker in colour. Superficially similar to several other species, but generally distinctive. F. gammina is smaller and can be found in most years.
They feed on a wide variety of low-growing plants and have been recorded on over 200 different species including crops such as the garden pea, sugar beet and cabbage. They can reduce crop yields by damaging leaves and are often considered to be a pest.
Six Spot Burnet - Zygaena filipendulae
Sue & Roy 20140707

Medium-sized black moth with six red, occasionally yellow, spots. Frequents flowery grassland, woodland rides and sandhills.
The only British burnet moth with six red spots on each forewing, although care must be taken with identification, as in some cases the outermost spots can be fused. Rarely the red colour is replaced by yellow.
Caterpillars eat Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil, but also occasionally on Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil.
The species overwinters as a larva.
The larva is plump and hairy with variable markings, usually pale green with rows of black spots. It pupates in a papery cocoon attached to foliage.

Data supplied by H N Ball, G McPhail & L Holton
Brindled Pug - Eupithecia abbreviata
Chequered Fruit-tree Tortrix - Pandemis corylana
Common Carpet - Epirrhoe alternata
Common Quaker - Orthosia cerasi
Copper Underwing - Amphipyra pyramidea
Dark Arches - Apamea monoglypha
Dingy Footman - Eilema griseola
Double-striped Pug - Gymnoscelis rufifasciata
Dun-bar - Cosmia trapezina
Dusky Thorn - Ennomos fuscantaria
Gold Spot - Plusia festucae
Grey Dagger - Acronicta Psi
Hebrew Character - Orthosia gothica
Least Black Arches - Nola confusalis
Least Yellow Underwing - Noctua interjecta
Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing - Noctua j
Marbled Beaty - Cryphia domestica
Mother of Pearl - Pleuroptya ruralis
Old Lady - Mormo maura
Pale Prominent - Pterostoma palpina
Pale Tussock - Calliteara pudibunda
Red-green Carpet - Chloroclysta siterata
Rivulet - Perizoma affinitata
Shaded Broad-bar - Scotopteryx chenopodiata
Shuttle-shaped - Dart Agrotis puta
Six-striped Rustic - Xestia sexstringata
Spectacle - Abrostola tripartita
Straw Dot - Rivula sericealis
Streamer - Anticlea derivata
Square-spot Rustic - Xestia xanthographa
Tawny Pinion - Lithophane semibrunnea
Twin-spotted Wainscot - Archanara geminipuncta
Waved Umber - Menophra abruptaria
Yellow-barred Brindle - Acasis viretata
Yellow Shell - Camptogramma bilineata
Acleris notana

Bio Blitz - 26-06-2015 blue & black

Beautiful China-Mark - Nymphula nitidulata
Brimstone Moth - Opisthograptis luteolata
Buff Ermine - Spilosoma luteum
Burnet Companion - Euclidia glyphica
Cinnabar - Tyria jacobaea
Clay - Mythimna ferrago
Common Emerald - Hemithea aestivaria
Common Marbled Carpet - Chloroclysta truncata
Common Pug - Eupithecia vulgata
Common Swift - Hepialus lupulinus
Common Wainscot - Mythimna pallens
Common White Wave - Cabera pusaria
Elephant Hawk-moth - Deilephila elpenor
Figure of Eighty - Tethea ocularis
Flame Shoulder - Ochropleura plecta
Ghost Moth - Hepialus humuli
Green Carpet - Colostygia pectinataria
Green Oak Tortrix - Tortrix viridana
Heart and Dart - Agrotis exclamationis
Large Yellow Underwing - Noctua pronuba
Light Brown Apple - Epiphyas postvittana
Light Emerald - Campaea margaritata
Marbled Minor - Oligia strigilis
Middle-barred Minor - Oligia fasciuncula
Mottled Beauty - Alcis repandata
Peach Blossom - Thyatira batis
Riband Wave - Idaea aversata
Rosy Minor - Mesoligia literosa
Ruby Tiger - Phragmatobia fuliginosa
Silver Y - Autographa gamma
Six Spot Burnet - Zygaena filipendulae

Small Fan-foot - Herminia grisealis
Small Square-spot - Diarsia rubi
Smoky Wainscot - Mythimna impura
Snout - Hypena proboscidalis
Willow Beauty - Peribatodes rhomboidaria
Udea olivalis

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Centipedes & Millipedes

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Brown Centipede - Lithobius forficatus
 

Dragonflies & Damselflies

Azure Damselfly - Coenagrion puella
John F June 2017

The azure damselfly is a small blue damselfly which is very common around most waterbodies and can also be found away from breeding sites in grassland and woodland. It is on the wing from the end of May through to August. Damselflies do not fly as strongly as dragonflies, so tend to lay in wait for their insect-prey before catching it in mid-air with their legs. They will return to their perThe azure damselfly is pale blue with bands of black along the body. To identify the small blue damselflies, of which there are seven species in the UK, it helps to concentrate on the pattern on the second segment of the males' abdomen, just behind the thorax. In the azure damselfly, this segment is blue with a black U-shape.ch to eat their prey.














Banded Demoiselle - Calopteryx splendens
John F June 2017

This is a large damselfly with a total length of up to 48 mm and a hind wing length of up to 36 mm.
The male has translucent wings which each have a broad, dark iridescent blue-black spot (or band) across the outer part. On immature dragonflies the spot is dark brown. The body can be a metallic blue or bluish green.
The dark wing patch of the male starts at the nodus (the slight dip midway down the upper edge of the wing) but can reach up to the wing-tip in southern races. In the very similar species Beautiful Demoiselle, the dark starts before the nodus.
The female has translucent, pale green iridescent wings with a white patch near the tip, and a metallic green body.



Banded Demoiselle (female)
John F June 2017

I think this is a female Banded Demoiselle.
Not to be confused with the Emerald Damselfly – which rests with its wings open thus giving it the common name of spreadwing.













Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegans
Sue & Roy 20140608

Adult male Blue-tailed Damselflies have a head and thorax patterned with blue and black. They have a largely black abdomen with very narrow pale markings where each segment joins the next. Segment eight, however, is entirely pale blue. At rest, the wings of most damselfly species are held back together, unlike dragonflies, which rest with their wings out flat. The thorax of juvenile males has a green tinge. A male can try to interfere with a mating pair, by attaching itself to the mating male.
Damselfly nymphs are aquatic, and prey on small aquatic insects or other aquatic larvae. The adult damselflies prey on small flying insects, caught using their legs like a basket to scoop the prey up while flying, or insects taken from leaves.


Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegans (rufescens)
John F June 2017

Thes are both newly imerged females that look completely different.














Common Blue Damsel - Enallagma cyathigerum
John F June 2017

The common blue damselfly can be easily mistaken for the azure damselfly, but on the back and the thorax, the common blue damselfly has more blue than black; for the azure damselfly it is the other way around. The second segment of the thorax has a distinctive spot with a line below connecting to the third segment. Another difference can be observed when inspecting the side of the thorax. The common blue damselfly has only one small black stripe there, while all other blue damselflies have two.
During mating, the male clasps the female by her neck while she bends her body around to his reproductive organs – this is called a mating wheel. The pair flies together over the water and eggs are laid within a suitable plant, just below the surface.

John F June 2017

This is the Common Blue female.














Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum
Top Male Oct 2016 bottom Female Sept 2016
John F

Flight Period: July to October (sometimes in May and December)
A summer and autumn species, this dragonfly can be found well into November and may be one of the last on the wing in the UK. The thorax in both sexes is brown above with poorly defined antehumeral stripes and yellow panels on the sides. The eyes are brown above and yellow below. The legs are black with a diagnostic yellow stripe along their length.
Male: becomes a bright orange-red with maturity with small black spots on S8 and S9.
Female: pale, yellowish-brown abdomen often developing red markings along the segment boundaries and medial line as they age.

Common Hawker - Aeshna juncea
Karen O'Connell

The common hawker is a large hawker dragonfly which is on the wing from the end of June through to October. Hawkers are the largest and fastest flying dragonflies; they catch their insect-prey mid-air and can hover or fly backwards.
Mostly black in colour, the male common hawker has pale blue spots and yellow flecks all along the body, dark blue eyes and pale yellow and blue patches on the thorax. The female has yellowish spots and brownish eyes. The black-and-blue hawkers are a tricky group of dragonflies to identify. The common hawker is larger and darker than the migrant hawker, lacks the lime green spots of the southern hawker and has more black and less blue than the rare azure hawker of northern Scotland. All the spots on the common hawker are separated whereas the spots on S8-10 on the southern hawker are joined.

Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator
John F July 2017

The quality of the picture isn't good but it's a notoriously difficult insect to photograph as they are constantly on the wing.
Britain's bulkiest Dragonfly. Its bright colours and active habit make it very obvious when hunting over medium to large water bodies. It rarely settles, even eating its prey in flight. Both sexes have a bright, apple-green thorax and green or blue eyes. The costa is bright yellow. They often fly with the rear of the abdomen bent slightly downwards.
The male has a sky blue abdomen with a central dark line and the female has a green abdomen, similarly marked, which may become blue in warm weather.














Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma najas
John F July 2017

This species is quite a large and robust damselfly, with distinctive 'bug-eyed' look. Adult males have blood-red eyes and tend to rest on floating vegetation. They are very territorial and chase off any other encroaching male. When newly emerged they have nearly all black bodies and dark eyes, but their larger size helps to distinguish them from other species. Immature males and females are generally yellow and black.
The Rivers Soar and Wreake and the Ashby, Grand Union and Grantham Canals are all well populated sites in the Leicestershire & Rutland area



This picture shows the male with the red eye and the female with a green eye

Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea
Sue & Roy Sep 2016

This is a large hawker. Usually males are black with large apple green spots on the abdomen and with blue markings on the last two segments and along the sides of the abdomen. Thorax sides are largely bright green, as is the face, with blue eyes. Females are duller, having pale green and blue markings.
Distinguished from other Hawkers by the two 'head-light' markings on the thorax and also by the paired spots on the last two abdominal segments merging.
It is often recorded well away from water, though for breeding purposes it prefers smaller water bodies with wooded margins; garden pools are well used breeding sites.
Found from mid to late summer patrolling its territory before perching nearby. It can be curious of people and will fly up close to inspect the 'intruder' before carrying on its patrol.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Azure Damselfly - Coenagrion puella
Banded Demoiselle - Calopteryx splendens
Blue-tailed Damselfly - Ischnura elegans
Common Blue Damselfly - Enallagma cyathigerum
Common Darter - Sympetrum striolatum
Common Hawker - Aeshna juncea
Emperor Dragonfly - Anax imperator
Emerald Damselfly - Lestes sponsa
Red-eyed Damselfly - Erythromma najas
Southern Hawker - Aeshna cyanea
 
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Earwigs

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Common European Earwig - Forficula auricularia
 

Ferns & Horsetails

Hart's Tongue Fern - Phyllitis scolopendrium
John F north and west ditch 20131208

The plants are unusual in being ferns with simple, undivided fronds. The tongue-shaped leaves have given rise to the common name "Hart's tongue fern"; a hart being an adult male red deer. The sori pattern is reminiscent of a centipede's legs, and scolopendrium is Latin for "centipede". The leaves are 10–60 cm long and 3–6 cm broad, with sori arranged in rows perpendicular to the rachis.
The plants grow on neutral and lime-rich substrates, including moist soil and damp crevices in old walls, most commonly in shaded situations but occasionally in full sun; plants in full sun are usually stunted and yellowish in colour, while those in full shade are dark green and luxuriant
Horsetail (Emerging)- Equisetum arvense
John F Map A F7 20140406

This shows the reproductive cone. In E. arvense the cone appears before the leaves. This is a garden weed but I wish that we didn't have it here - it is one of the most difficult plants to remove as the roots appear to go down to somewhere near the magma layer.
Externally it was traditionally used for chilblains and wounds. It was also once used to polish pewter and wood and to strengthen fingernails. It is also an abrasive. It was used by Hurdy-Gurdy players to dress the wheels of their instruments by removing resin build up
Soft Shield Fern - Polystichum setiferum
John F Oct 2016

It lives in damp shady places and its fronds are 60-150 cm long.
Pinnules as in bottom picture; only likely to be confused with Hard Shield Fern. The difference is that on Soft SF the majority of pinnules on a pinna from near the middle of the frond form an angle of 90º or more at their base, at which point there is a short stalk connecting the pinnule to the pinna midrib. In Hard SF the angle is less than 90º and the stalk is absent or is simply a narrowing of the pinnule. Hybrids between the two have been recorded.
Fronds as soft as on the average fern, not at all glossy or stiff like Hard SF. Darkness or paleness is no guide to id. Tips of pinnules hair-pointed. Lowest pinnae typically about as long as middle ones.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Field Horsetail - Equisetum arvense

Hart's-tongue - Asplenium scolopendrium
Male-fern - Dryopteris filix-mas
Soft Shield Fern - Polystichum setiferum
 
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Fish

Pike - Esox lucius
John F

Below the suface of the canal you just see the image of the Pike with it's eye on the left.
Pike cannot be mistaken for any other fish in British waters. From their mottled green appearance, sleek body and armoury of razor sharp teeth, the whole body of the pike is designed for hunting down live fish. Pike are ambush predators, mounting a lightening quick attack that lasts only a few seconds. All of the fins of the pike are positioned well back on the body, giving them maximum acceleration from a standing start when lunging at prey.
One of the most widespread of all freshwater fish. Found throughout Northern Europe and North America, the pike is a fish of the temperate waters of the Northern Hemisphere. In the UK, pike can be found in every county of England, except Cornwall and throughout most of Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
Roach - Rutilus rutilus
John F

The roach is a small fish, often reaching no more than about 35cm, maximum length is 45-50cm. The body has a bluish silvery colour and becomes white at the belly. The fins are red. The number of scales along the lateral line is 39-48. The dorsal and anal fins have 12-14 rays. Young specimens have a slender build; older specimens acquire a higher and broader body shape. The roach can often be recognized by the big red spot in the iris above and beside the pupil. Colours of the eye and fins can be very pale, however, in some environments.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Perch - Perca fluviatilis
Pike - Esox lucius
Roach - Rutilus rutilus
 
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Flies, Gnats and Midges

Bee Fly - Bombylius major
John F April 2018

A furry bee-like fly with long legs and proboscis and a body the size of a small bumble bee. The larvae are parasitic on other insects especially solitary bees and wasps. Eggs are laid near the nest and the young larva make their way into the nest where they attack both the food store and the the young bee or wasp.

Blue Bottle - Calliphora vomitoria
John F Sept 2016

Blue Bottle Flies are from the Blow Fly family. They are larger than house flies, growing about half an inch long. Their head and thorax (front and middle sections) are gray, the abdomen (large rear section) is bright metallic blue. They have red eyes and clear wings.
Blue Bottle Flies live just about anywhere, including woods, fields, parks, and farms. They seem to prefer shady places. Blue Bottle Flies often enter homes.
This fly eats from dead animals or meat, living animals with open wounds, animal poop, or some other decaying matter.
Broad Centurian - Chloromyia formosa
John F June 2017
Soldier flies are distinctive with very hairy eyes. Chloromya formosa, commonly known as the 'Broad Centurion' or 'Green Soldier Fly', is one of the commonest and most widespread soldier flies, and is often found in gardens. It breeds in damp, rotting vegetation, including compost heaps, and adults visit flowers to feed on nectar.
It has large eyes and rounded, brown, translucent wings. The females have a metallic blue-green body, while the males are more bronzy-green. However, there are almost 50 species of soldier fly in the UK, found in a wide variety of habitats. They are a colourful group of small to medium-sized flies, sometimes hairy but never bristly.
Cranefly - Tipula paludosaI
John F

These adults, resemble overgrown mosquitoes with long legs, or daddy-long-legs with wings. The legs are easily broken off. Common in spring and autumn.
The larva are known as leatherjackets. These maggots browse on grass roots and have also been known to strip all the root hairs and bark off the roots of bare root spruce stock in commercial nurseries.
Dance Fly - Empis opaca
Sue & Roy

This group of flies, sometimes called Dance flies, are predators of other insects, often tackling large prey, using their long, dagger-like snout. This species is distinguished from the very similar Empis tessellata by having red/brown thighs (E. tessellata has black thighs).
Males of E. opaca and E. tessellata present a 'gift' to the female, in the form of a dead insect, before mating takes place. Females will not mate with males who do not present a gift.
Fairly common and widespread in England and Wales, fewer records from Scotland.
Flesh Fly - Sarcophaga carnaria
John F Sept 2016

A single female can produce hundreds of eggs during her lifetime, and more than 25 larvae may hatch at one time. Depending upon the species, eggs may hatch within 24 hours and the entire life cycle of the flesh fly may be complete within one to three weeks.
Larvae are yellow in color, with pointed heads. They thrive in decaying meat, manure and garbage. Some flesh flies prefer to breed inside dead rodents and birds found in attics, crevices and wall voids. However, the larval stage of the flesh fly may prove beneficial to humans, as larvae feed on other pests. Flesh fly larvae feed for approximately four days.
After feeding, larvae of flesh flies pupate. While some pupae remain dormant for several weeks, most species emerge as adults within 12 to 15 days. These adults measure 10 to 14 mm in length and are gray in color, with dark black or brown stripes along the thorax.
Large Rose Sawfly - Arge pagana
John Ellis

Like all sawflies, the female possesses a little saw. With which they make cuts in the fresh shoots of the host plant in which they lay several eggs. The stems later split open where the eggs were laid, leaving elongated scars on the stems. The larvae hatch quickly and move in a group to the freshly emerged leaves. Young larvae stay together for quite some time and are capable of strip garden roses of their leaves.
The larvae looks like green caterpillars with black dots over its body and are up to 25mm long. When fully fed, they go into the soil to pupate.
They are normally seen between March and June as they search for rose stems on which to lay its eggs.
Muscid Fly (female) - Graphomya maculata
John F Oct 2016

If there was any doubt as to whether any of the UK's Diptera were not well marked, then this common Muscid fly should dispell any thoughts. A fairly large and distinctive species, Graphomya maculata is often found in damp areas and is generally common.
Green Bottle Fly - Lucilia sericata
John F Sept 2016

A green metallic 'greenbottle' fly is the commonest of the very similar Lucilia species. It can be identified by the combination of 3 pairs of acrostichal bristles after the thoracic suture line, a pale basicosta and a single anterodorsal bristle on the mid tibia. It also has a wide frons and much dusting on the thorax.
Popular places to find this species include on or near fruit, meat, rubbish dumps, faeces and dead animals. This fly is mainly found in the outdoors and most commonly in farm areas, but may be found indoors in colder months of the year.
Noon-fly - Mesembrina meridiana
John F Oct 2016

Mesembrina meridiana is a species of fly, sometimes known as the noon fly. It is widespread and common between late April and late October, particularly in cattle-rearing areas. It is a large black fly with orange colouration on the base of its wings, on the feet and the face. Adults are most often seen on cow dung, basking in open ground or visiting flowers to feed upon nectar. Eggs are laid in cow dung, the larvae are carnivorous, and feed on other fly larvae within the dung. The female lays up to five eggs in a lifetime, each one in a different pat, at two-day intervals.













Scorpion Fly - Panorpa communis
John F

Wingspan approx 35 mm. It can be identified by its patterned wings and sturdy beak. The scorpion-like tail is only seen in the male and is in fact its genitalia - and doesn't sting! There are three Panorpa species in Britain and all require close examination with a microscope or good hand lens to distinguish them. In males this involves looking at the ventral surface of the genital capsule and in females the ovipositor.
They feed mostly on dead insects, which they frequently steal from the webs of spiders. Mating usually occurs at night. It can be a dangerous time for the male, if he is not careful the female might decide to kill him! To avoid this he presents her with a gift of a drop of saliva which, it seems, in the world of scorpion flies, is the equivalent of a bunch of roses or a box of chocolates.

John F July 2017

Took me a little while to sort this little creature out with it's large beak but then realised it's a Scorpion Fly
Stiletto Fly - Thereva nobilitata
John F July 2017
The larvae of this family are predators of insect larvae in soil. This fly has a long hairy body with slender legs. The adults are conspicuous with their golden hairs and banded abdomen. The female abdomen in quite pointed.
It can be found in hedgerows and well wooded areas where it can be found resting on vegetation, and is often netted from the foliage of bushes and trees.
Yellow Dung Fly - Scathophaga stercoraria
John Ellis

The yellow dung fly or the golden dung fly, is one of the most familiar and abundant flies in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. As its common name suggests, it is often found on the feces of large mammals, such as horses, cattle, sheep, deer, and wild boar, where it goes to breed. The distribution of S. stercoraria is likely influenced by human agriculture, especially in Northern Europe and North America. The Scathophaga are integral in the animal kingdom due to their role in the natural decomposition of dung in fields. They are also very important in the scientific world due to their short lifecycles and susceptibility to experimental manipulations, thus have contributed significant knowledge about animal behavior.

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Bee Fly - Bombylius major
Blue Bottle - Calliphora vomitoria
Broad Centurian - Chloromyia formosa
Crane Fly - Tipula paludosa
Dance Fly - Empis opaca
Flesh Fly - Sarcophaga carnaria
Green Bottle Fly - Lucilia sericata

Horsefly - Haematopota pluvialis
Large Rose Sawfly - Arge pagana
Mayfly - Ephemera danica

Murky-legged Black Legionnaire - Beris chalybata
Large Rose Sawfly - Arge pagana
Muscid Fly (female) - Graphomya maculata
Noon-fly - Mesembrina meridiana
Scorpion Fly - Panorpa Communis
Stiletto fly - Thereva nobilitata
Yellow Dung Fly - Scathophaga stercoraria

Dolichopus popularis
Rhagio scolopaceus

Added by Harry Ball

St Mark's Fly - Bibio marci
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Flowers and Plants

Arrowhead - Sagittaria sagittifolia
Sue & Roy 20130704

Arrowhead is a tall, aquatic plant that is often found in shallow water or along the margins of slow-moving watercourses. It is in bloom from June to September, displaying small, white flowers, but it is the arrow-shaped leaves which are most distinctive. Like other aquatic plants, it offers resting and sheltering places for aquatic insects like dragonflies and damselflies.
It has arrow-shaped emergent leaves, rounded leaves near the water's surface and narrow leaves underneath the water. Its small, white flowers have dark centres and sit in clusters at the ends of the stems.
Bee Orchid - Ophrys apifera
John F 20190711

The Bee Orchid gets its name from its main pollinator - a species of bee - which is thought to have driven the evolution of the flowers. To attract the bees that will pollinate the plant, it has flowers that mimic their appearance. Drawing them in with the promise of love, the bees attempt a mating. As they land on the velvet-textured lip of the flower, the pollen is transferred and the poor bee is left frustrated. Sadly, the right species of bee doesn't occur in the UK, so Bee Orchids are self-pollinated here. Look out for their diminutive flower spikes on dry, chalk and limestone grasslands from June to July.
Bindweed (Field) - Convolvulus arvensis
John F June 2017

Bindweed refers to two similar trumpet-flowered weeds, both of which twine around other plant stems, smothering them in the process.
The Field Bindweed is a weaker-stemmed plant than the Hedge Bindweed, with smaller white or pink trumpet-shaped flowers, but otherwise similar in appearance to Bellbind.
Bindweed (Hedge) - Calystegia sepium
John F June 2017

Also called Bellbind climbs with strong twining stems, has large heart-shaped leaves and large white trumpet flowers. It is most often seen as a hedgerow plant or weed, scrambling over and often smothering hedges and shrubs of all sizes and even smaller ornamental trees.
Bird's-foot-trefoil - Lotus corniculatus
John F June 2017

One of the more evocative names for Common Bird's-foot-trefoil is 'Granny's Toenails' which gives an instant, and perhaps not-so-pleasant, impression of the claw-like seed pods of this abundant and sprawling species. Other common names include 'Butter and Eggs', 'Eggs and Bacon', and 'Hen and Chickens' which refer to the egg-yolk yellow flowers and reddish buds. Widespread and found in all kinds of grassy places from lawns to downlands, roadside verges to heathlands, Common Bird's-foot-trefoil can be seen flowering from May to September.
Common Bird's-foot-trefoil is a member of the pea family. Its yellow flowers look like little slippers and appear in small clusters. They are followed by seed pods that look distinctly like bird's feet or claws. A low-growing plant, its leaves have five leaflets and are downy.
Bittersweet Nightshade - Solanum dulcamara
Sue & Roy 20140624

Despite being a member of the nightshade family, Bittersweet (also known as 'Woody Nightshade') is one of the less toxic plants in this group. Found in hedgerows, gardens and even on shingle beaches, its purple flowers appear from May to September and are followed by clusters of bright red, poisonous berries.
Bittersweet has oval, pointed leaves which are yellowy-green in colour. Purple flowers with protruding yellow stamens appear before the bright red, cherry tomato-like berries, which hang in clusters.
Black Horehound - Ballota nigra
Sue & Roy 20140706

Growing in hedgerows, roadside verges and waste grounds, Black Horehound is a common, perhaps unremarkable, plant with one defining feature - its pungent, rotten smell. This smell, particularly apparent when the leaves are crushed, keeps herbivores away and gives it a local name of 'Stinking Roger' in some places. It flowers between June and September.
Black Horehound has hairy, oval or heart-shaped leaves with toothed edges that may turn black after the plant has flowered. The flowers are pinky-purple, has two-lipped with a 3-lobed lower lip these are arranged in whorls around the top of the stems.
Black Medick - Medicago lupulina
Sue & Roy

Black Medick is a sprawling plant with small trifoliate leaves and clusters of little yellow flowers. The seed pods become black when they are ripe.
It is a foodplant of the Common Blue butterfly.
Bluebell (Native) - Hyacinthoides non-scripta
John F Map B-C3 20140421

Bluebells spend most of the year as bulbs underground in ancient woodlands, only emerging to flower and leaf from April onwards. This early spring flowering allows them to make the most of the sunlight that is still able to make it to their forest floor habitat and attracts the attention of plenty of pollinating insects. Millions of bulbs may exist in one bluebell wood, causing the blue carpets we so keenly associate with spring, and new plants are sometimes able to split off from these bulbs and grow as clones.
Bluebells are perhaps one of our most famous and unmistakeable woodland flowers - look for long and narrow, drooping leaf fronds and bending flower stems heavy with the nodding, blue bells that give this flower its name.
Bluebell (Spanish) - Hyacinthoides hispanica
John F Common through spinney 20140423

It is distinguished from the common bluebell by its paler, larger blue flowers, more erect flower stem, broader leaves, blue anthers (where the common bluebell has creamy-white ones) and little or no scent compared to the strong fragrant scent of the northern species. This bluebell was introduced in the UK, where it has become an invasive species.
The two species hybridise freely, and the resulting hybrid Hyacinthoides × massartiana and the Spanish bluebell both produce highly fertile seed and can invade areas of the native common bluebell. This has caused the common bluebell to be viewed as a threatened species.
Bogbean - Menyanthes trifoliata
John F

Almost hairless aquatic or semi aquatic plant reaching to 30 cm, and with stout creeping runners. Leaves trifoliate, with oval or diamond shaped untoothed leaflets held above water on long stalks. Flowers pink outside, whitish inside 14 to 16 mm starry shaped, the petals fringed with long whitish hairs.
Uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 3 of the 617 tetrads.
Branched Bur Reed - Sparganium erectum
Sue & Roy 20140713

This is a common plant found at the edges of ponds, lakes and slow moving rivers. The globular flowers give way to large round fruits (drupes) which have the look of a bur. There are four sub species of this plant identification of which depends on the shape of the individual seed. Sparganium erectum is found throughout England, Wales and Ireland and is only scarce in northern Scotland.
The larvae of the Gold Spot moth feed on this plant.
Bristly Oxtongue - Helminthotheca echioides
John F Aug 2017

This plant is also known as Prickly Oxtongue and one can immediately see why - the stems and bracts are covered with rough, hooked bristles and the leaves are coarse and speckled all over with pimples. An annual or biennial, it grows to about 80cm on disturbed and waste ground, rough grassy places and beside rivers. The bright yellow flowerheads (20-25mm across) have strap-shaped rays, the outer rays often having red stripes behind. These flowerheads turn into a white 'clock' or pappus of seeds. The coarse, oblong leaves have wavy margins and are covered with swollen, whitish pimples, the upper leaves clasping the stems with unstalked bases, the lower being stalked.

Bryony (White) - Bryonia alba
Sue & Roy 20140602

White Bryony is a climbing hedgerow and woodland edge plant that flowers between May and August and produces red and shiny berries that can be seen, covered in frost, in winter. Our only native member of the cucumber family, White Bryony is actually highly poisonous. The roots are particularly toxic and, despite their bitter taste, sometimes get eaten by cattle with fatal consequences.
White Bryony has curling tendrils and climbs over hedges. Its leaves have five lobes and it displays greenish, five-petalled flowers and orange-red berries.
Campion (Red) - Silene dioica
John F June 2017

This little pinky-red meadow flower is often found in the wild growing in woodlands and in the verges of country roads. It has rich green leaves that appear in spring, and has a long flowering period right through until the start of autumn.
It displays rose-red flowers with five petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two; its leaves and stems are hairy. In places where it grows alongside White Campion, the two may hybridise to produce pinky or white blooms.
Campion (White) - Silene latifolia
Sue & Roy 20140705

White Campion is a common wildflower that grows in fields, along hedgerows and roadside verges, and on waste ground. It flowers throughout the summer, but it's actually at night when the blooms produce a heady scent, attracting many feeding moths.
White Campion displays white flowers with five petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two; its oval leaves and stems are hairy. In places where it grows alongside Red Campion, the two may hybridise to produce pinky or white blooms.
It is also named the Grave Flower or Flower of the Dead in parts of England as they are seen often growing on gravesites and around tombstones.
Charlock - Sinapis arvensis
Sue & Roy 20140403

Charlock is an annual plant which grows on waste and arable ground and is found commonly throughout the UK. It grows to a height of 150cm and bears dense, terminal clusters of flowers. These have 4 unnotched petals and sepals which are often down-turned. These racemes are borne on bristly, often dark red or purple stems. The lower leaves are stalked with a large terminal lobe and the few small upper leaves are unlobed. The seeds are in short cylindrical pods and have prominent beaks. This plant belongs to the Cabbage family.
Chicory – Cichorium intybus
Sue & Roy 20140707

This is a common but distinctive blue flowered plant of late summer. The stiff stems, sometimes over 1 m tall can be seen at roadsides in most of England and Wales and southern Scotland but it isn't very common in Ireland.
The leaves can be used in salad but it is most famous as an additive to coffee. It has a tap root like a dandelion and this is dried, roasted and ground into the coffee additive. On some parts of the continent they make a drink from the Chicory alone without any coffee.
It flowers from July until October.
Coltsfoot - Tussilago farfara
Sue & Roy 20140331

Colt’s foot is one of the earliest flowers each spring. The alternative name ‘son-before-father’ refers to the fact that the bright yellow flowers held on purplish woolly shoots are often present before the leaves. The large leaves with their thick felt-covered undersides occur in rosettes. They are similar in shape to animal hooves, hence the names colt’s or foal’s-foot. The scientific name Tussilago derives from the latin for ‘cough’ (Tussis), and hints at the widespread smoking of the dried leaves in folk-medicine to cure coughs.
Common Knapweed - Centaurea nigra
Sue & Roy 20140706

This is a plant of the summertime which you find in fields, dunes, and on roadside verges. It is an insect attracting plant always full of lush purple flowers which last into autumn. The heads are sometimes confused with those of the thistle family but it has no spines and soft leaves with no serrate edges.
This attractive plant is found in every corner of the British Isles and Ireland.
Important for Gatekeeper butterfly, Goldfinch, Honey bee, Large skipper, Lime-speck pug moth, Meadow Brown, Painted lady, Peacock, Red admiral, Small copper, Small skipper.
Corncockle - Agrostemma githago
John F June 2017 (part of the wildflower project)

A medium to tall (up to 1m +) annual with long, narrow and softly hairy leaves. The large (up to 3.5cm across) pinky purple flowers are borne singly on a long stem and are surrounded by long pointed sepals. The flowers are followed by a straw coloured flask like seed head containing large (3.5mm) black, rough textured seed.

Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
John F June 2017 (part of the wildflower project)

This delicate, blue flower is now most likely to occur as part of intentional wildflower seeding, or as the result of the disturbance of soil containing old seed banks. Its strongholds remain roadside verges, scrub and wasteland. It flowers from June to August, often alongside other 'arable weeds' (also called 'cornfield flowers') such as Corn Chamomile and Corncockle.
The bright blue flowers are actually composite heads of small flowers, like all of the daisy family. In the Cornflower, the outer florets are star-like, with denser smaller, more purplish flowers in the middle. Stems and leaves are long and pointy with hairy, blackish buds at the tips.

Corn Marigold - Chrysanthemum segetum
John F July 2017 (part of the wildflower project)

Although the bright yellow flowers of the corn marigold were once abundant in cornfields throughout Britain, it is not a true native, but was probably introduced in ancient times with grain.
It is of medium height, the flowers, which are yellow discs with prominent ray florets, are borne singly on the ends of the stems. The leaves are deeply toothed, slightly fleshy, lobed, hairless and covered with a waxy layer that gives them a greenish blue colour.

Corn Poppy - Papaver rhoeas
John F June 2017 (part of the wildflower project)

Corn Poppy is also sometimes called Common Poppy, Flanders Poppy, Field Poppy or just Red Poppy all are Papaver Rhoeas. It is one of the most colourful and easily recognised wild flowers there is. They are a standard ingredient of cornfield annual areas and are often sown in wild flower meadows to give some colour in the first year.
It is an annual and if you want it to come back in following years you would need to disturb or cultivate the ground each autumn. Poppy seeds have been used as flavouring to cover cakes and bread. In the past the oil from poppy seeds was used an an olive oil substitute.

Cowslip - Primula veris
John F April 2017

The Cowslip is a cousin of the Primrose and is also an early spring flower. As such, it is closely associated with much English folklore and tradition, including adorning garlands for May Day and being strewn on church paths for weddings. Formerly a common plant of traditional meadows, ancient woodlands and hedgerows, it was picked in profusion across the country for many celebrations. But the loss of these habitats to the advancement of agriculture caused a serious decline in Cowslip populations and now fields coloured bright yellow with the nodding heads of Cowslips a rare sight.

Creeping Thistle - Cirsium arvense
Sue & Roy 20140706

This is surely the commonest thistle. It grows in fields, in gardens, on drives and there's even one growing out of the gap between the roofing felt and the brick on my garage. In summer it attracts insects particularly butterflies such as tortoiseshells. It is even mentioned in an Act of Parliament. The Weeds Act of 1959 forbids it to exist in the UK but it takes no notice. The systematic name confuses some people because arvense usually means "Field" while repens is used to denote plant which creeps. C. arvense grows everywhere in the British Isles and Ireland. The seeds are an important food for Goldfinch and Linnet, and to a lesser extent for other finches. Creeping Thistle foliage is used as a food by over 20 species of Lepidoptera, including the Painted Lady butterfly and the Engrailed, a species of moth, and several species of aphids.
Crocus - Crocus vernus
John F 20140304

C. vernus is an introduction from southern Europe which readily naturalises in the countryside. At this location it had escaped from old gardens and into nearby fields where it easily competed with snowdrops, meadow grasses and daffodils.
It has naturalised extensively in southern England and can be found in northern England, southern Scotland, Wales but only occasionally in eastern Ireland.
Cuckoo-Pint - Arum maculatum
John F

Also known as Lords-and-Ladies.
An early flowering plant, Lords-and-ladies can be seen in April and May. They are shade-loving plants of woodlands and hedgerows and are particularly distinctive with a pale green sheath surrounding a purple or yellow 'spadix' (a spike of tiny flowers on a fleshy stem). This spadix eventually produces an upright stalk of bright red berries that is conspicuous amongst the leaf litter.
Lords-and-ladies has large, arrow-shaped leaves and leaf-like flower heads that curl around a long inner spike.
Daffodil - Narcissus pseudonarcissus
John F 20140224

In late February and throughout March daffodils can be seen at the side of the road throughout Britain. By far the majority of these are various escaped garden varieties and not the native daffodil. As a rough indication the wild flower is smaller than most garden varieties excepting the small rockery versions and varieties like February Gold which don't look anything like the wild species.
The genuine wild daffodil isn't common but where it does grow it will often occur in thousands. There are fields with thousands in near Ross on Wye and along the banks of one river in the Lake District they grow in thousands stretching for a mile or so. Wordsworth's Lake district cottage is so touristy now that I doubt any of those growing there are the originals he saw.
Figwort – Scrophularia nodosa
Sue & Roy 20140313

This common plant is found in all parts of the British Isles and looks like a smaller version of S. auriculata (Water Figwort) but is a lot smaller and has rounded stem.
The name Scrophularia comes from scrofula, a form of tuberculosis, because several species have been used to treat this disease.
Flowering-Rush - Butomus umbellatus
John F July 2017

Grows in shallow water. Sheaves of stiff grassy leaves make fine verticals among clumps of round leafed Caltha (Marsh Marigolds). 122 cm flower stems carry umbels of rose-pink flowers in midsummer. Although it resembles a true rush, flowering-rush is in its own family and can be distinguished by its attractive pink flowers. It is a native of Eurasia.

Fly Honeysuckle - Lonicera xylosteum
Sue & Roy 20140706

Lonicera xylosteum, commonly known as fly honeysuckle, European fly honeysuckle, dwarf honeysuckle or fly woodbine is a deciduous shrub. It is one of two honeysuckles native to Britain, the other being the common honeysuckle.
Forget-me-not - Myosotis sylvatica
John F April 2014

Wood Forget-me-not has hairy stems and narrow, oval leaves. Clusters of five-petalled, azure-blue flowers with white or orange centres appear at the tops of the stems.
Although Water Forget-me-not may have been the source of many early garden varieties of this popular plant, most are now forms of Wood Forget-me-not. A pretty plant with bright blue flowers, Wood Forget-me-not can be found along woodland rides and edges, in ancient and wet woods, and sometimes in hedgerows and verges as an escaped garden variety. It flowers between April and June.
Widespread but most common in the south and east of England.
Goldilocks Buttercup - Ranunculus auricomus
John F

This is an apomictic species for which several hundred agamo species (agamo = without gametes, therefore asexual reproduction) have been found on the continent according to Stace. There are probably another 100 or so waiting to be described in the British Isles but no-one has done it yet. This plant sometimes has a missing petal or two - occasionally no petals. It looks as though it has been damaged somehow but that is how it grows.
Great Burnet - Sanguisorba officinalis
John F July 2017

The presence of the bulbous, blood-red heads of Great Burnet is an indication of a rare group of plants and flowers flourishing together in a floodplain meadow. These special grasslands have thrived for centuries because of the way they are managed which results in a flower-rich hay crop. A member of the rose family, Great Burnet can survive for decades due to its extensive root system.
It has oval, crimson flower heads that appear on long green stalks from June to September; this gives them the look of lollipops. The divided leaves have oval leaflets

Great Willowherb - Epilobium hirsutum
Sue & Roy 20140706

Great Willowherb is a large herb that flourishes in damp ground, such as wet grasslands, ditches, riversides and woodland clearings. Its fluffy seeds are dispersed by the wind. Pink flowers appear on the top of hairy stems from July to August.
Great Willowherb is a tall plant covered in soft, downy hair. The small purple-pink flowers have creamy centres and the lance-shaped leaves sit opposite each other on the stems.
Greater Burdock - Arctium lappa
Sue & Roy 20140710

Found in scrub, woodlands and along roadside verges, Greater Burdock is known to many of us as the brown, sticky seed heads that attach themselves to our clothing as we walk through the countryside or attend the allotment. Children delight in its sticky nature, frequently throwing the burs at each other or even attaching them to unsuspecting pets. For this reason, it has many other common names such as 'Sticklebacks', 'Sticky Jack' and 'Sticky Bobs'. The hooked seed heads actually aid the plant's seed dispersal by attaching themselves to the fur of passing animals.
A tall plant, Greater Burdock has large, downy, heart-shaped leaves with wavy margins. It produces egg-shaped, thistle-like flower heads that appear in loose clusters from July to September and eventually give rise to the familiar sticky burs with their large hooks.
Greater Plantain - Plantago major
Sue & Roy 20140728

Pushing its way up through the cracks in pavements, the long, straw-coloured flower spikes of Greater Plantain are a familiar sight to many of us. This persistent plant also grows in lawns, grasslands, field edges and other dry and grassy places. Commonly known as 'Rat's Tail' because of the scaly, tail-like appearance of its flowers, Greater Plantain blooms between June and October, but its leaves can persist through the winter in some areas.
The broad, oval leaves of Greater Plantain form a rosette flush to the ground from which the yellow-green flower spikes rise up. The flowers are small and packed closely together and the leaves are tough and elastic and resilient to trampling.
Greater Stitchwort - Stellaria holostea
John F Map A-E12 20140525

Greater Stitchwort grows in woods, roadside verges, hedgerows and grassy banks. It has many other common names including 'Wedding Cakes', 'Star-of-Bethlehem', 'Daddy's-shirt-buttons' and 'Snapdragon' - the latter because its stems are brittle and easily break. It's pretty star-shaped, white flowers bloom from April to June; as the seed capsules ripen, they can be heard 'popping' in late spring.
Greater Stitchwort has five white petals, each deeply notched and almost divided into two. Its green leaves are grass-like in appearance and its brittle stems are square. Greater Stitchwort has larger flowers (2-3cm across) than its relative, Lesser Stitchwort (0.5-1cm across).
Green Alkanet - Pentaglottis sempervirens
John F May 2017

Green alkanet blooms in spring and early summer. Its stamens are hidden inside narrow flower-tubes which end in a white eye in the centre of a blue flower.
It is a bristly, perennial plant native to Western Europe. It grows to usually in damp or shaded places and often close to buildings. It has brilliant blue flowers, and retains its green leaves through the winter.
The name "alkanet" is also used for dyer's bugloss (Alkanna tinctoria) and common bugloss (Anchusa officinalis). Green Alkanet is an introduced species in the UK, meaning it is not native.
Ground Ivy - Glechoma hederacea
Sue & Roy 20140418

Despite its name, Ground-ivy is actually a member of the dead-nettle family and is an evergreen, creeping plant of woodlands, hedgerows and damp ground. It often forms clumps, spreading by means of overground runners that frequently root. It has a strong smell and violet flowers that appear from March until June.
Ground-ivy has kidney-shaped, bright green leaves with toothed margins that stick out from the stem on longish stalks. Its violet flowers appear in whorls of two to four and are funnel-shaped. It smells strongly of blackcurrant or tom-cats.
Hedge Woundwort - Stachys sylvatica
Sue & Roy 20140706

Growing in hedgerows, woodlands and roadside verges, Hedge Woundwort is a common, perhaps unremarkable, plant with one defining feature - its unpleasant and astringent smell. This smell is particularly apparent when the plant is crushed. Magenta flowers appear between June and October and are pollinated by bees. Once the seed is dispersed, the plant spreads vigorously using its underground rhizomes (stems).
Hedge Woundwort has hairy stems bearing whorls of magenta-pink flowers that have white markings on the lower 'lip' and a 'hood'. Its hairy leaves are dark green, heart-shaped and toothed.
Hedgerow Crane's-bill - Geranium pyrenaicum
John F Map A-E8 20140526

The flower has 5 petals, they are notched and pink to purple in colour. The sepals end in a bristle.
Hedgerow Crane's-bill is found on banks, verges and unsurprisingly, near hedgerows. The flowers are a big enough to make this an attractive wayside plant which can be quite persistent.
Herb Bennet - Geum urbanum
Sue & Roy 20140320

Herb Bennet also known as wood avens, colewort and St. Benedict's herb, is a perennial plant in the rose family, which grows in shady places such as woodland edges and near hedgerows.
The flowers are scented and pollinated by bees. The fruits have burrs, which are used for dispersal by getting caught in the fur of rabbits and other animals.
The root is used as a spice in soups and also for flavouring ale.
Herb Robert - Geranium robertianum
John F Map B-E5 20140321

Herb-Robert is a type of crane's-bill that is found in a variety of habitats including woodland, hedgerows, rocky or exposed areas, scree slopes and coastal areas. Look for it in areas of shade away from acidic soils. The small pink flowers of Herb-Robert mainly appear between May and September and its leaves emit an unpleasant mousy scent.
Herb-Robert has five-petalled, pink flowers, and reddish stems. The deeply divided, lobed leaves are also tinged with red.













Horseradish - Armoracia rusticana
Sue & Roy 20140523

Because horseradish is a cousin to cabbage, radish and mustard, it produces similar four-petaled, cross like flowers. From late spring to early summer, flower stems rise above the leaves to display a branched, loose cluster of white flowers, each blossom measuring 1/4 to 3/8 inch in diameter. A horseradish in flower is quite attractive, because the ruffled green leaves contrast the upright, cloudlike clusters of white flowers that lure insects for pollination
The scent only occurs when the juices in the root are exposed to oxygen in the air. The bitter, hot flavour occurs when the horseradish juice mixes with oxygen and your saliva. Some people may get a rash if any leaf or root juices get on their skin.

John F Aug 2017
Lady's Bedstraw - Galium verum
Sue & Roy 20140718

A plant of high summer, this one covers many banks of minor and major roads and even motorways.
Lady's bedstraw was used as a soft and fragrant mattress filling for ladies but more than that it had styptic properties (placed on wounds to stop bleeding) and it was used to curdle the milk used in the making of Cheese.
Large Bittercress - Cardamine amara
Sue & Roy 20140421

Large Bittercress grows beside streams and canals, in marshes, and wet meadows and woods.
Hairless plant about 40 or 50 cm in height with angular stems. Flowers are white, occasionally purplish 11 to 12 mm. Anthers, blackish violet.
Lesser Celandine - Ficaria verna
John F April 2018

Lesser Celandine (formally Ranunculus ficaria) is a characteristic spring flower of woodlands, hedgerows, graveyards and parks where its shiny flowers can carpet area with gold between March and May. Despite its name, it is not actually a close relative of Greater Celandine, and is a member of the buttercup family instead.
Lesser Celandine is a low-growing plant with dark green, shiny, heart-shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers about 3cm across that open in the sunlight.
The poet William Wordsworth was very fond of the flower and it inspired him to write three poems.
Marsh Marigold - Caltha palustris
John F Map A E8 20140405

The large golden flowers of Marsh-marigold certainly look like the cups of kings and the Latin name Caltha is derived from the Greek for 'goblet'. Hence, Marsh-marigold is also commonly known as 'Kingcup'. It is a widespread plant of ponds, marshes, damp meadows, ditches and wet woodland and, before the draining of the landscape for agriculture began, was a conspicuous spring flower.
Marsh-marigold is a large buttercup-like flower that grows in wet places. It has very large, rounded, scalloped leaves.
Meadow Crane's-bill - Geranium pratense
John F June 2014

The large purple flowers of Meadow Crane's-bill turn into pointed, bill-like seed pods that give the plant its common name. This clump-forming perennial has lobed leaves that are deeply divided.
The striking blue and violet flowers of Meadow Crane's-bill can be seen in lowland hay meadows, roadside verges and grasslands, particularly on chalk soils. It flowers between June and August, colouring the roadsides of areas like the Cotswolds. It is also a popular garden plant that will grow well in sunny spots.
Widespread in mainland UK, but rarer in the south-west of England and East Anglia.
Meadow Vetchling - Lathyrus pratensis
Sue & Roy 20140706

Meadow Vetchling is a member of the pea and clover family (legumes) which can be found scrambling and climbing through grassy areas including rough grassland, roadside verges and waste ground. Groups of four to twelve yellow flowers appear between May and August attracting bees and wasps.
Meadow Vetchling is a scrambling plant with long stems that end with a group of yellow, pea-like flowers. The flowers are followed by shiny, black seed pods that look like peapods. Its leaves comprise a single pair of leaflets that have tendrils.
Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria
Sue & Roy 20140706

Meadowsweet is a member of the rose family that favours wet habitats such as ditches, damp meadows and riverbanks. Its leaves are sometimes covered with a bright orange rust fungus. Meadowsweet flowers from June to September, its sprays of tiny creamy-white flowers standing atop tall stems.
Meadowsweet has fluffy white flower heads and dark green leaves divided into pairs of leaflets. It can often be seen clustered together in a group of many plants.
Nipplewort (could be) - Lapsana communis
Sue & Roy 20140706

Some similarities to : Wall Lettuce, but whereas Wall Lettuce has but five well-spaced out pale yellow ray florets (or 'petals'), Nipplewort has about three times as many (although far fewer than most members of the Daisy Family) and which often appear straggly or unkempt.
Distinguishing Feature : An open structure to the plant with well-spaced branches. The flowers are smaller than most and are pale yellow with fewer 'petals' than is common for the Daisy family.
Confusion: There are two sub-species of Nipplewort; all three have the same common name, Nipplewort: The large-teethed leaves are narrow lanceolate but few at the top, gradually becoming wider and more numerous the lower down they are until at the base the leaves large lobes and the sharp teeth have become blunt bite-marks.
Periwinkle - Vinca minor
Sue & Roy 20140326

Vinca minor is a trailing, viny subshrub, spreading along the ground and rooting along the stems to form large clonal colonies and occasionally scrambling up to 40 centimetres high but never twining or climbing.
The flowers are solitary in the leaf axils and are produced mainly from early spring to mid summer but with a few flowers still produced into the autumn; they are violet-purple
Pineapple Weed - Matricaria discoidea
Sue & Roy

The bright green, feathery leaves and yellow flower heads of Pineappleweed can be seen on bare, disturbed ground, such as paths and pavements, roadsides and tracks. Introduced into the UK during the late 19th century, its rapid spread has been attributed to growth of motor transport - the seeds being picked up on tyre treads, along with the mud of the then untarmaced roads, and being deposited miles away as rain washed them off.
Pineappleweed lives up to its name - its crushed leaves have a distinctive pineapple smell. Its leaves are finely divided and feathery, and its yellow, conical flower heads which look remarkably like tiny pineapples appear from May to November. Like the other members of the daisy family, it is a composite flower, so has a flower head made up of lots of individual blooms, but it has no 'ray florets', so appears to have no 'petals'.
Primrose - Primula vulgaris
John F March 2018

The soft yellow flowers of primrose need little description and are a welcome sight in spring, especially when nestled in their foil of textured leaves. They don't like hot sun and dry soil. The smell will reward you with the first scented ’roses’ (’prima rosa’) of the year. It has been used in the breeding of polyanthus (a primrose hybridised with a cowslip) and many garish and flouncy varieties.

Ragged Robin - Lychnis flos-cuculi
John F June 2014

Ragged-Robin is a perennial that is likely to be growing in wetter areas such as marshes, fens and wet meadows. It has much-divided, pink flowers (hence the name 'Ragged') and narrow, grass-like leaves.
Swaying in a gentle breeze, the delicate pink flowers of Ragged-Robin can be a joy to behold in any wildflower meadow, damp pasture or woodland ride. But it's not just passing humans that benefit from its star-shaped flowers, bumblebees, butterflies and Honey Bees all enjoy the nectar it produces.
Grows almost everywhere in the UK, but especially in damp and wet places.
The pink, frayed flowers of Ragged-Robin are an increasingly rare sight in the wild. Human activity, including the drainage of land for agriculture, the loss of ponds through development and the removal of wet woods, has resulted in the disappearance of many of the UK's wetlands.
Ragwort - Senecio jacobaea
John F

The daisy-like, yellow flower heads of Common Ragwort may be pretty enough to the casual observer, but they belie the poisonous nature of this plant. Renowned as a weed of paddocks and pastures where it can be harmful to livestock, it is not usually such an issue in gardens or waste grounds. In fact, it is the foodplant of the black and red Cinnabar Moth: sometimes its black- and yellow-barred caterpillars cover the plant, totally stripping the leaves. Common Ragwort flowers from June to November.
Common Ragwort is a biennial, flowering in its second year. It has clusters of yellow, flattened flower heads, and leaves that are much divided, almost looking feathery.

Ramsons - Allium ursinum
John F May 2018

Also known as wild garlic, this plant carpets the ground in areas of woodland across the UK giving off a distinctive odour of garlic.
Leaves: long, pointed and oval in shape with untoothed margins. Leaves grow from the plant base, from the bulb of the plant itself. Leaves have a garlic scent.
Flowers: white in colour. Six petals make up a flower, with around 25 of these forming the rounded shaped flower cluster. Flowers are on leafless stalks.

Red Bartsia - Odontites vernus
Sue & Roy 20140707

Red Bartsia is a common plant of roadside verges, railway cuttings, waste grounds and other disturbed ground. These areas often have low-fertility soils, so Red Bartsia is actually partly parasitic, gaining extra nutrients from the roots of its nearby host grasses. As its name suggests, the whole plant is tinged with red and leafy flower spikes appear from June to September.
Red Bartsia is a straggly, downy plant with narrow, toothed leaves that sit opposite each other along the stems. Pinky-purple flowers appear on the stems in clusters, nestling in the leaf axils (where they join the stem).

Red Clover - Trifolium pratense
John F Aug 2016

Commonly known as red clover in many parts of the English speaking world, Trifolium pratense is extensively grown as a forage crop for pasturage, hay and green manure, and is reported to be excellent for livestock and poultry. The species is a nitrogen-fixer and has long been used in crop rotation systems to enrich the soil. Several novel varieties and subspecies of the plant have been described, but its infraspecific (within the species) classification is complex. Red clover has been widely used in folk medicine for conditions ranging from athlete’s foot to constipation. An extract of the flowers has been used for cancerous ulcers and corns. Red clover contains isoflavones and a herbal product sold in tablet form is taken by women during and after the menopause.
Red Dead Nettle - Lamium purpureum
Sue & Roy 20140326

Red Dead-nettle is a common plant of roadside verges, waste grounds and field edges - anywhere the ground has been disturbed or cultivated. Like Yellow Archangel and other members of the 'dead'-nettle family, it doesn't have stinging leaves. Its crimson flowers appear from March to October.
Looking similar to a Stinging Nettle, Red Dead-nettle is a downy annual with heart-shaped, toothed leaves and reddish, square stems. Dense whorls of pinky-red flowers appear up the stem; the flowers have a curved 'hood' and a 'lip'.
Ribwort Plantain - Plantago lanceolata
John F June 2017

In contrast to the long flower spikes of Greater Plantain, the short, oval flower heads of Ribwort Plantain appear as if balanced on the top of their thin, wiry stems. Ribwort Plantain is a plant of grasslands, field edges and cultivated ground and tracks, and regularly pops up in lawns as a 'weed'. It flowers between April and October, but its seedheads remain for most of the winter providing food for Goldfinches and other seed-eating birds.
Ribwort Plantain has spear-shaped leaves which form a rosette at the base of the plant. Short stems grow from its leaves, with compact heads and protruding, white stamens. The flower heads gradually turn brown and seed.

Rose Bay Willowherb - Chamerion angustifolium
John F June 2017

The tall, pink flower spikes of Rosebay Willowherb can often be seen crowding together in thick stands in open spaces such as woodland clearings, roadside verges, grassland and waste ground. A successful coloniser, Rosebay Willowherb has grown in number from a scarce woodland plant to a ubiquitous flower. This expansion occurred as a result of two World Wars clearing huge areas of forest and burning the ground in both town and countryside - just the right conditions for this plant to thrive in. One of its common names in the south-east alludes to this takeover: 'Bombweed'.
Rosebay Willowherb is a tall plant with pink flowers rising up a flower spike; these flowers appear from June to September. It has lance-like leaves which are arranged spirally up its stem.
Rough Hawkbit - Leontodon hispidus
John F July 2017

This is one of that group of difficult yellow composites which is made a little easier to identify by being roughly hairy, usually on single stems from a basal rosette and growing in well drained calcareous grassland. The flower is a slightly deeper golden yellow than many other yellow composites and the underside of the outer florets sometimes has a reddish tinge.
Self Heal - Prunella vulgaris
Sue & Roy 20140701

Selfheal can be seen creeping through the short turf of a grassland or the uncut grass of a woodland clearing or roadside verge; it can even pop up in lawns that haven't been treated with chemicals. Its clusters of violet flowers appear from June to October and provide a nectar source for bees and wasps.
Selfheal is a low-growing, perennial herb with paired, oval leaves and bluish or violet flowers that appear in dense, oblong clusters on the top of its stems. The purple-tinged seed head remains after flowering.
It is used as an anti-inflammatory and has anti-allergic activity. In western medicine it is used externally for treating minor injuries, sores, burns, bruises and can also be used as a mouthwash to treat mouth ulcers.
Skullcap (Hooded) - Scutellaria lateriflora
Sue & Roy 20140701

Skullcap can be found on damp ground such as marshes, fens, riverbanks, pond margins and canal sides. This delicate flower blooms between June and September and is pollinated by long-tongued bees; it is also the only food plant of the Skullcap Leaf Beetle - a yellowy-brown beetle with a black head and four spots on its back.
Skullcaps have violet-blue, tube-like flowers with two lips that sit in pairs in the leaf axils (where they join the stem). They have square stems and oval leaves with toothed margins that appear in opposite pairs. The closely related Lesser Skullcap has pink flowers.
Skullcap is used in herbal medicine as a mild sedative and sleep promoter.
Snakes Head Fritillary - Fritillaria meleagris
John F Map B-I3 20140402 planted by volunteers Mar 2013

The name Fritillaria comes from the Latin fritillus meaning dice-box, possibly referring to the chequered pattern on the flowers although this derivation has been disputed. The name meleagris means ‘spotted like a Guinea fowl. The common name "snake's head" probably refers to the somewhat snakelike appearance of the nodding flower heads on their long stems. Vita Sackville-West called it "a sinister little flower, in the mournful colour of decay."
It is native to Europe but in many places it is an endangered species that is rarely found in the wild but is commonly grown in gardens.













Snowdrops - Galanthus nivalis
Karen O'Connell (& John F 20140219)

For many of us, the first sign of spring and the promise of milder weather just around the corner is the first clump of brave Snowdrops we spy poking their way through the soil of a woodland, churchyard or town garden. Yet despite its long history in the UK, the Snowdrop may not actually be native here; it is a native of damp woods and meadows on the continent, but was not recorded as growing wild here until the late 18th century. Nevertheless, it has certainly become naturalised from garden escapees, and white Snowdrop 'valleys' can now be seen across the country.
Snowdrops are a familiar spring flower, coming into bloom in January and flowering until March. Look for their famous nodding, white flowers, each carried on a single stem. The narrow, grey-green leaves appear around the base of the stem and these plants often form clumps.
Sweetscented Bedstraw - Galium odoratum
John F May 2016

A herbaceous plant, it grows to 30–50 cm long, often lying flat on the ground or supported by other plants. Its vernacular names include woodruff, sweet woodruff, and wild baby's breath; master of the woods would be a literal translation of the German Waldmeister. It is sometimes confused with Galium triflorum and Galium verum.
It owes its sweet smell to the odiferous agent coumarin, and is sometimes used as a flavoring agent due to its chemical content.
The leaves are simple, lanceolate, glabrous, 2–5 cm long, and borne in whorls of 6–9. The small (4–7 mm diameter) flowers are produced in cymes, each white with four petals joined together at the base. The fruits are 2–4 mm diameter, produced singly, and each is covered in tiny hooked bristles which help disperse them by sticking temporarily to clothing and animal fur.
Tall Melilot - Melilotus altissimus
Sue & Roy 20140617

Tall Melilot is an introduced species in the UK, originating from Europe and commonly used as a fodder crop alongside its relatives White Melilot and Ribbed Melilot. It has now naturalised and can be found along field edges and roadside verges, and on waste ground and disturbed soils. It is a straggling plant that flowers from June to August.
Like its cousin, Ribbed Melilot, Tall Melilot has small, pea-like, yellow flowers borne on tall spikes (unsurprisingly, White Melilot has white flowers). The two may be told apart by the looser flower spikes of Ribbed Melilot, and more golden flowers of Tall Melilot. But the main difference is that these flowers are followed by black, hairy seed pods in Tall Melilot, whereas the seed pods of Ribbed Melilot are olive-green and hairless.
Teasel - Dipsacus fullonum
Sue & Roy 20140712

Teasels are probably most commonly known for their brown, prickly stems and conical seed heads which persist long after the plants themselves have died back for the winter. Between July and August, when Teasels are in flower, the spikey flower heads are mostly green with rings of purple flowers. Found in damp grassland and field edges, or on disturbed ground, such as roadside verges and waste grounds, Teasels are visited by bees when in flower, and birds when seeding.
It is a tall plants, often reaching the height of a person. They have thorns all the way up their stems and a cone-like flower head which gives the plant the impression of an oversized cotton bud. The flowers are tiny and purple, clustering together and appearing in rings up and down the flower head; the seed heads turn brown in winter.
The seeds are an important winter food resource for some birds, notably the European Goldfinch. They are often grown in gardens and encouraged on some nature reserves to attract them.
Toadflax (Purple) - Linaria purpurea
Sue & Roy 20140614

Purple toadflax is a perennial herb growing up to 1m in high.
The flowers are in dense spikes and range from deep purple to pale pink.
Flowers are smaller (8mm) than in common toadflax and the downward pointing spurs are slightly curved.
The linear, pointed, greyish leaves are in whorls when growing in isolation but straggly when scrambling through other vegetation.
Tufted Vetch - Vicia cracca
Sue & Roy 20140706

Tufted Vetch, also known as 'Cow Vetch' or 'Bird Vetch', is a member of the pea and clover family (legumes). It lives happily in many different habitats including woodland edges, scrubland, coastal margins and grassland, and can be seen climbing over hedges and banks. The spikes of bluish-violet flowers appear between June and August.
Tufted Vetch has long, grey-green leaves that grow in a symmetrical row from long, trailing stems. Curled tendrils used for climbing and grasping often spiral from the ends. Its flowers are pinky-purple tube shapes that turn up into a hood at the end and grow in dense clusters along a spike.
Violet (White Sweet) - Viola odorata
John F Map B-D3 20140321

This is a very early violet starting to flower in early March but sometimes even in February. It can be white, purple or mauve or pinkish but all have the distinctive roundish leaves and blunt sepals which distinguish it from other common violets. It seems to prefer to grow on basic or neutral soils.
Violet (Dog) - Viola riviniana
John F Map B-G4 20140321

This is the violet that everyone notices on banks and in hedgerows. It will also grow in shade so could be confused with Viola reichenbachiana which flowers much earlier. Viola riviniana is such a versatile and hardy plant that it can be found on mountain paths and ledges as well as in lowland areas and in almost any area of the British Isles. It is variable in habit and colour of flower but the sepal appendages are very long compared with other members of the Viola genus and the usually pale spur is another easily recognisable character.
Water Dock - Rumex hydrolapathum
Sue & Roy 20140417

Water Dock, as its name suggests, can be found growing beside water at the edges of canals, ponds and rivers, and even in shallow water. Flower spikes appear from July to September.
Water Dock is a tall plant with slender and pointed leaves, and spikes of tiny, pinky-green flowers in late summer.
Welsh Poppy - Meconopsis cambrica
John F May 2018

The Welsh poppy is happy almost anywhere, and spreads freely in many gardens. Plants are short and bushy, with elegant graceful foliage and lots of large, flimsy golden poppy flowers produced in succession from late spring to early autumn. Plants are not very long-lived but usually self-seed freely.
It is a tap-rooted perennial with light green, pinnately lobed leaves and bowl-shaped lemon-yellow or orange flowers 5cm across

White Clover - Trifolium repens
John F June 2017

A herbaceous perennial plant in the bean family. It is native to Europe and central Asia. One of the most widely cultivated types of clover, it has been widely introduced worldwide as a forage crop, and is now also common in most grassy areas (lawns and gardens). The species includes varieties often classed as small, intermediate and large, according to height, which reflects petiole length. The term “white clover” is applied to the species in general, “Dutch clover” is often applied to intermediate varieties (but sometimes to smaller varieties), and “ladino clover” is applied to large varieties.

White Dead-nettle - Lamium album
John F May 2017

The white dead-nettle has nettle shaped leaves that do not sting, and grows in woodlands and grasslands.
The nectar at the base of the tube-like flowers is only accessible to long-tongued insects such as bumble bees and mason bees. Smaller insects are often not heavy enough to open the flowers. The nettle-shaped leaves do not sting and are eaten by slugs and snails.
It common name ‘deadnettle’ because its leaves resemble those of the stinging nettle. Unlike the nettle, it does not have stinging hairs, and can be easily distinguished by its large white (or pink) flower.
Wild Carrot - Daucus carota
John F July 2017

Wild Carrot is a widespread perennial plant of grasslands, particularly those on chalk soils, and coastlines. In bud, the dense umbels (umbrella-like) of flowers look reddish, but they soon bloom into white flowers. These flowers can be seen from June to September, eventually turning into concave, bird's-nest-like seed heads.
The white umbels of Wild Carrot are very densely packed and rounded. Its leaves are divided into narrow leaflets and the plant is hairy.
When you hover over the picture note the little redish flower in the centre of the umbrella.
Winter Aconite - Eranthis hyemalis
John F Feb 2017 planted by volunteers Sep 2012

Glossy leaves and yellow chalice-shaped flowers will carpet woodland Jan - Feb.
This introduced plant generally flowers just before the Snowdrops and is arguably the first true Spring flower of the year. Planted in Holt Spinney in 2012 by volunteers, it likes shady or wooded areas.
This is the leaf only.
Winter Daffodil - Sternbergia lutea
John F March 2018

NOT SURE WHERE THIS CAME FROM?
The Winter Daffodil has a wide distribution from the Balearic Islands in the Western Mediterranean through to Tajikistan in Central Asia. It dies down to a bulb during the summer. Leaves first appear in the autumn (September to November in its native habitats), and are glossy green, up to 12 mm wide; they remain through the winter.
Deep yellow flowers appear soon after the leaves, with six tepals around 3–3.5 mm long., six yellow stamens and a style with a single stigma.
Smaller forms with narrower leaves (up to 5 mm wide) and narrower tepals (3–12 mm rather than 10–20 mm) have been separated off under various names (e.g. S. lutea var. graeca, S. sicula). All are treated as S. lutea in the Kew World Checklist.

Wood Anemone - Anemone nemorosa
John F Map C-E5 20150505 planted by Jim & lady 2013

The leaves of the wood anemone are simple but are so deeply divided that they have the appearance of a palmate leaf – the leaf is sometimes described as trifoliate.
The leaves have a distinctive smell, often described as musky – which may account for one of the wood anemone’s alternative names “smell fox”.
There is a whorl of leaves just below the flower, whilst others arise from ground level on long stalks.
Yarrow - Achillea millefolium
Sue & Roy 20140715

Yarrow is a tough plant of many grasslands, from lawns to verges and meadows; clusters of white, flat-topped flower heads appear from June to November. Yarrow has been used to help restore arable land to grassland by sowing it along with other natives.
A strong-smelling perennial, Yarrow has dark green, finely divided, feathery leaves. It has flat-topped clusters of white flower heads; each flower head comprises yellowish disc florets and pinky-white ray florets - together they give the impression of one flower with a yellow centre and white petals.
Yellow Archangel - Lamium galeobdolon
Sue & Roy 20140421

The flowers of Yellow Archangel come into bloom just as the Bluebells are fading, replacing the blue carpet of a spring woodland with a golden-yellow one. A plant of ancient woodlands and hedgerows, Yellow Archangel may well have got its common name from its virtue of not stinging, despite being part of the 'dead'-nettle family.
Looking a bit like a Stinging Nettle, Yellow Archangel is a hairy perennial with heart-shaped or oval, toothed leaves and whorls of yellow flowers that appear up the stem in May and June.
Yellow Iris - Iris pseudacorus
John F June 2017

The water-loving Yellow Iris can be found along the margins of waterways and ponds, and in wet woodlands, fens and saltmarshes. Often mingled among other reedbed plants, its large, bright yellow flowers appear between May and August and are thought to be the inspiration for the fleur-de-lis symbol which is used in heraldry and also by the scouts.
It has tall reed stems that are sometimes branched. Its long, narrow leaves are grey-green and sword-like, and may droop at the ends. Its large, yellow flower petals fold back on themselves and hang down around the outer edges of the flower.

Yellow Water Lily - Nuphar lutea
Sue & Roy 20130704

The Yellow Water-lily is a common plant of still or slow-moving water and grows in ponds, lakes, canals and ditches. It has large 'lily pad' leaves, up to 40cm across, and grows in water up to 3 metres deep, with the leaves floating on the surface. It flowers during the summer from June to September, and smells like the dregs of wine, hence other common names like 'Brandy Bottle'.
The Yellow Water-lily has more oval leaves than the White Water Lily, and a smaller, yellower flower which it holds above the water.
Key: -
Black Blitz 2015 not photographed
Blue Blitz 2015 photographed
Red identified by Volunteers

Blue

Bluebell - Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Bluebell (Spanish) - Hyacinthoides hispanica
Chicory - Cichorium intybus
Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
Field Forget-me-not - Myosotis arvensis
Forget-me-not (Wood) - Myosotis sylvatica
Green Alkanet - Pentaglottis sempervirens
Ivy-leaved Speedwell - Veronica hederifolia
Meadow Crane's-bill - Geranium pratense
Periwinkle - Vinca minor
Skullcap (Hooded) - Scutellaria galericulata
Thyme-leaved Speedwell - Veronica serpyllifolia
Tufted vetch - Vicia cracca
Violet (Dog) - Viola riviniana
Wall Speedwell - Veronica arvensis

Green

Canadian Pondweed - Elodea canadensis
Cuckoo-Pint/Lords-and-Ladies - Arum maculatum
Curled Dock - Rumex crispus
Fat Hen - Chenopodium album
Greater Plantain - Plantago major
Nettle - Urtica dioica
Water Dock - Rumex hydrolapathum

Mauve/Purple/Pink

Amphibious Bistort - Persicaria amphibia
Bee Orchid - Ophrys apifera
Bittersweet - Solanum dulcamara
Black Horehound - Ballota nigra
Broad-leaved Dock - Rumex obtusifolius
Broad-leaved Willowherb - Epilobium montanum
Common Knapweed - Centaurea nigra
Corncockle - Agrostemma githago
Creeping Thistle - Cirsium arvense
Crocus - Crocus vernus
Cut-leaved Crane's-bill - Geranium dissectum
Figwort Scrophularia nodosa
Flowering-rush - Butomus umbellatus
Great Burnet - Sanguisorba officinalis
Great Willowherb - Epilobium hirsutum
Greater Burdock - Arctium lappa
Ground Ivy - Glechoma hederacea
Hedge Woundwort - Stachys sylvatica
Hedgerow Crane's-bill - Geranium pyrenaicum
Herb-Robert - Geranium robertianum
Honesty - Lunaria annua
Ragged Robin - Silene flos-cuculi
Red Bartsia - Odontites vernus
Reed - Phragmitis australis
Rosebay Willowherb - Chamerion angustifolium
Self Heal - Prunella vulgaris
Sorrel - Rumex acetosa
Snakes Head Fritillary - Fritillaria meleagris
Spear Thistle - Cirsium vulgare
Stinking Iris - Iris foetidissima
Teasel - Dipsacus fullonum
Toadflax (Purple) - Linaria purpurea
Vetch - Vicia sativa

Red

Corn Poppy - Papaver rhoeas
Red Campion - Silene dioica

Red Clover - Trifolium pratense
Red Dead-nettle - Lamium purpureum
Water Figwort - Scrophularia auriculata
Wood Dock - Rumex sanguineus

White

Arrowhead - Sagittaria sagittifolia

Bindweed (Field) - Convolvulus arvensis
Bindweed (Hedge) - Calystegia sepium
Bogbean - Menyanthes trifoliata
Branched Bur Reed - Sparganium erectum
Campion (White) - Silene latifolia
Cleavers - Galium aparine
Chickweed - Stellaria media
Cow Parsley - Anthriscus sylvestris
Cuckoo Flower - Cardamine pratensis
Daisy - Bellis perennis
Garlic Mustard - Alliaria petiolata
Goatsbeard - Arunus dioicus
Greater Stitchwort - Stellaria holostea
Hairy Tare - Vicia hirsuta
Hogweed - Heracleum sphondylium
Horse-radish - Armoracia rusticana
Knotgrass - Polygonum aviculare
Large Bindweed - Calystegia silvatica
Large Bittercress - Cardamine amara
Lesser Stitchwort - Stellaria graminea
Marsh-bedstraw - Galium palustre
Meadowsweet - Filipendula ulmaria
Ox-eye Daisy - Leucanthemum vulgare
Ribwort Plantain - Plantago lanceolata
Rough Chervil - Chaerophyllum temulum
Scentless Mayweed - Tripleurospermum inodorum
Shepherd's-purse - Capsella bursa-pastoris
Snowdrops - Galanthus nivalis
Sweetscented Bedstraw - Galium odoratum
Upright Hedge-parsley - Torilis japonica
Violet (Sweet) - Viola odorata
White Bryony - Bryonia dioica
White Clover - Trifolium repens
White Dead-nettle - Lamium album
Wild Carrot - Daucus carota subsp. carota
Wood Anemone - Anemone nemorosa
Yarrow - Achillea millefolium

Yellow

Autumal Hawkbit - Scorzoneroides autumnalis
Bird's-foot-trefoil - Lotus corniculatus

Black Medick - Medicago lupulina
Bristly Oxtongue - Helminthotheca echioides
Bryony (White) - Bryonia alba
Charlock - Sinapis arvensis
Coltsfoot - Tussilago farfara
Corn Marigold - Chrysanthemum segetum
Cowslip - Primula veris
Creeping Buttercup - Ranunculus repens
Creeping Cinquefoil - Potentilla reptans
Daffodil - Narcissus pseudonarcissus
Dandelion - agg. Taraxacum officinale agg.
Fly Honeysuckle - Lonicera xylosteum
Goat's-beard - Tragopogon pratensis
Goldilocks Buttercup - Ranunculus auricomus
Groundsel - Senecio vulgaris
Hedge Mustard - Sisymbrium officinale
Herb Bennet/Wood Avens - Geum urbanum
Hoary Ragwort - Senecio erucifolius
Lady's Bedstraw - Galium verum
Lesser Celandine - Ficaria verna
Lesser Trefoil - Trifolium dubium
Marsh Marigold - Caltha palustris
Meadow Buttercup - Ranunculus acris
Meadow Vetchling - Lathyrus pratensis
Nipplewort - Lapsana communis
Pineapple Weed - Matricaria discoidea
Prickly Sow-thistle - Sonchus asper
Primrose - Primula vulgaris
Ragwort - Senecio jacobaea
Rough Hawkbit - Leontodon hispidus
Silverweed - Potentilla anserina
Smooth Hawk's-beard - Crepis capillaris
Smooth Sow-thistle - Sonchus oleraceus
Tall Melilot - Melilotus altissimus
Welsh Poppy - Meconopsis cambrica
Winter Aconite - Eranthis hyemalis
Winter Daffodil - Sternbergia lutea

Yellow Archangel - Lamium galeobdolon<
Yellow Iris - Iris pseudacorus
Yellow Water-lily - Nuphar lutea

Observed by Harry Ball
Bulbous Buttercup - Ranunculus bulbosus
Hairy Bittercress - Cardamine hirsulta
Hedge Parsley - Torilis japonica
Nettle - Urtica dioica
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Fungi & Lichen

Fungi
Artist's Fungus - Ganoderma applanatum
John F

Ganoderma applanatum is a very common perennial bracket fungus. The underside is creamy white and can be scratched with a sharp point to leave brown marks and so produce artistic images - hence the common name.
This tough bracket lives for many years, developing noticeable annual growth ridges on the upper surface. If you cut through a bracket you will see layers of tube pores - the number of layers gives a clue to the age of the fruitbody.
Candlesnuff (Stagshorn) - Xylorice hypoxilon
John F 20111119 Holt Acre

This fungus, appears throughout the year but is particularly noticeable during late autumn and winter. This ubiquitous little rotter is one of the pyromycetes or flask fungi.
Rarely fruiting in photogenic groups, this morbid fungus is the type species of the Xylaria genus. It need hardy be mentioned that these tough but insubstantial fungi are not generally considered to be edible.
This is one of the last fungi to attack rotting wood, and is often preceded by a succession of other species such as Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea and it relatives) and Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare).
Clustered Bonnet - Mycena inclinata
John F 20111119

Nearly always found on oak roots, stumps or fallen trunks and branches or on dead parts of standing oak trees, the Clustered Bonnet is still referred to by some people as the Oak Bonnet. It has (depending on your nose!) either a spicy or a rancid odour that helps distinguish it from the many similar bonnet mushrooms.
The crenelate (scalloped) cap margin and white woolly base of the stem are features that help separate this bonnet from several others of similar size and equally varied range of colours.
As you might expect from its English name, the Clustered Bonnet occurs in bunched groups more often than singly, and it is found throughout Britain and Ireland wherever oak trees live... or more accurately where they die.
Dryad's Saddle - Polyporus squamosus
John F

Polyporus squamosus
, commonly referred to as Dryad's Saddle, grows in overlapping clusters and tiers on broad-leaved trees. (A dryad is a mythical wood-nymph.) The fruit bodies appear in summer and autumn. Insects quickly devour these large brackets, and in warm weather they can decay from full splendour to almost nothing in just a few days.
Sycamore, willow, poplar and walnut trees are all commonly attacked by this impressively large and attractive fungus.
When growing on the trunks of trees this polypore forms brackets that do look rather like saddles; however, they can also occur on fallen trunks and large branches or emerge from the soil where a tree root is just below soil level. In these situations Polyporus squamosus takes on a very different form: a funnel. Some of these funnels are perfect horns; more often they are slightly one sided.
Field Mushroom - Agaricus campestris
John F 20111119

The Field Mushroom, Agaricus campestris, is the most commonly eaten wild mushroom in Britain and Ireland. Meadows grazed by sheep, cattle or horses sometimes produce vast quantities of these fungi of summer and early autumn... but not every year, unfortunately.
It is unwise to treat cap colour as a significant feature when identifying these kinds of mushrooms. Some Field Mushrooms are smooth and almost pure white while others are quite rough with dark-brown cap scales.
Provided they are properly cooked and eaten in moderation (not as a daily dish!) Field Mushrooms are wholesome and very tasty. It is unwise to gather any food from the grassy verges of busy roads, because the soil, vegetation and fungal fruitbodies from such places may be polluted by toxins emitted from exhausts or from oil spills.
Jews Ear - Auricularia auricula-judae
John F 20140115

Auricularia auricula-judae, the Jelly Ear Fungus, is mainly seen in winter and spring. It grows mainly on dead elder trees and on fallen branches, but occasionally you may also find it growing on other kinds of hardwood.
The so-called Jelly Fungi are not really a taxonomic group but more a rag-tag of basidiomycetes with jelly-like textures, although few are a soft as the jelly we eat with custard. Many are capable of reconstituting and continuing to produce spores when wetted after desiccation.
If you are not put off by the strange appearance and sombre colour of the Jelly Ear fungus, it is in fact edible when cooked and very popular in some eastern countries.
King Alfred's Cakes - Daldinia concentrica
John F 20140201 Map B-E3 & E4

Common referred to as King Alfred's Cakes (a reference to their burnt appearance, of course, because having been given shelter by a peasant woman Alfred, preoccupied by other concerns, was reputed to have inadvertently allowed her cakes to burn, having promised that he would watch her cakes cooking. They are also referred to as Cramp Balls (because carrying them was thought to cure attacks of cramps). These hard, inedible fungi appear most often on ash and beech wood but occasionally on other hardwood trees.
Common and widespread in Britain and Ireland and found throughout most of mainland Europe













Oyster Mushroom - Pleurotus cornucopiae
John F 20140113

So variable in size, shape and colour are the many kinds of oyster mushroom that confident identification of some species is tricky without resorting to microscopic analysis. The process is not helped by the fruiting habit of many Pleurotus species that seem to delight in emerging beyond reach, sometimes high up in the crowns of trees.
For the most part the various oyster mushrooms are saprophytic on deciduous trees, and only very rarely are they found on conifers.
Several similar species within the Pleurotus genus are often confused, and so distribution data for individual species in this complex group are inevitably subject to some uncertainty.
Parasol - Macrolepiota Procera
John F 20111119

Macrolepiota procera, the Parasol Mushroom, is a choice edible species found on roadside verges, in neglected pastureland and on grassy seaside cliffs in summer and autumn.
On National Nature Reserves in Britain it is an offence to pick wildflowers or fungi without special permission, which may be granted for research purposes. A fungal feast, no matter how innovative the recipe, certainly does not qualify as scientific research! In any case, this was such a perfect display and to do anything that would prevent other people from enjoying it would have been little short of vandalism.
Peppery Milk-Cap - Lactarius piperatus
John F 20111119 Many growing in a circle

Surely only a mushroom would wear white and then choose to live in a mucky place where finery can never be shown off to its best! Like the Fleecy Milkcap Lactarius vellereus, which almost invariably has lumps of earth and leaf litter adorning its pallid cap, the Peppery Milkcap Lactarius piperatus rarely shows its true colours: by the time a fruitbody is fully developed, its funnel-shaped cap often contains a diverse ecosystem of dead (and sometimes living) plant and animal organisms.
These occasional mushrooms of deciduous and mixed woodland sometimes grow in rings, but more often they occur as solitary specimens or in very small groups.
It is worth getting to recognise this milkcap from its crowded gills, long stem and scaleless cap: a taste test is a most unpleasant experience!
Peppery Roundhead - Stropharia pseudocyanea
John F 20140123

Stropharia pseudocyanea
is one of very few blue-green fungi. (In some instances the caps are nearer to green than to blue, and with age they tend to become brownish, but when young and fresh they are very beautiful and, despite their small stature, quite startling.) The caps, initially bell-shaped, flatten and turn paler from the centre. What makes this species instantly recognisable and truly memorable is not so much its admittedly attractive appearance but its distinctive smell - exactly like freshly ground pepper.
Peppery Roundhead mushrooms are an occasional find throughout Britain and Ireland, occurring mainly in unimproved or semi-improved grassland.
Shaggy Inkcap - Coprinus comatus
John F

Commonly referred to as either the Shaggy Inkcap or the Lawyer's Wig, Coprinus comatus is a large and conspicuous edible (when young and fresh) fungus. It occurs in meadows, woods and roadside verges. Now recognised as belonging to the family Agaricaceae, because it was the type species of the Coprinus genus it has taken that generic name with it. For this reason most other inkcaps now belong to the genera Coprinopsis, Coprinellus and Parasola, and they are all members of the family Psathyrellaceae.
The Shaggy Inkcaps seen in the picture show clearly the various stages of development and decay of the fruitbodies.
Stump Puffball - Lycoperdon pyriforme
John F 20140201

Lycoperdon pyriforme
, the Stump Puffball, is one of the most gregarious of all fungi. The banana of the fungi world, its bunches create impressive vistas sometimes stretching way into the far distance in woodlands where thinning has taken place and the lopped branches have been left for Mother Nature (mainly in her mycological guise) to dispose of. These pear-shaped fruitbodies are often seen swarming over dead stumps. (If they appear to be growing on soil this is not so but simply an indicator of buried trunks or branches.)
The Stump Puffball fruits most often in large, densely-packed groups on decaying tree stumps and sometimes on well-rotted fallen branches
Sulphur Tuft - Hypholoma fasciculare
John F 20140115

From April through to the first heavy frosts, a walk in mixed woodland rarely fails to reveal Sulphur Tufts fruiting on fallen trees, decaying stumps or, occasionally, hollow trunks of living trees.
This wood-rotting fungus is not a fussy feeder it tackles deciduous hardwoods as well as conifers apparently with equal relish, although it is most effective in rotting broadleaf trees (hardwoods), which generally have a higher cellulose content and rather lower lignin content than conifers.
Displays of Sulphur Tufts can recur on large stumps for two or three years in succession before the timber is reduced to its hard core of lignin, at which point other lignin-eating fungi move in to finish it off.
Turkey tail - Trametes versicolor
John F 20140113 Map B-D3

The top surface of the cap shows typical concentric zones of different colours. The flesh is 1–3 mm thick and has leathery texture. Older specimens, such as the one pictured, can have zones with green algae growing on them, thus appearing green. It commonly grows in tiled layers. The cap is rust-brown or darker brown, sometimes with blackish zones.
Turkeytail fungus (formerly known as the Many-Zoned Polypore) can be found all through the year, but it is most obvious in the winter months when deciduous trees are bare. This very variable fungus grows mainly on dead hardwood, including stumps and standing dead trees as well as fallen branches.
Unknown
John F Nov 19th 2011

I haven't a clue what this is - not seen an example since.
Waxcap
John F 20140115 Map A-06 93

The most distinctive and visible components of the grassland fungi. These are the brightly coloured and sometimes shiny mushrooms of the genus Hygrocybe, commonly seen in the Autumn.
The most distinctive and visible component of the grassland mycota are the waxcap fungi, belonging to the genus Hygrocybe. Members of this genus typically possess brightly coloured pilei which are often conferred a 'shiny' appearance by the presence of a glutinous surface layer.
Some 60 species of Hygrocybe occur in Europe most commonly in Western and Northern regions.
White Brain Fungus - Exidia thuretiana
John F 20140115

Exidia thuretiana appears on rotting hardwood, and particularly beech. In dry weather this fungus shrinks and becomes quite hard. You will need wet weather to find this fungus: during dry spells it shrivels up almost completely to leave just a transparent rubbery patch on the host wood.
Autumn and winter are the best times to look for this species.
Exidia thuretiana occurs throughout Britain and Ireland, but in most areas it is rather an uncommon find.
Witches' Butter - Exidia glandulosa
John F 20140204 Sue our resident expert thinks this might be: Map B-F1 Exidia glandulosa - often referred to as Black Witch's (or Witches') Butter, perhaps because of its butter-like consistency and greasy surface when wet as well as its sombre colour, occurs throughout the year on dead hardwood.
An alternative theory for the origin of the common name of this fairly common jelly fungus is that this species was thought to have the power to counteract witchcraft if the fruitbodies were thrown on to a blazing fire - probably not instead of the witches, I fear!
In wet weather it turns black and jelly like; however, during prolongued dry spells it shrinks to a series of cone-shaped olive-brown crusts. The individual fruitbodies sometimes coalesce to form larger blobs.
Yellow Brain Fungus - Tremella mesenterica
John F Feb 2017

There are some strange things in our natural world in Glen Parva and this is one of them! This seems more like slime than a fungus but then fungi come in such a diverse array of forms, shapes, sizes and colours. This one has the wonderful common name of the yellow brain fungus (Tremella mesenterica) and it is certainly yellow! It starts lemon yellow, then becomes egg yoke coloured before drying orange. In its early stages it gelatinous, watery and translucent but it becomes brittle when dry. It is found on dead branches of hazel and gorse and it can also occur on ash, beech and some other broad-leaved trees. It is visible all year and is quite common.

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Artist's Fungus- Ganoderma applanatum
Bladder Plum gall - Taphrina pruni
Candlesnuff - Xylaria hypoxylon
Cluster Bonnet - Mycena inclinata
Dryad's Saddle - Polyporus squamosus
Field Mushroom - Agaricus campestris

Golden Scalycap - Pholiota aurivella
Jews Ear - Auricularia auricula-judae
King Alfred's Cake - Daldinia concentrica
Oyster Mushroom - Pleurotus ostreatus
Parasol - Macrolepiota Procera

Pear Rust - Gymnosporangium sabinae
Jews Ear - Auricularia auricula-judae
King Alfred's Cake - Daldinia concentrica
Oyster Mushroom - Pleurotus ostreatus
Parasol - Macrolepiota Procera
Peppery Milkcap - Lactarius piperatus
Peppery Roundhead - Stropharia pseudocyanea
Shaggy Inkcap - Coprinus comatus
Stump Puffball - Lycoperdon pyriforme
Sulphur Tuft - Hypholoma fasciculare
Turkey tail - Trametes versicolor
Unknown Fungi ?
Waxcap ?
White Brain Fungus - Exidia thuretiana
White-rot Fungus - Phanerochaete velutina
Witches Butter - Exidia glandulosa
Yellow Brain Fungus - Tremella mesenterica

Added by Harry Ball
Clouded Agaric - Clitocybe nebularis
Coriolellus albidus
Stinkhorn - Phallus impudicus
Lichen  
Green Lichen – Xanthoria parietina
John F 20140115 Map B-20 81 near Bridle entrance also at B-20 89
Silver Lichen – Physcia tenella
John F 20140115
Map B-20 81 also at B-20-89
White Lichen (I think)
John F 20140201
Map B-E4
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Grasses, Rushes & Sedges

Drooping Sedge - Carex pendula
John F west ditch 20131208

Also called the Pendulous Sedge.
This is a native sedge which appears to be doing the reverse of escaping. This elegant looking sedge is found growing around "water-features" in gardens. It is reputed to prefer heavy rich soils but can also be seen on our light sandy soils. This is a large sedge up to 5 feet tall and really can't be mistaken for anything else.
The plant typically flowers from May to June and fruits from June to July.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black
Barren Brome - Anisantha sterilis
Branched Bur-reed - Sparganium erectum
Cock's-foot - Dactylis glomerata
Common Bent - Agrostis capillaris
Common Club-rush - Schoenoplectus lacustris
Common Couch - Elytrigia repens
Creeping Bent - Agrostis stolonifera
False Fox-sedge - Carex otrubae
False Oat-grass - Arrhenatherum elatius
False-brome - Brachypodium sylvaticum
Hairy Sedge - Carex hirta
Hard Rush - Juncus inflexus
Hop Sedge - Carex pseudocyperus
Lesser Pond-sedge - Carex acutiformis
Meadow Barley - Hordeum secalinum
Pendulous Sedge - Carex pendula
Perennial Rye-grass - Lolium perenne
Red Fescue - Festuca rubra
Reed Canary-grass - Phalaris arundinacea
Reed Sweet-grass - Glyceria maxima
Rough Meadow-grass - Poa trivialis
Soft-rush - Juncus effusus
Sweet Vernal-grass - Anthoxanthum odoratum
Timothy - Phleum pratense
Wild-oat - Avena fatua
Yellow Oat-grass - Trisetum flavescens
Yorkshire-fog - Holcus lanatus
Recorded by Harry Ball
Broard-leaved Dock -
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Grasshoppers & Crickets

Common Field Grasshopper - Chorthippus brunneus
John F Oct 2016

Common and widespread, the Field Grasshopper is ubiquitous in any open, sunny, grassy area, including our gardens. Adults are present from June until late autumn, feeding on plants and grass. A gregarious species, males can be seen displaying to females by rubbing their legs against their wings to create a 'song' - in this case, it is brief, single chirrup, repeated at short intervals. After mating, the eggs are laid in the soil ready to hatch the following summer.
They are usually mottled brown in colour, with barring on the sides, the Field Grasshopper is most easily identified if seen close-up when the the very hairy 'chest' is clearly visible.
Lesser Marsh Grasshopper - Chorthippus albomarginatus
John F July 2017

Length 13-23 mm. Similar in appearance to the Meadow Grasshopper; straw brown or light green-coloured and less brightly coloured than the Meadow Grasshopper. The side keels of the pronotum are almost parallel. It has a rather pointed snout, robust antennae and a white border to the wings which varies in intensity. It has functional wings and flies readily in hot weather.
This grasshopper can be found in damp grassland areas, particularly where it floods in winter, but also occurs in drier conditions, on roadside verges, waste ground, etc.

Slender Groundhopper - Tetrix subulata
Sue& Roy 20140711

Small grasshopper-like insect with wide ‘shoulders’ and a narrow tapering abdomen hidden beneath an extended pronotum. Wings exceed the tip of the pronotum. The distance between the eyes is greater than in the very similar Cepero’s Groundhopper (greater than 1.5 times the width of an eye).
It is 9-14 mm long and when fully winged, capable of flight and adults can swim.
It is herbivorous, feeding on algae, mosses and lichens.
Lives in bare mud and short vegetation in damp, unshaded locations. Particularly associated with base-rich or calcareous soils (dune slacks, limestone sea cliffs and floodplains and fens where the ground water is alkaline). Eggs are laid directly into the ground or in low vegetation.

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Common Field GH - Chorthippus brunneus
Lesser Marsh GH - Chorthippus albomarginatus

Oak Bush-cricket - Meconema thalassinum
Slender Groundhopper - Tetrix subulata

 

Hoverflies

Drone Fly - Eristalis tenax
John F Oct 2016

The larva of the Drone Fly is a rat-tailed maggot. It lives in drainage ditches, pools around manure piles, sewage, and similar places containing water badly polluted with organic matter. The larva likely feeds on the abundant bacteria living in these places.
The adult fly that emerges from the pupa is harmless. It looks somewhat like a drone honey bee, and likely gains some degree of protection from this resemblance to a stinging insect. The adults are called drone flies because of this resemblance.
Like other hover flies, they are common visitors to flowers, especially in late summer and autumn, and can be significant pollinators.
Hornet Mimic Hoverfly - Volucella zonaria
John F July 2017

At almost 2cm long the Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (also known as the 'Belted Hoverfly') is the largest in Britain. As its name suggests, this fly is an excellent mimic of the Hornet but is harmless. Only a very rare visitor to the country up to the 1940s, in recent years it has become more common in southern England and is still spreading northwards, perhaps as a result of the warmer climate. The adults are migratory and the larvae live inside wasp's nests.
It is mainly orangey-yellow on the abdomen, with dark bands and a dark brown thorax. It is our largest hoverfly. It can be distinguished from the Hornet by its much larger eyes, broader body and the lack of a sting.

Hoverfly - Eupeodes latifasciatus
John F Sept 2016

A species of varying abundance in the UK, some years being quite common, then almost disappearing the next. Females usually have the markings on the abdomen fused to form moustached bands. These bands run nearly parallel with the front edge of the tergite particularly on tergite 3. The yellow never reaches the lateral edges of the tergites. The frons is equally black and yellow, with no forward extension. Males tend to have spectacle shaped markings and the occiput (grey band on back of eyes) does not taper as significantly as in other species towards the top.
Hoverfly - Myathropa florea
John F Sept 2016

This is the most abundant and least choosy of the hoverflies associated with decaying wood. The larvae, which are of the ‘long-tailed’, aquatic type, occur in any situation where wet wood debris are present, such as water-filled hollows containing decaying leaf and wood detritus, and decaying roots deep underground. They can also develop in cow-dung. They will readily use artificial breeding sites consisting of containers of water mixed with rotted sawdust or woodland litter. Adults disperse widely and visit a variety of flowers. Males hover in the canopy, making a loud high pitched buzz. They are often seen in gardens
Hoverfly - Sphaerophoria scripta
John Ellis

The female has the body of the typical hover fly: long, broadened somewhere near the middle and ending conically. The markings, yellow stripes on a black backgroud, are typical of hover flies. It is very difficult to tell apart females of the various species in this genus, for they all do look like one another very much. Even microscopic research doesn't always provide you woth the correct answer. In this case though, we are certain the female is a S. scripta
The male looks very different: it has a long, slim, stick like body, ending suddenly without tipped end. I think this is a picture of the male of S. scripta, in spite of the very intens yellow markings. The males of this species have a body that protrudes from under the wings, for it is longer. The males are very variable in markings.
Hoverfly (male) - Syrphus torvus
John F Sept 2016

A medium-sized hoverfly that somewhat resembles a wasp, with adults measuring 10 to 13 mm. The head is broad and the large brown compound eyes have hairy surfaces, more obvious in males than females. The eyes are nearly touching in males but are more widely separated in females. The face and short antennae are yellow. The thorax is black, the legs yellow and black, and the single pair of wings is translucent with dark veining. The abdomen is oblong and slightly flattened. It is fringed with short yellow hairs and striped in yellow and black, the first yellow stripe being divided by a central black bar.
Marmalade hoverfly - Episyrphus balteatus
John F Oct 2016

The Marmalade Fly is very common hoverfly. Adults are on the wing right through the year, although in largest numbers in the summer. They feed on nectar, often gathering in very large numbers on flowers like tansy, ragwort and cow parsley. The larvae are predators of aphids. As well as being a common breeding fly, in some years, huge numbers migrate here from the continent when they can be seen busily feeding on flowers near the coast.
The Marmalade Fly is our commonest and most familiar hoverfly, easily identifiable by the orange body with thick and thin black bands across it.













Striped Hoverfly - Helophilus pendulus
John F Oct 2016

It has black and yellow longitudinal stripes on the upper surface of its thorax. The abdomen is patterned with yellow, black and grey, and for this reason it is sometimes called the footballer.
It has a black central face-stripe and a wing-length of 8.5 - 11.25 mm.
It is associated with a wide variety of water bodies, from large lakes and rivers down to areas as small as ditches, small ponds or even muddy puddles. Larvae have even been found in cow-dung, very wet manure or very wet old sawdust.
This species visits flowers; it also commonly rests on leaves. It often emits a buzzing sound when resting. It is a notable wanderer and can be found well away from water. The larvae feed on detritus.

There is another similiar looking Helophilus - Helophilus trivittatus - even though they are look alikes, you can tell them apart by close visual examination. The Striped Hoverfly is slightly smaller and the markings on the second abdominal segment are darker, even with shades of orange. The stripes on the third segment are used to tell them apart. In the Striped Hoverfly the lines never meet in the middle. There is a clear black spot separating them. In H. trivittatus however the lines (almost) meet in the middle.

The bottom picture - NOT SURE which one.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Drone Fly - Eristalis tenax
Hornet Mimic Hoverfly - Volucella zonaria
Hoverfly - Eupeodes latifasciatus
Hoverfly - Heliophilus pendulas
Hoverfly - Myathropa florea
Hoverfly - Sphaerophoria scripta
Hoverfly (male) - Syrphus torvus

Marmalade hoverfly - Episyrphus balteatus

Migrant Hoverfly - Eupeodes corollae
Striped Hoverfly - Heliophilus pendulas
 
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Mammals














Badger - Meles meles
John F

Dung pits are a particular feature of badger territories.  Badgers do not deposit their dung just anywhere, they use special pits.  Badgers use dung as a territory marker, so you will often find dung pits on badger paths around the edge of their territory.  Dung pits look very much like snuffle holes, but with dung in them.
Usually a dark greyish-green, which shows that they have been feeding on earthworms.  Badgers will cheerfully eat many other things too, so it is always interesting to inspect the dung pits and see what they have been feeding on.

The badger lives an underground home called a sett, which will typically be towards the centre of their territory or home range. Their setts are usually situated in or near small clearings in woodland or copses. Roughly 80% or so are in woodlands or hedgerows where trees or their roots provide the badger with some form of protection. The sett will be obvious to those who know what to look for, as the ground around the used entrances will probably be free of vegetation, and may be muddy and may show evidence of badger prints.
A simple sett is made up of a single tunnel, with a sleeping chamber at the end. However, most setts have several entrance holes, and lots of tunnels which link up with each other. The tunnels also link up with sleeping and nursery chambers. The tunnels may have several interlinking passages underground; and may also be arranged so as to provide a constant supply of clean fresh air through the sett in most weathers. Accordingly, entrances may sometimes be on different levels to help stale air rise through the sett and be dissipated into the surrounding woodland.
Grey Squirrel - Sciurus carolinensis
John F March 2018

The grey squirrel is a native of north-east America.  Its range there stretches from Quebec down through New Jersey and Pennsylvania.  It was first recorded in the UK in the 1820s, but was not released into the wild until 1876 when allegedly a chap named T. V. Brocklehurst liberated a pair in Cheshire.
Why they were released is still a bit of a mystery.  The most likely reason is that it fitted in with the Victorians' ideal of reshaping all aspects of the world, and it became the fashionable thing to do.  At that time very few people were aware of the damage that this might cause to native wildlife.
The grey squirrel frequently has patches of reddish-brown coloured fur, and we often get asked if this is the product of cross breeding with red squirrels.  It isn't.  In fact grey squirrels are more often half grey and half brown.
Mole - Talpa europaea
John F February 2017

Moles are very common throughout Britain, however, they are rarely seen as they spend almost their entire life underground. The Mole pre-breeding season population is estimated to be around 31,000,000. They have a cylindrical body, very strong shoulders and broad, spade-like fore limbs with claws. Its pink snout is hairless and extremely sensitive.
Male moles are called ‘boars’ and female moles are called ‘sows’. A group of moles is called a ‘labour’.
Muntjac Deer - Muntiacus reevesi
John F October 2018

The small, Chinese Muntjac Deer was introduced to Woburn Park in Bedfordshire at the start of the 20th century and rapidly spread into the surrounding area. It is now a common animal across South East England and can be found in woodland, parkland and even gardens. Muntjac Deer are notorious browsers, eating the shoots from shrubs, as well as woodland herbs and Brambles. Male Muntjacs have short, unbranched antlers that slope backwards, and a pair of long canine teeth. They breed all year-round, but females usually only have one kid at a time. Muntjac Deer are also known as 'Barking Deer' because of their dog-like calls.
Rabbit - Orytolagus cuniculus
John F Oct 2016
OK as Jools says this is an escapee and its a Netherland Dwarf (but it's still a rabbit)

Rabbits originated from Spain and South-West France. The rabbit was brought to England in the 12th century AD by the Normans and kept in captivity in warrens as a source of meat and fur.
Many escaped into the wild and eventually become so common that farming them was no longer economic.
Because of their fast breeding, a diet of virtually any vegetable matter and persecution of predators, the rabbit slowly established itself in the wild in Britain, despite originally favouring a warmer, drier climate.

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Badger - Meles meles

Bank vole - Myodes glareolus
Brown rat - Rattus norvegicus
Fox - Vulpes vulpes
Grey squirrel - Sciurus carolinensis
Mole - Talpa europaea
Otter - Lutra lutra
Wood Mouse - Apodemus sylvaticus

 
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Mayflies

Green Drake Mayfly - Ephemera danica
John F 2018

The Common, or 'Green Drake', Mayfly is one of 51 species of mayfly in the UK, and is on the wing from April until September (nymphs are present all year-round). Mayflies are common around freshwater wetlands, from fast-flowing rivers to still lakes, where the larvae spend their lives underwater, feeding on algae and plants. In the summer, the adults hatch out - sometimes simultaneously and in their hundreds; they have very short lives (just hours in some cases), during which they display and breed. Many species do not feed as adults as their sole purpose is to reproduce, dying once they have mated. The name 'mayfly' is misleading as many mayflies can be seen all year-round, although one species does emerge in sync with the blooming of Hawthorn (or 'Mayflower').

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Green Drake Mayfly - Ephemera danica
 

Mosses and Liverworts

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015

Common feather moss - Kindbergia praelonga
Common pocket moss - Fissidens taxifolius
Crescent cup liverwort - Lunilaria
Curled bristle moss - Ulota crispa
Greater water moss - Fontinalis antiferutica
Liverwort - Marchantia polymorpha
Liverwort - Metzgeria furcata
Liverwort - Pellia endiviifolia
Liverwort (once rare) - Frullania dilatata
Moss - Amblystegium serpens
Moss - Cryphaea heteromalla
Moss - Hypnum cupressiform
Moss - Minium undulatum
Rough-stalked feather moss - Brachythecium rutabulum
Silvergreen bryum moss - Bryum argenteum
Twisted moss - Tortula muralis
Wood bristle-moss - Orthotrichum affine
Brachythecium rivulare
Cratoneuron filicinum
Grimmia pulvinata
Leskea polycarpa
Pellia sp.
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Reptiles

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Grass Snake - Natrix natrix
 

Slugs & Snails

>
Amber Snail - Succinea putris
John F Oct 2016

Of all native terrestrial snails, amber snails have the closest connection to water, but still they never actually live in the water, though they may live on plants growing there.
Amber snails have got a thin walled translucent shell often amber coloured, whose spire usually is very small compared to the huge apertural whorl. An amber snail's aperture rim is sharp and there is no apertural lip. In this regard, amber snails are similar to pond snails (Lymnaeidae). Between different populations there may often be extreme, even hereditary, differences in size, which sometimes makes the determination of species very difficult.
Brown-lipped Snail - Cepaea nemoralis
John F

The brown-lipped snail is a common terrestrial snail in Britain. It can be distinguished from the similar white-lipped snail by the brown band around the opening of the shell. 
Aside from the brown banding, the colour of the shell can vary greatly between snails, from very light to very dark. This polymorphism is thought to be contributed to by camouflage but there is no definite answer.
This snail lives in a variety of habitats, including gardens, hedgerows, woodlands and grasslands.
Garden Snail - Helix aspersa
John F

Garden snails are herbivorous and feed on several kinds of fruit trees, garden plants, crop vegetables and some cereals.
Snail mouth is beneath its tentacles and it has a toothed ribbon called the radula, which is used to fragment its food. This structure is exclusive of mollusks and most of them have one.
Like other gastropod mollusks, the Helix aspersa is hermaphrodite; this means that it has both male and female organs. However, mating is required for fertilization, even tough self-fertilization is possible for this species.
Great Ramshorn Snail - Planorbarius corneus
John F March 2017

This empty shell was found in the canal next to area 3 on the map. It measures 33mm in diameter and 14mm high.
Ramshorn snails are very common and come in various sizes. Their shape is as their name suggests. Snails lay eggs on the plants in the pond, the eggs are covered in jelly to protect them. When the eggs hatch they are full of little baby snails. These snails use lungs to breathe air, but since they can trap and store some air inside their shells, they can tolerate water with low dissolved oxygen.
They eat algae. They are eaten by fish, tufted ducks. They lay disk-shaped gelatinous clusters of eggs adhering to anything - plants, rocks etc. Plants also seem to be a choice for egg-laying.The ramshorn snails are all shaped like a flat coil, or the horn of ram.
White Lipped Snail - Cepaea hortensis
John F - Sept 2016

The white-lipped banded snail has a glossy, smooth shell, which is typically yellow in colour but may be pink, brown or red, with up to 5 variable spiral dark bands and an obvious white lip around the aperture. Occasionally a dark-lipped form of this species may arise, which makes identification more complicated. It is similar in appearance to the brown-lipped banded snail (Cepaea nemoralis), but it has a thinner shell, with more rounded whorls. The body of the snail is usually greenish-grey becoming yellow towards the rear.
Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Amber Snail - Succinea putris
Black slug - Arion ater agg.
Brown-lipped Snail - Cepaea nemoralis
Budapest Slug - Tandonia budapestensis
Common garden slug - Arion distinctus
Common Garden Snail - Helix aspersa
Discus Snail - Discus rotundatus
Dusky Slug - Arion subfuscus
Great Ramshorn - Planorbarius corneus
Greenhouse Slug - Ambigolimax valentianus
Irish Yellow Slug - Limacus maculatus
Keeled Ramshorn - Planorbis carinatus
Kentish Garden Snail - Monacha cantiana
Leopard Slug - Limax maximus
Strawberry Snail - Trochulus striolatus
White-lipped Snail - Cepaea hortensis
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Spiders, Harvestmen & Mites

Common Orb Weaver Spider - Metellina segmentata
John F Sept 2016

This 8mm long spider is seen from July to October in among any vegetation or structure where it can build a web.
The spider, which eats flies and other small insects. gets its name from the orb-shaped web it spins and is pale yellow-brown in colour. The abdomen has an almost leaf-like pattern on it. Males have longer legs and are darker. When mating they enter the web of the female.













European Garden Spider - Araneus diadematus
John F Sept 2016

Adult spiders' colouring can range from extremely light yellow to very dark grey, but all European garden spiders have mottled markings across the back, with five or more large, white dots forming a cross. The white dots result from cells filled with guanine, which is a by-product of protein metabolism.
Adult females range in length from 6.5 to 20 mm, while males range from 5.5 to 13 mm. During mating, the much smaller male will approach the female cautiously. If not careful, he could end up being eaten by her



European Garden Spiderlings
Sue & Roy 20140422
.
Almost fluorescent yellow with a single round black blob on their backs, the spiders are the produce of the common Araneus diadematus - or cross orbweaver - species, which lays anywhere from 300 to 800 eggs each autumn.The mothering spider then cements her minuscule eggs together by covering them in a dense layer of coarse protective yellow silk and detritus - fragments of dead organisms and fecal matter - to protect them over the winter until they hatch in spring and early summer.

Knopper Gall - Andricus quercuscalicis
Sue & Roy August 2017

The Knopper Gall is caused by a tiny gall wasp, Andricus quercuscalicis. It produces ridged outgrowths on the acorns of our native Pedunculate Oak; forming in August they are sticky and red, later becoming woody and brown. A second generation then develops in the catkins of Turkey Oak.
The Knopper Gall is a nobbly, bowl-shaped protrusion from acorns.

Linyphia hortensis
John F Sept 2016

Linyphia hortensis is a spider of low vegetation where it makes a small sheet web and is described as being local, but widespread across the UK. It can be found by the careful searching of low foliage.

Nursery Web Spider - Pisaura mirabilis
John F Sept 2017

Male length: 10-13 mm. Female length: 12-15 mm. They vary in colour from grey through orangey to dark brown. The abdomen is slender and is divided by a pale line and there are pale 'tear marks' at the sides of its eyes. Usually found in Nettle beds or other dense vegetation.
It likes to sunbathe and typically holds its front two pairs of legs together pointing forwards. During mating the male presents the female with a carefully wrapped insect as a present. The female carries her eggs in a ball shaped, pea-sized sack with her. Just before the babies hatch she builds a silk tent and puts them inside for protection. Feeds on flies and other small insects. It uses quick sprinting and strength to overpower its prey.

Smooth Spangle Gall - Neuroterus albipes
Sue & Roy Aug 2017

These galls are caused by the asexual generation of the gall wasp Neuroterus albipes (the sexual generation produces tiny egg-shaped galls between leaf nodes in the spring) and are never found in large numbers on a single leaf. Found on the underside of oak leaves, they measure up to 5mm across, are thin, flat, and hairless, and have a slightly raised rim. Their colour is cream or pale green but some specimens can have a dark pink red rim or blotches..

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015 blue & black

Common Orb Weaver Spider - Metellina segmentata
Comb-footed Spider - Enoplognatha ovata
Cucumber Green Orb Spider - Araniella cucurbitina sensu lato
European Garden Spider - Araneus diadematus
Knopper Gall - Andricus quercuscalicis
Linyphia hortensis
Nail Gall - Eriophyes tiliae
Nursery Web Spider - Pisaura mirabilis
Robin's Pin Cushion - Diplolepis rosae
Smooth Spangle Gall - Neuroterus albipes
Spider - Linyphia triangularis
Sycamore Gall - Aceria macrohycha
 
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Trees, Shrubs & Climbers

Apple - Malus pumila
JohnF Aug 2017

The apple tree (Malus pumila, commonly and erroneously called Malus domestica) is a deciduous tree in the rose family best known for its sweet, pomaceous fruit, the apple. It is cultivated worldwide as a fruit tree, and is the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions.

Ash - Fraxinus excelsior
Sue & Roy

The leaves are not single leaves but are compound and made up of several “leaflets”. They are lance shaped with slightly toothed edges. Leaflets are arranged in pairs with an odd one at the end.
The bark is smooth and grey with fissures that appear as it grows older. The colour of the bark is thought to give the tree it’s name.
Distinctive black winter buds produce shoots and dense clusters of small purple flowers.
Flowers can be male, female or both. Purple catkin female flowers ripen and grow into seeds called “keys”. So called because they look like old fashioned keys. They spin in the wind so are also called “spinners”.
Blackthorn - Prunus spinosa
John F April 2018

Blackthorn is very thorny. It makes a good hedgerow plant (together with hawthorn, gorse and holly) as it creates impenetrable thickets and therefore provides good protection for a whole range of wildlife. Many plants grow beneath it as they are protected there from grazing animals. Birds build their nests among its branches and small mammals like hedgehogs find safe shelter below its dense canopy.
The white flowers have 5 petals. The flowers are white and appear very early in the spring before the shoots. They are one of the first sources of nectar and pollen in the spring.

Bullace - Prunus insititia
John F March 2018

The bullace is a variety of plum. It bears edible fruit similar to those of the damson, and like the damson is considered to be a strain of the insititia subspecies of Prunus domestica. Although the term has regionally been applied to several different kinds of "wild plum" found in the United Kingdom, it is usually taken to refer to varieties with a spherical shape, as opposed to the oval damsons.
Unlike nearly all damsons, bullaces may be either "white" (i.e. yellow or green) or "black" (i.e. blue or purple) in colour, and ripen up to six weeks later in the year. Though smaller than most damsons, bullaces are much larger than the closely related sloe. Their flavour is usually rather acidic until fully ripe.














Cherry Plum - Prunus cerasifera
Sue & Roy Aug 2017

A species of plum known by the common names cherry plum and myrobalan plum.
The fruit is an edible drupe, 2–3 cm in diameter, ripening to yellow or red from early July to mid-September. They are self-fertile but can also be pollinated by other Prunus varieties such as the Victoria plum. The plant propagates by seed or by suckering, and is often used as the rootstock for other Prunus species and cultivars.





John F April 2018

Wild types are large shrubs or small trees reaching 8–(12) m (25–40 feet) tall, sometimes spiny, with glabrous, ovate deciduous leaves 3–7 cm (1.5–2.5 inches) long. It is one of the first European trees to flower in spring, often starting in mid-February before the leaves have opened. The flowers are white or pale pink and about 2 cm (0.8 inches) across, with five petals and many stamens.

Crab Apple - Malus sylvestris
John F Sept 2017

one of the ancestors of the cultivated apple (of which there are more than 6,000 varieties), it can live to up to 100 years. Mature trees grow to around 10m in height. They have an irregular, rounded shape and a wide, spreading canopy. With greyish brown, flecked bark, trees can become quite gnarled and twisted, especially when exposed, and the twigs often develop spines. This 'crabbed' appearance may have influenced its common name, 'crab apple'.
The crab apple is one of the few host trees to the parasitic mistletoe, Viscum album, and trees are often covered in lichens

Dogwood - Cornus sanguinea
Sue & Roy 20130704

Mature trees can grow to 10m. The bark is grey and smooth with shallow ridges which develop with age, and its twigs are smooth, straight and slim. 
Leaf buds are black and look like bristles, forming on short stalks. The fresh green, oval leaves are 6cm long, have smooth sides and characteristic curving veins. They fade to a rich crimson colour before falling in autumn.
Dogwood is hermaphrodite, meaning the male and female reproductive parts are contained within the same flower. The flowers are small with four creamy white petals, and produced in clusters. After pollination by insects, the flowers develop into small black berries sometimes called 'dogberries'.
Elder - Sambucus nigra
John F June 2017

The elder is common throughout the UK, being found in woodlands and hedgerows. It is also found growing on ‘waste ground’ and may be regarded as a ‘weed’ by some. The flowers of the elder are often gathered for the making of elderflower tea (also, are much visited by insects), and the berries for elderflower wine. Birds consume the berries and thereby assist in the dispersal of the seeds.
The tree or shrub is often covered with a profusion of tiny white flowers in the spring, which give rise to the purple elderberries later in the year.
The timber of elder is quite soft – but was used in the past for carving and wood whittling.
Field Maple - Acer campestree
Sue & Roy

Field Maple is a relatively small tree, often found in hedgerows and woodland edges. Its leaves turn a rich, golden-yellow in the autumn, but for the rest of the year, it is quite inconspicuous. It produces large, winged seeds that are dispersed by the wind in the autumn. It has recently become a popular tree for towns and cities as it is tolerant of pollution.
Field Maple has dark green, five-lobed leaves, which are smaller, more oblong and have more rounded lobes than the leaves of Sycamore. The bark of Field Maple twigs becomes corky with age.
Grey Willow - Salix cinerea subsp oleifolia
John F March 2018

Grey willow and other broader-leafed species of willow (including goat willow) are sometimes referred to as 'sallows'. Goat willow is known as ‘great sallow’ and grey willow as ‘common sallow’. Both species are also sometimes called 'pussy willow' after the silky grey female flowers, which resemble a cat's paws.
The leaves unlike most willows are oval rather than long and thin. However, unlike goat willow, the leaves are at least twice as long as they are wide. They have a fine silver felt underneath (hence its name) with rusty hairs beneath the veins.

Hazel - Corylus avellana
John F Aug 2017

Hazel is so bendy in spring that it can be tied in a knot without breaking. Bees find it difficult to collect hazel pollen and can only gather it in small loads. This is because the wind pollinated hazel has pollen that is not sticky and actually repels one grain against another. It is often coppiced, but when left to grow, trees can reach a height of 12m, where it can live for up to 80 years (if coppiced, hazel can live for several hundred years). It has a smooth, grey-brown, bark, which peels with age, and bendy, hairy stems. Leaf buds are oval, blunt and hairy.
Hazel is monoecious, meaning that both male and female flowers are found on the same tree, although hazel flowers must be pollinated by pollen from other hazel trees. The yellow male catkins appear before the leaves and hang in clusters, from mid-February. Female flowers are tiny and bud-like with red styles. Once pollinated by wind, the female flowers develop into oval fruits, which hang in groups of one to four. They mature into a nut with a woody shell surrounded by a cup of leafy bracts (modified leaves).
Pendunculate Oak - Quercus robur
Sue & Roy

The English oak has assumed the status of a national emblem. As common oaks mature they form a broad and spreading crown with sturdy branches beneath. Their open canopy enables light to penetrate through to the woodland floor, allowing bluebells and primroses to grow below. Their smooth and silvery brown bark becomes rugged and deeply fissured with age. Oak tree growth is particularly rapid in youth but gradually slows at around 120 years. Oaks even shorten with age in order to extend their lifespan.
Its fruit, commonly known as acorns, are 2–2.5cm long, borne on lengthy stalks and held tightly by cupules (the cup-shaped base of the acorn). As it ripens, the green acorn takes on a more autumnal, browner colour, loosens from the cupule and falls to the canopy below.
Most acorns will never get the chance to germinate, they are rich food source, eaten by many wild creatures including jays, mice and squirrels. Acorns need to germinate and root quickly to prevent drying out or becoming victims of the harvest. Following successful germination, a new sapling will appear the following spring.
Spindle - Euonymus europaea
John F Sept 2017

For most of the year spindle (Euonymus europaeus) is an inconspicuous shrub or small tree most commonly found on base-rich soils, but in the autumn as it leaves start to turn red it produces spectacular pink fruits which split open to reveal bright orange seeds. This autumn display ensures that spindle is frequently planted by park-managers and others who believe that native shrubs are more ‘worthy’ than non-natives even if the native is planted well outside its natural range of distribution. Thus spindle is becoming more widespread throughout the British Isles.

Bio Blitz ---- 26-06-2015 blue & black

Apple - Malus pumila
Ash - Fraxinus excelsior
Beech - Fagus sylvatica
Bird Cherry - Prunus padus
Blackthorn - Prunus spinosa
Bramble - agg. Rubus fruticosus agg.
Cherry Laurel - Prunus laurocerasus
Cherry Plum - Prunus cerasifera
Common Lime - Tilia platyphyllos x cordata = T. x europaea
Crab Apple - Malus sylvestris
Crack-willow - Salix fragilis
Dog-rose - Rosa canina
Dogwood - Cornus sanguinea
Elder - Sambucus nigra
English Elm - Ulmus procera
Field Maple - Acer campestre
Field-rose - Rosa arvensis
Goat Willow - Salix caprea
Grey Willow - Salix cinerea subsp. cinerea
Guelder Rose - Viburnum opulus
Hawthorn - Crataegus monogyna
Hazel - Corylus avellana
Holly - Ilex aquifolium
Horse Chestnut - Aesculus hippocastanum
Ivy - Hedera helix
Midland Hawthorn - Crataegus laevigata
Pear - Pyrus communis
Pedunculate Oak - Quercus robur
Red Currant - Ribes rubrum
Rowan - Sorbus aucuparia
Silver Birch - Betula pendula
Snowberry - Symphoricarpos albus
Spindle - Euonymus europaeus
Swedish Whitebeam - Sorbus intermedia
Sycamore - Acer pseudoplatanus
Wild Cherry - Prunus avium
Wild Privet - Ligustrum vulgare
Wych Elm - Ulmus glabra
Yew - Taxus baccata

Woodlice, Crustaceans

Bio Blitz ------ 26-06-2015

Common Rough Woodlouse - Porcellio scaber
Common Shiny Woodlouse - Oniscus asellus
Pill Woodlouse - Armadillidium vulgare
Water Hog-louse - Asellus aquaticus
 

WANTED PICTURES OF LNR FLORA & FAUNA
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Species information gathered from various sources.

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