Saturday, 19 March 2011

A Lichen-feeder on the Laund Oak

I went to visit The Laund Oak, near Bolton Abbey, this morning, a tree which is more than 800 years old!
I was lucky to find the sun shining and a Chiffchaff sang nearby as I watched a Common Buzzard fly over the adjacent hillside.
The south facing bole of the tree is covered in a myriad of lichens, closer inspection of which revealed a couple of grazing case-bearing moth larvae.
Narycia duplicella is, no doubt, under-recorded in Yorkshire and this site may be one of the most westerly records so far.
A case is shown in the lower left-hand corner of the bottom picture here, the middle picture illustrating podetia of one of the Cladonia genus of lichen.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

With frogs for their watch-dogs

There are signs of Spring in the pond. I visited Timble Ings last week and frogs were very active in the shallows, even at mid-day.
Today, I pulled a few leaves out of one of my tiny garden ponds and was surprised to find three Palmate Newts (Triturus helveticus) had already returned to the water. I shall have to purchase some more Water Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpiodes) which I have found to be their preferred vegetation for egg-laying in previous years.
The flowers in the photograph are those of Primrose (Primula vulgaris) but I almost included my first lawn Daisy (Bellis perennis) of the year which cheered me up this morning.
The Song Thrush has returned to the garden.
Why the title? I noticed in the stats section of the blog that lines from poems attract the most visitors!