27th. More autumn lady's tresses, this time in Ashton Court, west of the track dividing the golf course. Himalayan balsam is widespread and in flower.
26th. Great to see the autumn lady's tresses in flower on the Downs now. They are pollinated by bees, and one landed on a flower spike while we were there.
22nd. I used to be sceptical about the great bustard reintroduction project, but now there are about 100 birds and about 20 females laying eggs on Salisbury Plain it is looking promising. Bustards were extirpated from Wiltshire almost 200 years ago, and the bird is the crest on the county's coat of arms.
13th: St Ives Island (07.45-09.15): 1 sooty shearwater, 5 Balearic shearwater, ca. 10,000 Manx shearwater.
12th: St Ives Island (07.45-09.15): 4 sooty Shearwater, 10 Balearic shearwater, ca. 10,000 Manx shearwater, 1 Sandwich tern, 1 Mediterranean gull.
11th: (07.30-08.30): 6 common scoter W, 3 little egret E, 1 sooty shearwater.
10th. At least 5 common dolphins off the Island.
9th. (09.00-10.15) Three sooty and at least 2 Balearic shearwaters from the Island, and an ocean sunfish too. We then walked from Godrevy to Hell's Mouth cafe and back.
Lots of butterflies feeding along the coast path, including small tortoiseshell, painted lady and small copper. We saw a tatty green-veined fritillary too.
The display of saw-wort and golden rod was stunning.
Saw-wort and sea carrot
And some more plants:
Devil's bit scabious
We also saw rock sea spurry.
8th. Lizard peninsula with Kurt and Adrian. doing the usual circuit from Kynance. Our aim was to see the Cornish heath, found only on the Lizard in Britain, and autumn squill. Both were at a good stage of flowering.
Cornish heath Erica vagans
Two other members of the Ericaceae, bell heather Erica cinerea (top) and heather Calluna vulgaris (below).
The three species growing together.
Autumn squill Scilla autumnalis
Other interesting plants included Babington's leek
Black bog rush
Goldenrod, dwarfed in these exposed conditions
Rock samphire, with serpentine and Kynance Cove in the background
Sneezewort with a tachinid fly , probably Eriothrix rufomaculata
Butterflies included small pearl-bordered and green-veined fritillary, marbled white and grayling (below)
A pair of ravens descended on dropped pieces of pasty, and fulmars coasted around the cliffs.
7th. More than 5 sightings of ocean sunfish from St Ives Island. Two Balearic shearwater too.
2nd. Clifton Downs. Keeled garlic now in full flower. Holly blue and a tatty marbled white still on the wing.
1st. Woodchester Mansion, working on the greater horseshoe bats. Nettle-leaved bellflower and woolly thistle in the valley.