Promoting observation, free range exploration, sense of place and citizen science, through the field notes of a naturalist.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Scribbling in the margins

Waunafon bog
My latest biological recording excursion took me from the north of Garn Lakes Local Nature Reserve on through the disused railway cutting that forms the eastern margin of Waunafon bog. The deformed lichen encrusted fence posts that once prevented grazing animals from straying onto railway line are often good perching birds. And so it proved with meadow pipit, stonechat and a single whinchat all using these features intermittently. The most novel sight however was that of a nuthatch that took flight from a small willow only on alight onto one of these bogland fence posts. For a species normally associated with mature woodland, parks and gardens it was somewhat bizarre to see.

It was pleasing to still encounter a good variety of flowering plants complete with a number of noteworthy invertebrates. Along the disused cutting with its bed of limestone clinker was the non-native blue fleabane along with eyebright and fairy flax. These flowering plants were juxtaposed with heather, purple moor grass, bracken and willow scrub including a couple of specimens of creeping willow that seemed to prefer the edge of the railway cutting.

Butterflies were still on the wing including a number of common blue and singles of red admiral and small heath. A bog hoverfly and a caterpillar of the broom moth provided further colourful entertainment.

Fencepost nuthatch

Bog hoverfly Sericomyia silentis
Broom moth caterpillar
The railway cutting

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