Sunday, 2 March 2014

2 months down 10 to go

Normally this would be time of year when my camera gets dusted off from its winter hibernation, ready to greet the first bumblebees and butterflies of spring. This year though its already seen a fair bit of action, and by the end of February I'd reached 86 species in my attempt to photograph as many species as I can within walking distance of my house. The final species for February was a belated Blackbird which helpfully came and sat on the garden fence - hopefully I'll fill in some of the other embarrassing gaps in the bird list (such as Woodpigeon and Carrion Crow!) soon.

86: Blackbird
March started bright and sunny, so my better half and I went for a stroll round by the golf course. Some non-descript scraps of groundsel had started to put out their stubs of flowers, although I'm not sure what pollinators would be tempted by such meagre offerings.

87: Groundsel
Groundsel in its 'natural habitat'

87: Groundsel
Not much on offer!
The mossy walls were worth another look, and after identifying my first moss in the form of wall screw moss last time out, I added a second species in the form of the oddly named Grey-cushioned Grimmia. On a verge, just further along the street was one of the select group of plants I can identify, the early flowering red deadnettle.

88: Grey-cushioned Grimmia
Grey-cushioned Grimmia
89: Red Dead-nettle
Red Dead-nettle
After that there wasn't much new to see until we got to the arable farmland near the house where an unexpected sprig of ragwort was flowering. I'm not completely sure which species it is, but Oxford ragwort seems a possibility as the bracts surround the flowers are dark-tipped. I'll need to head back and get some more photos to be certain, but the nice thing about plants is that they don't go anywhere. Slightly easier to identify was the petty spurge growing along the edge of the cabbage fields, whilst shepherd's purse required a bit of ispotting to get a name.

90: Ragwort
Ragwort, but which one...
91: Petty Spurge
Petty Spurge
92: Shepherd's Purse
Shepherd's Purse

Total: 92 Species - see all the photos here

Lifelist 1292 species - new additions Petty Spurge, Grey-cushioned Grimmia, Shepherd's Purse, Red Deadnettle! and maybe Oxford Ragwort if I can confirm the id!

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