Freshfield Dune Heath etc, 8/8/10

After several weeks of overcast damp weather 15 members enjoyed a warm sunny day. The Heather, Gorse and Silver Birch produced 2 fungi, The Blusher and Slippery Jack, and 6 butterflies – Small Copper, Meadow Brown, Large White, Common Blue, Peacock, Gatekeeper. Aerial interest was provided by the Kestrel, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk. Tansy was an interesting find by the railway as were the sheet webs and tubular retreats of the Labyrinth spider in the Gorse. A few small Oaks had all 3 galls – Marble, Knopper and Artichoke. A water tank had an attractive, yellow micromoth Agapeta zoegana floating on itAlong Fisherman’s Path were the Northern Tiger Beetle, a very faded Ruby Tiger moth, a Robber Fly, Grayling and Red Admiral. On the bare sand were a good dozen Russulas, mainly Purple Brittlegill, R.atropurpurea, whereas amongst the Silver Birch and Alder large specimens of Brown Rollrim attracted a lot of attention. Towards the yellow dunes Goldenrod and Carline Thistle were added. Out on the shore Sanderlings ran back and forth along the tideline as Common and Sandwich Terns flew past and over a Grey Seal which bobbed up and down. Gannets and Manx Shearwaters were way out. Dunlin and Ringed Plover poked about on the exposed silt beds.10 Lion’s Mane jellyfish were scattered about. Returning to the station up Victoria Road a Red Squirrel was up in the Pines as a tame Fox attracted an audience of daytrippers. To round things off Terry glimpsed a Hobby amongst the Swallows above us.

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