Thursday 5 August 2010

Bay Watch 04/08 - a murder mystery

Along the waggonway the hawthorn is laden with reddening berries and the grass has turned brown. Autumn is just around the corner. The bird song has gone but there's still plenty to see.............

A ripening Waggonway

Along the Waggonway Wood Pigeon feathers shows
some thing enjoyed a good meal. But what exactly?

This photo shows a two Wood Pigeon feathers, one from the above feast (left)
and one found elsewhere (right). The tip on the one on the left shows that it has been bitten through or snapped off - this is typical of a feather that has been removed by a bird of prey with a sharp beak. If it had been bitten through by a weasel then there would be very little quill left. A fox would pluck out the feathers in clumps and the tips would be broken rather than clean cut through. This was most likely a Sparrowhawk kill.

Everything seems to be getting eaten.

My walk took me to Holywell Dene where the dene is little more than a trickle.

Bracket fungi in the dene - dead wood is good wood

A huge privet in flower had well over a thousand bees
collecting pollen from it's flowers.

Here's one of them

An open area in the dene has an excellent profusion
of wild flowers, including loads of..............

Wild Geraniums

Also, Hazel nuts a plenty

Leaving Holywell Dene it was onwards to St Mary's where it was a butterfly fest.......


Small Copper

Common Blue - male

Common Blue - female


Small Tortoiseshell

Small White - male

St Mary's wetland is crammed with thistles attracting 
butterflies and many other nectar feeding insects

View from St Mary's towards Whitley Bay

Verging on the ridiculous. The council at it again, destroying wild flowers 
on the seafront verges at St Mary's. This is an SSSI!

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