Friday 31 July 2020

The Axe

White-legged Damselfly - male.

Chris Townend  and I met at Lower Bruckland Ponds this morning, in a speculative attempt for Lesser Emperor. Unfortunately no Lesser Emperors but time spent at this idyllic site never feels wasted, and the weather was perfect. Afterwards we had a quick look at the Axe's charismatic White-legged Damselflies before wandering along below the cliffs in search of butterflies. The target Wood Whites were easy enough to find but could have been a bit easier to photograph! Great to spend time with Chris and lovely as always to get over to the Axe.

Small Red-eyed Damselfly

Blue Water-speedwell

White-legged Damselfly - mating pair.

Can't remember seeing a White-legged Damselfly looking quite so pink on sections of the abdomen.


Ribbed or Tall Melilot - from what I understand you need to see the fruits to reliably tell these apart.

Dingy Skipper - good numbers of these seen at the base of the cliffs at Seaton. Common Blues, Wall and Wood Whites too.

Wood White - four or five of these seen but they were a little bit restless in hot, sunny conditions.

Thursday 30 July 2020


Rock Rose
Orcombe early on - 1 Garden Warbler and a fly-over Grey Heron the highlights. Five Redshank on Exmouth beach first thing was unusual, less so the 2 Common Terns offshore.
The Mallard count has risen to 68 off Mudbank. Otherwise just 6 Whimbrel.

Six-spot Burnet on Small Scabious.

Dingy Skipper

Common Calamint

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Fen Wainscot and Pitchers

Fen Wainscot - trapped last night on the river Otter with Nick. This was one of a few Wainscot species we were hoping for - a reed bed specialist and a very smart moth, exhibiting a characteristic smooth texture to the wing and subtly different wing shape to the superficially similar Common Wainscot. Not much else trapped in quite cool conditions but Crescent was notable. A big thank you to Nick for a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

A big thank you also to Roger and Liz Hamling and their daughter Clare. They took me to see this spectacular Pitcher Plant that has been thriving on the Pebbled Heaths for years now. I've seen these peculiar carnivorous plants on wildlife programmes but to watch one ruthlessly 'consuming' flies within a couple of miles from home was incredible. It's not entirely clear which species it is but it's thought likely to be a hybrid. Either way it's an amazing looking thing.

Small Red Damselfly - male.

Oblong-leaved Sundew

Tuesday 28 July 2020

Emerald Damselfly

 Emerald Damselfly - Aylesbeare Common.


Flower spike of presumed Bog Pondweed - thank you Neil.

Great Water Plantain

Blue-tailed Damselfly
Common Toadlet

Monday 27 July 2020

Broad-leaved Helleborine

After hours and hours of searching I finally found Broad-leaved Helleborine (an Orchid) this afternoon. Not only that but it was only up the road and from a moving car! Twelve spikes in total - unbelievable!



Sunday 26 July 2020


Two juvenile Willow Warblers were feeding along hedges, in fields at the top of Gore Lane this morning.

Pale Flax - most of the wildflowers were cut with the grass a while ago, but a few remain in little patches around the edges.

Wavy Bitter-cress - growing in a damp spot on Orcombe.

Common Blue - female.
Wheatear on the dung heap this morning.

A smart flower growing in a sprawling mass, on waste ground, behind the seafront. Presumably a garden escape, but I haven't been able to work out what it is. Also pictured below. Edit - this is Duke of Argyll's Tea-tree - thanks Kev.

I'm guessing this is also out of a garden. Growing on a wall. Would appreciate help with id. Edit - Himalayan Honeysuckle - thanks again Kev.
Corn Mint - Hope I've id'd this correctly. Lu and I walked the dog from Weston to Dunscombe Cliffs this afternoon.

Nottingham Catchfly - growing out the side of a cliff - Dunscombe Cliffs. These flowers open at night time.

Dwarf Thistle - Dunscombe Cliffs.

Henbit Dead-nettle - Mudbank.

Oxford Ragwort - Mudbank.
Long-headed Poppy - Mudbank.

Long-headed Poppy - seed head.
Annual Wall-rocket - The Maer.