Archive for July, 2009

Bricket Wood

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

Yesterday morning, I spent about three hours wandering around Bricket Wood, south of St Albans in Hertfordshire (there is a village there too with the same name).  I had walked through here on the Hertfordshire Way, and passed by recently on the Ver-Colne Valley Walk.

Apart from woodland, there is a small open are that is more like a heath. I was hoping to see White Admiral and Silver Washed Fritillary butterflies. I just got a fleeting glimpe of the former, and saw none of the latter. But there were lots of Gatekeepers, Ringlets and Meadow Browns, plus a few Marbled Whites and Peacocks.

Despite my lack of success with regards seeing the target species, it was a very pleasant morning.

Wisdom teeth

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I had two wisdom teeth removed on Tuesday. It was quite painless (thankfully, as I’ve got to have the other two out in three weeks time!) but my mouth is going to be somewhat sore and tender for several days, and at the moment I can only eat ‘semi-solid’ foods.

The weather has been very indifferent, with lots of showers. So I’m not really sure when I’ll be able to do my next walk.

Flower walk to Totternhoe

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Yesterday I walked to Totternhoe and back, recording as many species of wildflowers as possible. I have written a report of what I found on the WildAboutBritain site:

The highlight was probably finding a couple of Common Broomrapes, only the second time I’ve found this peculiar parasite.

There were also loads of butterflies on the walk. Having just seen my first Gatekeeper of the year a few days ago, they are now out in force! I was seeing them almost everywhere, they were possibly the most numerous butterfly I saw. I saw at least four Commas, they seem to be doing well this year, and a couple of very faded Painted Ladies. Many Meadow Browns, Ringlets and MarbledWhites, two or three Small Tortoiseshells and a Brimstone.

I had a couple of brief showers and then it rained heavily for 10-20 minutes, starting while I was eating my lunch on top of the castle site at Totternhoe Knolls. This was at 2pm, which showed how often I’d stopped to take photos – if I’d been just walking, I’d have been back at Dunstable Downs or Bison Hill by 1.30pm!  I took pretty much the quickest way home (except I didn’t fancy the direct route up the steep slope of the Downs!), and fortunately there was no more rain.

Ivinghoe Beacon and College Lake

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Today I had arranged a meeting for members of the WildAboutBritain web site at Ivinghoe Beacon.  It was very nice to meet a few people who share my interests in wildflowers and such like. Only a small number attended (it was very much a last-minute thing, I didn’t give people much notice, and unfortunately it clashed with a similar meeting elsewhere) but we had a good time and after exploring round the Beacon most of us moved on to College Lake.

I saw six or seven flowers I’d not seen before, including Frog Orchid and Green-flowered Helleborine – this was all due to one of the guys being a real expert on the subject of wildflowers, I’d never have spotted them myself or known what they were.

I’ve written a report on the meeting along with some photos here:

Ivinghoe Beacon nature walk

Wednesday, July 1st, 2009

I spent three hours this morning going round Ivinghoe Beacon looking for wildflowers, butterflies and other wildlife. I have started two threads about it on the WildAboutBritain site, with loads of photos: