South Brent island

There were loads of common red soldier beetles on hogweed and yarrow at the Island.   This is a broad centurion, a type of soldier fly. They are called soldier flies because of their brightly coloured ‘uniforms’. Broad centurion males have bronze abdomens, like this one. Females have blue-green abdomens. This moth is a beautiful golden Y….


This is cheating a bit, but I couldn’t resist taking photos of flowers while at a conference in Helsinki. Lupins were stunning on the roadside verges from the airport to the city, and in Helsinki’s parks, along with lilac and occasional wild pansies. Lots of flowers on the island of Suomenlinna, including some interesting plants…


In woods near South Brent last weekend, we saw five specimens of the rare greater butterfly orchid. Many thanks are due to the man walking dogs who offered to show us the first one. There was also a specimen of rather late early purple orchid. Beaked hawksbeard Common sorrel Marsh thistles


At Bantham last weekend, admiring the large clumps of kidney vetch, sheep’s bit, thrift and sea campions seemingly growing out of bare rock on the cliffs. The most exciting find was a somewhat sorry looking specimen of the Nationally Scarce balm-leaved figwort. Annoyingly, I failed to get a decent photo of the flowers but you can…

Nearer the sea

Several specimens of common ramping fumitory close to Marldon football pitch and a good example of hedge mustard. In Plymouth, there was some musk storksbill near the underpass between North Cross and Armada Way.

Ugborough Beacon to Aish

A lovely varied walk around Ugborough Beacon to Three Barrows and back to Moorhaven via Corringdon Ball and Aish.  The grass on the more sheltered eastern face of Ugborough Beacon was full of heath milkwort in colours ranging from ultramarine through white to pink. I checked the bracken above Peek Moor gate to see if…

Saints’ days

Lots of bluebells at Andrew’s Wood nature reserve on St George’s day, some brimstone butterflies, and a bloody nosed beetle slowly walking across the path. Daldinia concentrica helps decompose ash trees. This fungus is called King Alfred’s cakes after the king who was left minding the cakes baking in a cottage where he was hiding…

Zempson again

I found some more photos from White Oxen and Zempson on my camera, which is temporarily indisposed. There was a chiffchaff singing from the treetop – chiff chaff chiff chiff chaff – lots of crosswort, moschatel, yellow archangel and bluebells, and the first bush vetch I’ve seen this year. A frog visited on 8th April, cooling…

White Oxen and Zempson

Lots of crosswort in the damp meadows at White Oxen and hedgerows around Zempson. The first early purple orchids are flowering, and the first ragged robin, bugle, buttercups, and yellow pimpernel. Also in flower were lady’s smock, bog stitchwort, cornsalad, primroses, common dog violets, sticky mouse-ear, wavy bittercress, thale cress, daisies, germander speedwell, red dead-nettle and red campions….

Andrew’s Wood

A solitary brimstone butterfly at DWT Andrew’s Wood nature reserve this morning. Bees were buzzing and there was lots of bog stitchwort already flowering.

Bovey Heathfield

A walk last Sunday around Devon Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves at Bovey Heathfield, Little Bradley Ponds, and Chudleigh Knighton Heath. There were lots of stonechats on the heath, and Canada geese on the ponds. There was also an interesting nest, apparently made entirely from grey lichen, with a perfect circle of lichen on the ground…

White violets

All along the southern verge of Bittaford Road, from Bittaford to the station, there are big clumps of sweet violets. All are white rather than purple. There is also a cowslip. At White Oxen, some purple violets (common dog violets), red dead-nettle, and carpets of golden saxifrage and barren strawberries. Also two fallow deer and a…