Nature Photography from Somerset and beyond
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Category — Wildlife

Thurlbear

Back in July during one of the few sunny days of the summer I visted Somerset Wildlife Trusts reserve at Thurlbear Wood near Taunton with a work experience student to undertake some botanical surveys. The reserve is a wonderful mix of oak/ash woodland and wildflower rich glades.

Although a bit of a distant memory Mid-Summer is a great time of year at the reserves with many flowers such as scabious in their full glory and plenty of burnet moths and marbled whites on the wing.

Here are a few photos of some of the flowers and insects as a pleasant reminder that the summer wasn’t all rain as the weather cools and we head into the autumn.

September 12, 2012   No Comments

Ringdown, Yarty Moor and More

Having recently moved house to a different part of the county I was pleased to discover that my route home from the office now takes me directly past Somerset Wildlife Trust reserve at Yarty Moor and it is an almost insignificant detour to visit another of their reserves at Ringdown.

Both reserves are typical of the blackdown hills in particular the springs and seepages associated with the geology of the area.

We started our visit exploring ringdown the reserve has a rich and diverse flora associated with the complex geology ranging from meadows with frequent orchids, bugle and luzula

meadow-ringdown

to mires with rare fungi such as Mitrula paludosa. This specimen is one of only 5 records of this species in the county and the first outside of Exmoor.

mitrula-paludosa-st17771547-11-05-12

another treat for us at ringdown was this sexton or burying beetle (Nicrophorus sp.) and the first time I have ever seen. this genus burys carcasses of small mammals and birds and one buried lays their eggs on the corpse.

sexton-beetle-nicrophorus-sp-ringdown

Yarty Moor is part of the wider Deadman SSSI and is one of the best examples of a mixed valley mire in the county. Full of bog pools and wet grassland. With species such as the round leaved sundew present.

roundleaved-sundew-yarty-moor

Overall these are 2 fantastic and somewhat hidden reserves that I am keen to return to to see interesting rarities such as Bogbean and Pale Butterwort when they come into flower.

June 2, 2012   No Comments

Wheatear

Out surveying on the Brue Valley today. Found some great birds despite carrying out botanical surveys. The one saving grace of having to walk up and down droves to get to fields is the diversity of Avian Fauna on show.

Wheatear

Todays ticks included 2 juvenile yellow wagtails (a new species for me), 4 linnent, a small flock of starlings mobbing a kestrel and a wheatear perched on round bale silage.

Driving along the drove on the otherside of the field a wheatear (possibly the same one) was perched on a gatepost. I had my camera in the car rather than in the boot and was able to get these photos.

August 16, 2011   No Comments

Reptiles on Mendip

Back towards the end of March when Spring was just begining to spring I spent some time photographing reptiles at a well known site on the Mendip Hills.

There are some great reptile sites round here (particularly earlier in the year when species are emerging from hibernation) and it is possible to see the full cohort of local reptiles (adders, grass snakes, common lizards and slow worms) in a very short space of time.

May 17, 2011   No Comments