Old man’s beard or traveller’s joy climbs over other plants. The leaves are not unlike the familiar garden forms of Clematis. The leaf stalks entwine around any support to outcompete other plants.

As the plant matures, it forms woody stems and can grow to a height of 5 metres or more.

Crested Tit

Crested Tit

Crested Tits use the feeders placed near the visitor centre at Loch Garten between October and March. We saw and heard them along the surrounding paths and also had good views of Red Squirrel. The area around the car park produced the best views.

Ivy Bee

Ivy Bee

The ivy bee is a new arrival to the UK. First recorded here in 2001, it is slowly spreading north. It feeds mainly on the nectar of ivy flowers and can be seen in autumn when this plant is in bloom.

Awned canary-grass

Phalaris paradoxa is a species of grass in genus Phalaris. Common names include awned canary-grass and hood canarygrass. The spikelets are very different from those of other members of this genus.

Annual, tufted. Culms 15–100 cm tall. Uppermost leaf sheath inflated; leaf blades 2–9 mm wide; ligule 2–8 mm. Panicle dense, narrowly oblong, 4–10 cm, base enclosed in uppermost leaf sheath. Spikelets arranged in clusters composed of 1 fertile spikelet encircled by 6 sterile spikelets, clusters falling entire, sterile spikelets sometimes reduced to club-shaped clusters of glumes. Fertile spikelet: glumes 4.5–6 mm, prominently 7–9-veined, narrowly winged, wing expanded near middle into large tooth, pale green or straw-coloured with dark green stripe above tooth, apex attenuate; sterile lemmas abortive, represented by 2 minute fleshy scales at base of fertile lemma; fertile lemma elliptic, 2.8–3.2 mm, cartilaginous, shiny, sparsely pilose toward apex. Anthers 1–1.8 mm.

Awned canary-grass Phalaris paradoxa (c) Andrew P. Chick 2020
Awned canary-grass Phalaris paradoxa (c) Andrew P. Chick 2020
Awned canary-grass Phalaris paradoxa (c) Andrew P. Chick 2020

Marsh Fritillary

With such good weather I decided to try and see the marsh fritillary butterflies that are being reported in Little Scrubs meadow at Chambers Farm Wood. This is the only Lincolnshire site for these superb butterflies, their stronghold being in the south west. They have been introduced to Chambers Farm and I had heard that there been been a good emergence over the previous few weeks with approximately c300+ individuals on the wing. As soon as I walked into the meadow I saw my first, then another and then lots!

There appears to be some forestry works being undertaken at Chambers at the moment and there are a lot of notices suggesting the car parks are closed. If visiting the site, please park sensibly…..