Archive for September 21st, 2007

21st September 2007, Friday

Rabbit Fencing

… or more correctly, fencing to keep Rabbits from eating the rare shingle plants!

For three years a small area of vegetated shingle, close to Ternery Pool, has been excluding Rabbits and the results are amazing. Not just the best place for Least Lettuce and Stinking Hawksbeard, but also good for Sea Pea, Herb Robert and Red Hempnettle, when these three have declined in the surrounding shingle. Today we constructed a similar fence right next to the footpath, so you will be able to see the plants more easily next year. In the photo below the area protected from Rabbits is on the left and the yellow flowers are Autumn Hawkbit.

rabbit-fence

For a map of the location…

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21st September 2007, Friday

Dungeness: The Open Pits

Dungeness is distinguished by having a number of natural wet hollows in the shingle, that over several centuries have accumulated deep deposits of peat. These support a number of plants that are rare in Kent, infact these natural shingle wetlands are very rare globally. After several decades of neglect, which resulted in much willow invasion, work started on restoring the open unshaded habitats in 1997. Annoyingly very low water levels in 2005 and 2006 resulted in the loss of bog pondweed Potamogeton polygonifolius one of several plants that reappeared following the first round of scrub clearance. This summer’s rain has restored water levels fully and on 19th September it was pleasingly almost impossible to wade into pits that are normally accessible in the summer. There have been good shows of plants typical of these pits this summer such as cotton grass Eriophorum angustifolium, marsh cinquefoil (below) Potentilla palustris, and nationally scarce marsh fern Thelypteris palustris.
marsh cinquefoil
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21st September 2007, Friday

Pannel Valley NR – Moths

The moth trap continues to hold disappointing numbers of moths. With the colder nights, the catch has dropped further. This morning the trap held 22 species but only 56 moths in total. Interesting species included two White-point, a Delicate and a Turnip. Our first Black Rustic of the autumn was also captured. 

21st September 2007, Friday

Large Hover-fly

Volucella zonaria is the largest hoverfly found in Britain, the one pictured below is a female (males have larger eyes that meet in the middle of the head) and was found in my garden yesterday evening. This scarce large hover-fly resembles a hornet, and at over an inch long can look pretty scarey if you don’t know they are harmless,(yes I did runaway at first). The adults can be seen visiting flowers, the larvae are scavengers in the nests of social wasps, including the hornet Vespo crabro.

rxvol zonDsc07958.jpg