Walk report: 02 August 2018 Shatterford and Denny Wood

­­A group of 24 met for a very hot walk with Geoff and Sue across open heath towards the welcome forest shade of Denny Wood, where during our mid-walk coffee break we were joined by masses of toadlets. There was a noticeable reduction in the number of birds noted, compared to the sightings of the previous year. Pied Wagtail, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Stock Dove, Buzzard, Blackbird, Redstart, and Swallows were seen. There was evidence of a freshly excavated Green Woodpecker nest.

Potter wasp nest
A Potter Wasp (Eumenes coarctatus) nest (right) was spotted in the heather and is the only species of Potter Wasp to be found in southern England. A Digger Wasp (Ammonphila sabulosa) was later identified and a very active Hornets' nest was closely examined and photographed by our  more intrepid members.

Grayling, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood and Brimstone butterflies were seen and Common Darter, Beautiful Demoiselle and Keeled Skimmer(below right) dragonflies had sought out the scarce water sources.

Keeled Skimmer - male
Plants included Cross-leaved Heath, Bell Heather and Ling, Water-Pepper, Round-leaved Sundew, Cotton Grass, Bog Asphodel, Tormentil, White Beak-Sedge, Bog Myrtle, Purple Moor Grass, Saw-wort, Lesser Skullcap, Bulbous Rush, Butcher’s Broom, Starwort sp, Hairy Bittercress, Bog St John's Wort and Branched Bur-reed. Fungi found included Southern Bracket and Chicken-of-the-Woods.

Nuckleyosaur, Denny Woods

A new species was identified - a Nuckleyosaur (left). Remember- you were there when the history books were rewritten!! SN


Photographs © Richard Coomber

[Editors note: Unlike its relatives from the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods experts believe that this species had its origins in the early Nitroglycerin period.]