North Petherwin 24 May 2008

Report by Gill Nichols.... A select few (eight) gathered in the early afternoon at Brazacott to enjoy a walk set up for us by Iain and Serina Bell. The terrain was rich, rolling, wooded pasture, full of hedgerow flowers. The main task was to spot as many creatures and any particularly interesting flora as possible as this was relatively unchartered territory.

We covered a reasonable four miles or so, dipping two streams: one full of life – mayfly larvae, leech, diving beetle, a tiny but particularly lively brown trout and lots of other diminutive creatures I didn't write down! The other sadly was obviously polluted by some agricultural run-off, giving it a milky look and offered up dead mayfly larvae.

We heard or saw: swallow, chaffinch, greenfinch, house sparrow, woodpecker, dunnock; speckled wood butterfly, large and small white, orange tip, red admiral; Sue pointed out common carpet moth, silver y moth, green carpet and a type of lacewing which was particularly beautiful under a magnifying glass but looked just a hazy blue with the eye.

In the grounds of Penhele Estate, where Serina kindly proffered refreshment, there were positively hosts of beautiful demoiselle and plenty of iridescent green dock leaf beetle.

Jenny identified sanicle and spotted scarlet pimpernel and we saw a type of vetch which had a curious plump leaf – it could be Lthyrus Maritimus (sea pea) according my Concise British Flora, what with global warming et al, and there was a particularly fine cluster of bright yellow bracket fungus (Laetiporus sulphurous) on an ancient oak tree.

It was a great walk in itself and strolling through the grounds of Penhele was a first for me, so that was a bonus, particularly with the rhododendrons still in all their glory.
Thanks Brian once more for being the energy force behind it all.

The images below so far are from Sue, Iain and Brian. Please send us your own images, ideally cropped to the standard size (13 by 18) and exported in Picasa to 320 pixels at normal quality. More habitat pictures on the Event Details


Sanicle (Sue)River Dipping (Sue)Mayfly LarvaTrout Fry 2"stream Dipping (IB)Green Carpet Moth (Sue)Common Carpet Moth (Sue)Cardinal Beetle (Sue)Sanicle flower (brian)Comon Vetch Flower (brian)Common Vetch (brian)Sue captiring the Cardinal Betle on fileLacewing (brian)Walk images 1The Group Butterfly WatchingWalk images 2Approaching the Trout StreamWalk images 4Walk images 5Pete keeps the cows away while we escape!The Last leg -how big was the trout?

Calendar Event associated:
Species Seen:
The Lacewing is probably Dichochrysa ventralis or Mallada ventralis in older reports (IMc). Reported by Serina: banded demoiselles and a greater spotted woodpecker near the ford. A roe deer in the fields to the north of the lane, down towards Caudworthy Water between the ford and Penrose and treecreepers in the woodland at Penrose Green. Listed by Jonathan: Butterflies: Speckled Wood, Peacock, Red Admiral, Common Blue Plants: Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), Sanicle (Sanicula europaea) Bluebell, Foxglove, Common Speedwell, Red Campion, Milkmaid, Common Figwort, Common Mouse-ear, Greater Stitchwort, Herb-Robert, Common Vetch, Honey Suckle, Hedge-parsley, Silverweed, Water Dropwort Other Species: Dragon flies, Damsel flies, Trout fry (Caudworthy Water Stream), Mayfly Nymph, Caseless Caddisfly Nymph, Stonefly Nymph.