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Horses hoof fungus Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: May 17, 2015, 11:50am
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Whilst photographing bluebells in King's Wood I came across this Silver Birch tree with an unusual number of horses hoof fungus in a short stretch of the trunk. I count 14.

Re: wood anemones and bluebells Posted by: Tim Prosser
Date Posted: April 11, 2015, 4:15pm
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Pictures...

wood anemones and bluebells Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: April 9, 2015, 6:23pm
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The  floor of Shaw Wood is covered with  fresh green leaves of bluebells and the first few flowers are beginning to appear. In amongst the bluebells are patches of pristine Wood Anemones.

Adders on Hatfield Moors Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: March 18, 2015, 4:41pm
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On a RSPB foray on Tuesday 17th March, we saw several female adders in several locations and a pair of male and female adders coiled up together. The weather was reasonably warm and the snakes were lying in front of silver birch log piles.

Don Gorge Bat Survey 2015 Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: March 6, 2015, 5:24pm
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On Saturday 17th January 2015,12 members of the South Yorkshire Bat Group and Derek Allen of the Doncaster Naturalists' Society met at Conisbrough for the first of two visits.
The Viaduct over the River Don was crossed to Cadeby where the former railway tunnel and the cave in the quarry above the former Earth Centre were checked. No bats were found but Herald moths, Peacock butterflies and Cave spiders were recorded. The group then moved to Levitt Hagg where the tunnels under the Doncaster- Sheffield railway were surveyed. These yielded three bats namely a Daubenton's, a Natterer's and a Whiskered/ Brandt's. There were also some Herald moths and Cave spiders. Three former lime kilns were also surveyed and yielded 3  Brown Long Eared and one Whiskered/Brandt's.
A second visit was made on Sunday 8th February 2015. The Cadeby rail tunnel yielded a Daubenton's and the quarry cave yielded a Brown Long Eared. There were also Herald moths, Peacock butterflies and cave spiders.
The Levitt Hagg tunnels yielded 2 Brown Long Eared, 2 Daubenton's and one Natterer's. A number of Herald moths, Peacock butterflies and Cave spiders were also seen.
The former lime kilns yielded a Natterer's and a Whiskered/Brandt's.
Written by Derek Allen

AGM Potteric Carr- January 24th 2015 Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: January 25, 2015, 10:11am
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The first meeting of Doncaster Naturalists took place at 10am Sedum House, Potteric Carr on 24th January. We started with refection on one of our Lifetime members , Dorothy Bramley, who died recently. She was highly regarded by all those who knew her as Past President, Botanist and Botanical Artist amongst other talents. We took a few minutes silence to remember her.
Several issues were discussed, not least the responsibilities of the President, Louise Hill , who has been president for more years than was intended. She would ideally have liked to relinquish her position but since no one came forward to take over the role  a discussion  began on how the members could support her by taking over some of the roles she has been currently performing. Several members offered to take on more responsibility but the exact nature of that needs to be confirmed in the fullness of time as we see practically how we can reduce the amount of time required for Louise to continue as President. Colin Wall resigned his post as Committee Member and was replaced by Margaret Prior. We also decided to pursue the purchase of a generator for Moth Trapping.The meeting ended at 12 o'clock giving us ample time to walk down to the Cafe for lunch. Suitably refreshed, we decided to walk round the reserve taking in the newest hides. Our first sighting was of a fox which very kindly took a break in his travels to bask at the edge of the wood giving us a very clear view. During the walk we had sightings of a number of birds notably shoveller, gadwall, shelduck, cormorant, tufted duck, lapwing  and teal. As we made our way back through the woods Louise pointed out several plants of a lovely delicate fern known as  Black Spleenwort (Asplenium adiantum-nigrum ).We then called at the cafe for a quick drink before meeting up on the boardwalk round the corner from Sedum House for the purpose of observing the Murmeration of Starlings. We were not disappointed. Shortly after arriving we began to see starlings coming together, first in small groups and then  joining together as one, sweeping backwards and forwards across the sky, almost disappearing then the mass of birds changing shape and looking denser as they came closer to where we were standing. It was a magnificent sight to watch and the first time I had seen such a gathering starting from the beginning. With only a few minutes to spare we left Potteric Carr having had a very enjoyable day!

Re: Moths Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: September 12, 2014, 10:28am
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Here are the photos!

Moths Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: September 12, 2014, 7:06am
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On Tuesday September 9th 2014 I set my Heath actinic trap up in my garden and among the usual moths i.e. common rustic, large yellow underwing and garden carpet, I found three moths of particular note. The first was a really good specimen of Old Lady, Mormo maura, which looked exactly like the one in the Concise Guide. I had previously caught two specimens of Old Lady when I set the trap on Sept 4th but they were quite worn and I didn't immediately recognise them as Old Ladys.  These moths are quite large and lovely to see.
The second was a straw coloured moth the same shape as a large yellow underwing. It displayed  yellow underwings as it flew away so I was directed to the underwing page in the book where I found the picture of a female lesser yellow underwing. So after receiving confirmation from another moth enthusiast  I was able to record my first sighting of a very nice female lesser yellow underwing, Noctua comes. The third was a rather nice specimen of Centre-barred Sallow, Atethmia centrago which I had seen previously as a day flying moth.

Re: Crimpsall Island June 11th 2013 Posted by: Louise Hill
Date Posted: June 12, 2013, 8:49pm
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Here are a couple of my photos from a very enjoyable day:

The first party being rowed across the island (this is before the rowlock broke!), surveyors at work recording the habitats and species on the island and finally a photo of the rain-fed pond in the middle of the island.








Crimpsall Island June 11th 2013 Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: June 12, 2013, 6:38pm
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On Tuesday four members of the NATS  crossed over the River Don to survey Crimpsall Island, created some years ago to modify the course of the Don to create a more suitable flow of water for salmon coming up the river. The only means of access is by boat so we were rowed across and left on the island for several hours before being picked up again. The bankside was fairly steep and in most places covered in nettles  so the most suitable place with less nettles was chosen to land. Even then the first person across had to trample down the vegetation in order to create a path away from the bankside. The vegetation on most parts of the island was around waist height and we had to trample our way though the nettles, thistles and brambles. Surprisingly it wasn't as hard as one might think and once created walking in one direction the way back was much easier! The most dominant of the plants in flower was red campion which appeared in masses over the island. Louise recorded species of plants, trees, insects and birds with the help of Pip and Colin and an occasional contribution from myself. For me the most interesting sighting was a male Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) feeding amongst the undergrowth. I understand that their usual habitat is near running water especially around lowland rivers with lots of bankside vegetation which certainly described the island. I was quite surprised that I could get so close to the Demoiselle without it alighting. Seeing this species prompted me to read more about them and so now I know there are only two species in the Genus Calopteryx; Banded Demoiselle and Beautiful Demoiselle both of which have coloured wings the male Banded Demoiselle having a broad dark blue band across its wing starting at the nodus (the dip on the upper edge of the wing whereas in the very similar male Beautiful Demoiselle the band starts above the nodus closer to the body. After reaching the edge of the island furthest away from the landing spot we made our way back for the short crossing back. Afterwards my legs tingled for a while having been stung several times by the nettles! Despite that drawback I really enjoyed the visit especially crossing the river, finding a way up the side of the bank and wondering what we might find.  

Male Banded Demoiselle Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: June 12, 2013, 5:44pm
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On Tuesday 11th June whilst surveying Crimpsall Island we came across a most beautiful member of the Order Odonata, Sub order Zygoptera (damselflies);a male Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens) feeding amongst the undergrowth. It was my first sighting of a demoiselle and I was very impressed with its  coloured wings and highly metallic looking body. Only two species of damselflies have obviously coloured wings and both belong to the Genus Calopteryx. Male Banded Damoiselles have a broad dark blue-black spot or band across the wing which starts at the nodus( the slight dip midway down the upper edge of the wing. In the very similar species Beautiful Demoiselles the dark starts before the nodus further towards the body. During courtship the male flicks its wings showing off the dark blue band in the centre of each. They settle on a suitable prominent leaf that shows them off to good advantage and flick their wings at the female. Both species of Demoiselles need running water to live and breed and are found around lowland rivers with lots of bankside vegetation. Crimpsall Island is obviously one such place. The specimen in this photograph was found lowdown in vegetation and remained stationary for quite a while.

Green Shield bugs mating Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: June 7, 2013, 5:28pm
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These two Green shield bugs were found mating on the flower stalk of a rhubarb plant on an allotment at Hyde Park. Although the sexes are similar in appearance the female on the left is larger than the male. The adults emerge from hibernation in May and mate in June. As with most bugs they mate "back to back."

Bleeding canker of Horse Chestnut Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: May 10, 2013, 8:36am
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This photo was taken at Angler's Country Park on May 7th 2013 . It shows patches of Horse Chestnut bark infected by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pathovar aesculi. Part of the dead bark has been peeled away to show the internal damage. Go to http://www.opalexplorenature.org for further information.

Bleeding Canker of Horse Chestnut Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: May 10, 2013, 8:30am
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This photograph of Bleeding canker of Horse Chestnut was taken at Angler's Country Park on May 7th 2013. The canker is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pathovar aesculi, which appeared in this country in the early 2000s. An infected tree will show characteristic rust coloured spots typically at the bottom of the tree where it kills the bark. The host produces a toxin in response to the attack and this manifests as a thick sticky gum which dries to a black crust at the point of exit. At these places the outer bark is easily peeled away. The tree will typically produce side branches lower than the canker.Severely affected trees have thinning crowns with dead branches and can die if the infection is severe, otherwise they can still be growing 10 years hence.

Fungi at Sprotbrough Flash Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: March 30, 2013, 11:30am
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This photograph of Scarlet Elf Cup was found by the side of the path running through the reserve on March 28th this year.

Potteric Carr in the snow Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: January 22, 2013, 6:53pm
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After the AGM on Saturday 19th of January several members braved the snowy conditions and walked round the reserve. Here are some photos taken on the walk,

Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit 23rd May 2012 Posted by: Louise Hill
Date Posted: August 21, 2012, 1:14pm
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Had an interesting visit to Kiplingcotes Chalk Pit (YWT Reserve) after the YNU Botany outing to North Cliffe Wood on the 23rd May.

The floor of the quarry had masses of bird's-foot trefoil, some of which seemed to have and infestation of the gall Contarinia loti which causes a deformity of the flower bud.




Re: Upton Country Park Posted by: Louise Hill
Date Posted: August 21, 2012, 1:07pm
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Here a a few more photos taken by Nats member  Tom Higginbottom.

Upton Country Park Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: June 29, 2012, 7:14pm
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On June 24th, 6 members of Doncaster Nats met at Upton Country Park in West Yorkshire. This park was  created on Upton Colliery reclaimed pit top. At the car park end of the site is a lake round which there are several fishing platforms. In the early years Swans ,Canada geese, Mallards Coots and Moorhens nested on the lake but in recent years Swans and Geese have been shot at and on our visit there was no sign of either. We did however have wonderful views of two common terns.  As we began our walk through the park we happened to meet one of the local residents who told us he spends many hours there each day taking photographs and noting the presence of various species. He  was pleased to meet up with botanists who could help with identification of species he wasn't sure about and volunteered to show us where to look for orchids as well as giving us a potted history of the site. He also told us that he was involved in plans to manage the site since there were many small trees which left to grow would take over the areas where the orchids were growing. We were  thrilled to find many examples of bee orchids, common spotted orchids and southern marsh orchids as well as  many other species. There were many different grasses and sedges to be found. Dog daisies and hop trefoil were very common.Some of the plants of interest were sainfoin, pepper saxifrage,flowering rush, ragged robin. meadow cranesbill and smooth tare. Besides the fishing lake there were two other ponds with interesting water species growing round the margins. Overall we were very impressed by the site and thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

Re: Sandall Beat Dawn Chorus Walk 06-05-2012 Posted by: Louise Hill
Date Posted: May 9, 2012, 1:24pm
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Full Report of the Walk:

Dawn Chorus 6th May 2012

DNS Trip to Sandall Beat 4.30 - 6.30am

Weather Conditions:  Very chilly, frosty dry with low mists but clear skies.  Already getting light on arrival.
Temperature at 4.30am -1.4OC  in Wheatley Hills rising to 0.3OC by 6.30am. Temperatures in Sandall Beat likely to be a couple of degrees lower.  Elders, young rowans and sycamores within woodland with limp frosted leaves.

Recording Station 1 Car Park  SE 60969 03740
2 Robin
1 Woodpigeon
1 Blackbird
1 Pheasant (Distant)
1 Blackbird (Distant)

Later (on return)
1 Blackcap
1 Chaffinch

Recording Station 2 SE 61000 03810
2 Robin
1 Blackbird

Recording Station 3 (Ride) SE 61052 03875
1 Blackbird
1 Robin (warning/alarm calls)
1 Pheasant (Distant)

Recording Station 4 (Bench) SE 31073 03920
1 Blue Tit
2 Robin
1 Blackbird (Alarm)
1 Woodpigeon (Distant)
1 Cockerel (Distant)

Recording Station 5 (Ride) SE 61165 03987
1 Great Tit
1 Blackbird singing and another seen
1 Blue Tit
1 Pheasant (Distant)
1 Woodpigeon (Distant)
1 Cockerel (Distant)

1 Crow calling between stations


Recording Station 6 SE 61105 04153
1 Wren
1 Blackcap
1 Great Tit
1 Blackbird (Distant)
1 Cockerel (Distant)
1 Blackbird (Distant alarm call)

Recording Station 7 (Near Post 5) SE 61117 04235
2 Great Tit
1 Robin
1 Blue Tit
1 Wren (Distant)
1 Blackbird (Distant)
1 Cockerel (Distant)

Recording Station 8 (Bridge on Main Ride) SE 61187 04283
1 Great Tit
1 Blackbird
1 Woodpigeon
1 Wren
1 Crow (calling from nest?)
1 Cockerel (Distant)

Recording Station 9 (Ride Corner - near footpath to Pot Hill) SE 61275 04328
2 Blackbirds Seen but not vocal
1 Dunnock seen
1 Blue Tit
1 Great Tit
1 Wren (A little way off)
1 Chaffinch
1 Green Woodpecker (Distant)

Recording Station 10 (Holly near Post 8 ) SE 61340 04228
2 Great Tits (1 near and 1 distant)
1 Blue Tit (A little way off)
1 Wren
1 Blackbird (Distant)
1 Jackdaw (Calling whilst flying over)
1 Pheasant (Distant)
1 Green Woodpecker (Distant)
1 Crow (Distant)

Recording Station 11 (Fen)  SE 61390 04085  Very little standing reed stems.
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Dunnock (On far side of fen)
1 Great Tit
1 Blue Tit
1 Mallard (Seen)
1 Magpie (Seen but not vocal)
1 Woodpigeon (Another flew off but not vocal)
1 Pheasant

Recording Station 12 (Junction with Ride) SE 61295 04045
1 Blackcap
1 Blue Tit
1 Chiffchaff (A little way off)
1 Pheasant
1 Woodpigeon (1 near and one a little way off)
1 Great Tit
1 Blackbird (Distant)
1 Jackdaw (Distant)
1 Crow (Distant)

Recording Station 13 (Fen Edge) SE 61322 03954
1 Chiffchaff
1 Wren
1 Great Tit
1 Reed (?) warbler heard from fen
1 Jay (seen)

Recording Station 14 (Railway corner) SE 61403 03757  Trees on railway edge recently cut down.  New fence along railway.
1 Blackbird (Another seen)
2 or more Blue Tits
1 Chaffinch
1 Crow
1 Pheasant (Distant)
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker (Distant - on other side of playground)
1 Whitethroat

Recording Station 15 (Bridge near Woodman's House) SE 61311 03637
1 Great Tit
1 Blackbird (Distant)
1 Wren
1 Blue Tit
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker (Distant drumming)
1 Dog - stray following us?

1 Chiffchaff (between stations)

Recording Station 16 (Bench near Beech Trees) SE 61264 03562
1 Blue Tit
1 Robin
1 Woodpigeon (Distant)
1 Blackbird (Distant)


Recording Station 17  (A new sign Post where the Yellow Pimpernel used to be) SE 61192 03470
1 Robin
1 Blue Tit
1 Green Woodpecker (Distant)
1 Crow (Distant)
2 Magpie (Distant)
1 Jay (Heard some way off together with general panic amongst local blackbirds.  Then flew over)
1 Woodpigeon (Distant)
1 Blackbird (Distant alarm)

Recording Station 18 (Main Entrance Track) SE 61158 03575  (Holly now has trimmed lower trunk.  Not much undergrowth).
1 Great Tit
1 Blue Tit
1 Blackbird
1 Dunnock/Blackcap ? (One short burst of song)
1 Green Woodpecker
1 Grey Squirrel (seen)
1 Woodpigeon (Distant)

Recording Station 19 (Near Large Beech) SE 61058 03663
1 Song Thrush
1 Blue Tit
1 Nuthatch (Seen feeding on beech tree)
1 Great Tit (A little way off)
1 Blackbird (A little way off)
1 Woodpigeon (Distant)
1 Robin (seen)
1 Green Woodpecker (Distant)
First flight from Finningley Airport took off

Additional Notes:
First Blackbird heard in Wheatley Hills at 3.45m.  Light at start (no torches needed).
No Tawny Owl or bats and only one thrush heard.  Limited number of warblers.  Drains dry despite recent rains (but dry winter).

LAH 6th May 2012

Re: Sandall Beat Dawn Chorus Walk 06-05-2012 Posted by: Louise Hill
Date Posted: May 9, 2012, 1:22pm
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Here are a couple of photos from the morning:

First, the Perigee Moon or 'Supermoon' setting over the Common 4.30am.

Second, Dawn over The Fen.

Sandall Beat Dawn Chorus Walk 06-05-2012 Posted by: Louise Hill
Date Posted: May 9, 2012, 12:54pm
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International Dawn Chorus Day

On a rather chilly May morning, a small number of hardy (or foolish!) Nats members met at 4.30am for the annual Dawn Chorus walk around Sandall Beat Wood.

As we arrived, the Perigee moon was setting over the Common and the sun rays were already starting to light up the sky over Sandall Beat Wood.  The fields and meadows around the wood were covered with a low mist and there was a sharp frost on the grass.  The blackbird Chorus was well-underway in the gardens of Intake but only one or two were singing in the wood as we started on the Woodman's Trail.

The trail starts and ends at the Straight Mile Car Park.  We stopped at regular listening points (19 in all) along the trail and recorded the number of each bird species heard singing nearby.

The blackbirds and robins were first to sing, followed by the blue tits and great tits, wren, blackcap and chaffinch.  There were a few chiffchaffs singing and green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker, jay, song thrush and crow all put in an appearance.  Unusually, no Tawny Owls were heard.

At our last stop - a large beech tree just south-east of the car park, we saw a nuthatch searching the bark of  the high canopy branches.

We finished our walk at 6.30am just as the sun rose fully above the horizon and started to melt the frosts.

Well worth the effort of getting up at 4am!



Re: Signs of Spring- 2012 Posted by: Louise Hill
Date Posted: February 27, 2012, 10:46pm
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Loud frog chorus in the pond tonight.  55 males and 16 pairs and plenty more arriving after the rain showers earlier today.

I've just reviewed the past 7 years of frog spawn dates for the back garden pond:

2005 17th March
2006 19th March
2007 26th Feb
2008 27th Feb
2009 24th Feb
2010 10th or 11th March
2011 12th March

Re: Signs of Spring- 2012 Posted by: Tim Prosser
Date Posted: February 21, 2012, 8:40am
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Coltsfoot in flower - Potteric Carr - 19/02

A hawthorn leaf - Potteric Carr - 19/02  (The Potteric hawthorns are a bit odd)

Signs of Spring- 2012 Posted by: Tim Prosser
Date Posted: February 21, 2012, 8:39am
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Here is the list again, same as last year....

Frogspawn
Red-tailed Bumblebee
7 spot Ladybird
Blackthorn Blossom
Lesser Celandine
Orange Tip
Brimstone Butterfly
Peacock Butterfly
Coltsfoot
Hawthorn in leaf
Hawthorn in flower
Chiffchaff (song)
Willow Warbler (song)
Redwing (last)
Fieldfare (last)
Swallow
Cuckoo (heard)

Old Moor Wetlands - 6th November 2011 Posted by: Tim Prosser
Date Posted: November 6, 2011, 7:27pm
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A couple from Old Moor this afternoon...

Fungi at Clumber park Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: October 15, 2011, 8:50am
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During a recent Fungi Photography morning Thursday 13th organised by Clumber Park rangers I saw these fungi plus many more within a five minute walk from Hardwick crossroads. If you're interested in fungi Clumber is a fantastic venue. Look out for Fungi Forays or Photographic mornings on their events page.

Shaggy inkcaps Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: September 23, 2011, 6:33am
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Whilst at Potteric Carr on the 17th of September I came across a large group of Shaggy Inkcaps   (Coprinus comatus) to the right of the path leading from the cafe to the car park(under the trees where the siskins are regularly seen) I thought they were of note because of the size of the group.  

Female Great spotted woodpecker Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: August 29, 2011, 1:00pm
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Female Great Spotted Woodpecker taken at Potteric Carr feeding station from the hide near to the Visitors' Centre. Note the absence of red on the nape which is present on the male bird

Devil's- bit Scabious Posted by: Nora Boyle
Date Posted: August 29, 2011, 12:52pm
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Here are a few photos of Devil's bit Scabious Succisa pratensis taken in Black Carr field at Potteric Carr on the 28th of August. When we last visited the field as a group on the 17th of August the buds were just showing. The mass of blue flower heads is immediately visible as the field comes into view from the main path.

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