Pond at sunset by Elena Aschiopoaiei. Thank you, Elena, for such an atmospheric picture.

Pictures, by DKG, of Tuesday’s misty morning. Click any picture to open the gallery.


butterfly spotted wood  Another gallery by DKG:

Crane Flies

There are hundreds of species of crane fly in this country and almost all of them go by the name of daddy long legs. The differences between species can be microscopically small but we think this specimen is either a common European crane fly (Tipula paludosa) or a marsh crane fly, (T. oleracea).

Read on:

One for sorrow, two for joy…

There are several families of magpies in the park. This year’s crop are, as yet, short-tailed, loud- mouthed and clumsy, hanging out in gangs and still learning to fly properly. But, despite their dramatic black and white beauty, their reputation is poor.

Read on:

Acorns

Oak trees produce thousands of acorns every year. Somebody has worked out that an oak tree can produce ten million acorns over its lifetime. In a good year, they carpet the ground under the tree.

Read on:

A letter from a park user

Dear friendsofscp,

I am on your mailing list and during the summer I visit the park with my husband and dog a minimum of 5 days a week. Sometimes every day. Not sure what will happen during the winter as days get shorter and work gets in the way.

Read on:

We are going to have to cancel the Bat and Moth Walk again; sorry.
The weather is deteriorating; the Met Office says that by 7.00pm the wind will be gusting at 40-45mph and heavy rain will be 90% certain by 9.00pm. Let’s stay home in the warm, which is probably what the bats and moths will be doing. Our apologies.

Identifying fungi

This is a picture  of a bracket fungus on an oak tree in the park. The mycelium, which is the main part of the fungus, is growing invisibly inside the tree. This beautiful outgrowth is the fruiting body, part of the fungus’s reproductive system.

Read on:

Criminal damage

The bench by the decorated bridge has been damaged and will probably have to be replaced. One of the supports has been snapped right off. There is no sign of rot in the wood; it must have taken considerable force to achieve. A bench like this one, and its installation, costs £500.

Can you help?

Roe deer

A roe deer doe, early on Sunday morning, photographed by DKG who said:

“A lovely morning in the park this Sunday. A few photos taken of three Roe Deer  spotted near the footpath leading from Studley Green; unable to get closer just in case I spooked them.”

Click here for more pictures:

Don’t forget our ragwort pulling party tomorrow, Sunday 9th. We are meeting in the car park at 10.00am and working until midday. Bring gloves.

Wasps

By this end of the summer, the workers in a wasp nest will probably have finished raising and feeding the new queen larvae. The larvae have spun caps over their cells and begun the process of pupation. This indicates a change for the nest.

Read on:

Red tailed bumblebee

Twelve year old photographer, Neave Duggan, has sent us pictures taken in the park of a male red tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) feeding on creeping thistle flowers.

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.o.

Read on:

We apologise for wrongly identifying this little bird. We thought it was a blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) but our expert has identified it as a marsh tit (Poecile palustris). This is the first sighting of a marsh tit in the park: a new name for our species lists.

Read on for more about the marsh tit

Dot Moth

A dot moth (Melanchra persicariae) caterpillar on a spindle tree, seen and photographed by DKG while the FoSCP volunteers cleared the undergrowth around the young trees at the top of Sheep Field. Spindle is not recorded as one of this caterpillar’s food plants, but sallow is, and hazel, nettles, docks and several other species growing in that plantation and its understorey.

Read on:

Marilyn Maundrell

This from David Feather:

“My wife and I have learnt that Marilyn Maundrell has recently died.  She was an enthusiastic Friend of Southwick Country Park for many years.   She brightened up many of our events and meetings with her cheery manner and was a great ambassador for the Country Park.  She was only defeated by difficulties with walking which eventually took her into Wingfield Nursing Home, where she died on August 19th. People will remember her smile.  It was infectious.

Her funeral will take place at 12.15 on Monday 10 September at Semington Crematorium.”

.o0o.

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