The Whitlingham Bird Report for 2016 is now available to download here.

The previous reports are also availble: 2015 here,
2014 report here and the 2013 report here. Thanks to everyone who has contributed sightings, information and photos to these reports.

You may also be interested in Chris Durdin's Thorpe Marsh Wildlife Report for 2016, which is available here.

LINCOLNSHIRE: Burghley House

10th August 2016

To celebrate our wedding anniversary Cathy & I went to Burghley House, a stately home in south Lincolnshire. We had a nice look around the house and a meal at the orangery restaurant, but for the purposes of the blog I will mention a few of the insects that we saw within the grounds. As we walked across to the entrance Cathy spotted a pair of Common Blue Damselflies at the side of the road:


In the afternoon we walked through the sculpture garden, taking in a large lake. A Red-eyed Damselfly was seen in vegetation along the edge, and a Figwort Sawfly was on its foodplant close by. The most interesting sighting for me was a Common Furrow-bee (Lasioglossum calceatum) feeding on Water Mint.



There were also a couple of plant sightings of interest, but neither likely to be 'wild'. Firstly I was looking at some ferns in the water garden. I didn't recognise one of them, and as it was growing with Maidenhair Spleenwort I thought it might be native to the area, however as there were lots of planted ferns a bit further on it probably wasn't. The second plant was a Corncockle. These attractive pink flowers used to occur as arable weeds, but are now very rare. The reason you are likely to have heard the name if you are not a botanist is because there was a ridiculous scare story about them in the papers a few years back. They are poisonous, likely many plants, but only if you eat them. As a result, the Telegraph were outraged that seed packets contained Corncockle Seeds. You can still read Patrick Barkham's response in the Guardian here: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2014/aug/26/corncockle-countryfile-bbc-packets-seeds-poisonous

 Unknown and dubiously wild fern sp.
 Corncockle. Don't look at it too long or it might get you.

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