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SOUTH NORFOLK: High Ash Farm Bluebell day

5th May 2018

On Saturday High Ash Farm opened up Foxes Grove, a usually private area of woodland, for a Bluebell day. We try to go and see Bluebells somewhere each year, so as Caistor St Edmund is close to the city we thought that this would be an ideal time to try to take Rose out in the sling. Having picked up Margaret the four of us continued on to the field car park put on for the event close to the woods.

It was a lovely sunny day, and there was plenty to see along the hedgerow as we walked down towards the woods, including Dock Bug, Dark-edged Beeflies, Sphaerophoria hoverflies and the bug Rhopalus subrufus. Walking along the edge of the woodland we got our first view of the Bluebells, and I noticed an interesting cranefly, Limnophila schranki, in some ditchside vegetation.

Entering the woods I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of Bluebells, and the undulating terrain meant that they were particularly impressive. We had a very pleasant walk, and naturally we also noted lots more wildlife, including several butterflies, hoverflies and galls. Cathy found a Meadow Longhorn moth (Cauchas rufimitrella), and Small Nettle Weevil (Nedyus quadrimaculata), Yellow-tail moth caterpillar and another caterpillar, possibly Autumnal Rustic, were also of note.

 Caterpillar on Bluebells - possibly Autumnal Rustic
 Meadow Longhorn Moth
 Yellow-tail moth caterpillar
 Small Nettle Weevil

Heading back to the car we were entranced by a Coal Tit that flew into a tree in front of us and carried out some Goldcrest-like flitting just above head height. Some Nomada bees along a sandy bank were of the need-to-examine-to ID type, and we ended the visit with a common but hitherto unrecorded by me sawfly, Aglaostigma aucupariae.

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