Yawning pony

Spotted one of the Exmoor ponies yawning this morning and took this short video. Very tiring work it must be for them as I also caught 2 of them looking like they were fast asleep yesterday!

Hawthorn blossom

Hawthorn blossom can now be seen all over the Country Park and a good place to see it is in the Quarry.

Also in the Quarry can be seen a carpet of Sheep’s Sorrel in bloom where we cut the gorse near the large rock.

Going for Gold

 I think that everyone that I met yesterday was agreed that it was not much of a day, so it was quite a surprise for the sun to make an appearance late in the afternoon and we were treated to the unusual sight of a rainbow on the Firehills. Shortly, along came the Coastguard helicopter and my fellow dog walkers speculated that they must be out looking for the pot of gold!

Another new bridge in Ecclesbourne Glen

A busy day today at Ecclesbourne today. Seeing 2 ESCC rights of way Land Rovers driving out I decided to go and see if I could see what they had been up to and was walking round the top of Ecclesbourne Meadow and saw 2 more 4×4’s, these belonging to the Coastguards, no doubt someone has again foolishly tried to climb the cliff and got themselves stuck (edit. a Staffie had gone over the cliff and needed rescuing, thanks Taughtus).

Another set of wheel-marks led down into the glen and going down and along the first path on the left I found this nice new bridge.

I wonder why the previous one has been replaced as it was not that old and was perfectly serviceable the last time I used it. Just needs someone now to deal with the large oak branch that is broken off and hanging over the path a bit further on. Final photo for this post is of a number of Common Red Soldier beetles on Wild Carrot, one of the plants that are now growing in the “scallops” that we cut into the blackthorn scrub surrounding Ecclesbourne Meadow.

Flying today at the Country Park

Well the sunshine recently has been great but a little too warm for walking very far, so today the easterly breeze made quite a welcome change.

My first dragonfly photo of the year has been a long time coming, I’ve seen a few but not at rest for a photo and here it is, a female Ruddy Darter, seen Warren Glen, west.

Next up is a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly which I have seen relatively few of this year, seen Warren Glen east.

Finally ZZ380, one of 2 Royal Navy Augusta Westland Wildcat helicopters that flew past Warren Glen close enough for a half decent photo. The Wildcat is apparently the replacement for the Lynx.

When Dinosaurs roamed Rye Bay

I was privileged today to have been invited to join a walk with a limited number of participants to Lee Ness to see first hand Iguanadon footprints in the rocks. The walk was organised by Andy Dinsdale who has  been organising Marine Conservation Society beach cleans locally for a number of years now (not just a litter pick as all items are categorised and recorded) and the man behind the Rye Bay Beachcoming Facebook page. Led by Ken Brooks a well known local geologist who has provided the material for an excellent display of the geology, fossils and a dinosaur footprint in the Visitor Centre  at the Country Park,  Ken told us that the footprints are only found in a layer in the cliffs known as the Lee Ness sandstone which due to a curvature in the geology called the Wealden anticline means that this sandstone layer is only above the beach for a relatively short distance.

Here is Ken looking at the footprint that he took a plaster cast of and has a fibreglass impression that he uses for his talks.

I was not expecting this, two footprints on one piece of rock!

Interesting flora on the undercliff included thrift, birds-foot trefoil, ling and oxeye daisy, plus on the beach, cormorants, a herring gull with a starfish and a male peregrine falcon flying past. A very enjoyable and informative afternoon and thanks to Andy and Ken for making it possible.