Wednesday 15 July 2015

Ancient forts - last sunday's rAmble to Dun Nosebridge

Sunday's weather was kind to us yet again for another enjoyable rAmble in good company.

Some of the group on the way to the Fort
This walk combined different habitats with great views, and shortly after the start we saw a Spotted Flycatcher in the woodland trees lining the path. Also seen a little later was a beautiful male Stonechat which we first heard, making it's distinctive sound like stones being knocked together. Nearby was a juvenile Stonechat too which was nice to see, both of them sitting on a fence bordering a field.

We also saw lots of different plants and a few insects (see list at the end), and some of us were lucky enough to see a Beautiful Demoiselle damselfly flit past over the bracken. Their flight season lasts until September so hopefully there'll be more sightings. It was great to see the enthusiasm of the youngsters, catching insects to look at more closely in the pot - here's one of the beetles that we looked at.

Dor beetle - it's a big un!
And then we got to climb Dun Nosebridge itself, a (probably) Iron Age fort whose name derives from Scottish Gaelic ('Dun' meaning 'fort') and Old Norse ('knaus-borg' meaning 'fort on the crag') or Norse ('hnaus-bog' meaning 'turf fort').

Dun Nosebridge

 From the top we got to see some great views, along with an amazing array of wildflowers.

This is certainly a walk I'll be doing again! Mandy

Insects: Ringlet butterfly, Small Heath butterfly, Beautiful Demoiselle damselfly, Grasshopper, Pond Skater, Water Spider, Dor Beetle, Mirid bugs, Soldier Beetle, Dascillus cervinus,

Plants: Tufted Vetch, Self Heal, Heath Bedstraw, Thyme, Eyebright, Hawkbit, Mouse-ear, Tormentil, Silverweed, Bird'sfoot Trefoil, Red Bartsia, Hard Fern, Sea Plantain, Cuckoo Flower, Water Avens, Butterwort, Lady's Bedstraw, Yarrow, Marsh Thistle, Spear Thistle, Fairy Flax, Milkwort, Cat's ear, Perforate St John's wort, Red Clover, White Clover, Daisy, Buttercup, Wild Strawberry, Common Sorrel, Common Spotted Orchid, Heath SPotted Orchid, Northern Marsh Orchid, Sessile Oak tree.

Birds: Spotted Flycatcher, Chaffinches displaying, Male Stonechat and juvenile.

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