Rhyzobius chrysomeloides in Tyneside

Recently, I was delighted to discover a population of the inconspicuous ladybird, Rhyzobius chrysomeloides, in Tyneside.

Exploring the scarcer ladybirds of Newcastle

While out and about in search of ladybirds this last few weeks, I have been lucky enough to stumble across a number of scarce and unusual species

Winter ladybirds on conifers

Continuing this year’s Ladybird Year List and capturing records for the North East Ladybird Spot, the last few weekends have been spent admiring winter ladybirds conifers. Scots Pine, Larch, exotic Lodgepole and Black Pines, even the odd spruce. Havannah Nature Reserve near Dinnington first and few visits to explore the site’s conifers turned up aContinue reading “Winter ladybirds on conifers”

The North East Ladybird ‘Year List’ begins

With the Natural History Society of Northumbria’s fantastic North East Ladybird Spot launching this week, most of this weekend has been spent searching for these colourful insects at various sites across Tyneside. A January pastime I would never have considered a few short years ago that now, knowing where to look, is becoming somewhat ofContinue reading “The North East Ladybird ‘Year List’ begins”

Recording North East nature in 2021 – ten highlights

2021 has been a funny old year but despite the big c and the various restrictions it brought, it has also been a memorable one.

Plant of the Week: Oxford Ragwort

Clad in the vibrant yellow flowers typical of ragworts, Oxford Ragwort flowers all year round and never fails to brighten up a walk along our street

Plant of the Week: Mougeot’s Whitebeam, Sorbus mougeotii

It might seem odd to start a new series with a tree few have heard of (I certainly hadn’t until a few weeks past) but recently, I’ve been bumping into the unassuming Sorbus mougeotii quite a bit in my local area. Looking similar to the Swedish Whitebeam (Sorbus intermedia), at least to my untrained eye,Continue reading “Plant of the Week: Mougeot’s Whitebeam, Sorbus mougeotii”

The flora of Walker Riverside

Walker Riverside Park is a funny old place. Created in the 1980s, it sits atop former industrial land and boasts an intriguing mix of habitats, from grassland and woodland areas to salt-sprayed riverbanks.

A journey through the unusual trees (and shrubs) of Newcastle

A journey through the diverse and beautiful trees and shrubs of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne. While I can separate the more familiar British species, your oaks, birches and common maples, anything beyond that has traditionally gone straight over my head. Not so useful in the city where planting and landscaping, both historic and recent, mean that would beContinue reading “A journey through the unusual trees (and shrubs) of Newcastle”

The flora of Iris Brickfield Park

Iris Brickfield Park sits fairly close to our home in Heaton, Newcastle, and as such, has been a mainstay of our local walks during the pandemic. Fairly small, at least when compared to Newcastle’s other parks, and managed by Urban Green, it provides a lifeline to many people living in the local area: dog walkers, joggers,Continue reading “The flora of Iris Brickfield Park”

Ladybirds in Newcastle

Keen to further explore Newcastle’s ladybirds as part of the North East Ladybird Spot, last weekend I set off for two local sites that I seldom visit. The first, Newcastle’s Great Park, a new suburb of the city located four miles from the city centre, and the second, the well-known Havannah Nature Reserve near Dinnington.Continue reading “Ladybirds in Newcastle”

Bees, butterflies and botany at Lesbury

Beginning a week of annual leave, a fortnight past, I hopped on the train keen to explore surrounds of Lesbury in North Northumberland. Arriving at Alnmouth station and taking the short walk North to where the circular walk begins beside the River Aln, a roadside field rife with Common Knapweed provided an interesting first portContinue reading “Bees, butterflies and botany at Lesbury”