Westcountry Wildlife

King Alfred’s Cakes – Daldinia Concentrica

This wonderful fungus is named after its resemblance to an extremely burnt cake, as baked by King Alfred while he was hiding from the Danes in a peasant baker’s hut. Legend has it he was so embarrassed about burning the cakes he hid them by scattering them in the forest – where they can still…

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18th June 2018

Common Lizard – Zootoca Vivipara

I found this fantastic little Common Lizard while investigating a rotting log for beetles – I think we were both as surprised as each other when I spotted her! I say “her” as I’m pretty sure this one is female; Males tend to have a spottier or speckled pattern of darker markings on their backs,…

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18th June 2018

Caddis Fly – Trichoptera sp.

If you’ve ever been fly fishing at any of our lakes, there’s a good chance you’ll be familiar with the caddis or sedge fly, as it forms the basis for some very successful fly-tying patterns. So you won’t be surprised to hear that the caddis fly forms an important food source for native brown trout…

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11th June 2018

White Dead Nettle – Lamium Album

I’ve always maintained that dead nettles are criminally overlooked as wildflowers, and if you look at the yellow archangel and red dead nettle posted previously here I hope you’ll agree! The white dead nettle looks rather more similar to the familiar stinging nettle, but it lacks the unpleasant sting and produces a rather beautiful display…

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11th June 2018

Early Purple Orchid – Orchis Mascula

The Early Purple Orchid is one of the earliest orchids to flower in the UK, and can be seen from April onwards. They can be found in woodlands, grassland, and hedgerows, and I spotted this one some weeks ago while walking along Tiverton canal. The leaves are almost as striking and attractive as the heads…

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4th June 2018