It’s been unseasonably warm, a week of sunshine and on Friday six species of butterfly were spotted across a couple of Northumberland Wildlife Trust reserves; Close House Riverside boasted speckled wood, orange tip and green veined white amongst others. It is a great sheltered site down by the river Tyne with spring flowers also in abundance through the woodland section.
On Saturday Duncan headed south to Rookhope to look at an old watermill while Sally learnt more about the local wildlife records centre, ERIC, at a meeting up in Alnmouth.
The mill in Rookhope was frustrating. The complex of buildings had clearly housed a water mill but it was hard to pin this down to any of the now ruinous buildings. A former pond behind the mill was not helpful either as it was unclear as to whether this was a mill pond or for some other purpose. I left knowing that there was a mill there but debating between two buildings as to its precise location. Needless to say there was little left of interest, except two old millstones.
Sally could not resist a walk on one of her favourite bits of the Northumberland coast after the training session. She spent a pleasant hour or so wandering the dunes to the south of the Aln trying out some wildlife recording with her GPS. Amongst the more usual dune flora she stumbled across rhubarb which must have escaped from a vegetable patch somewhere in the area.