Sun 28/05/17

Brittle star
Brittle star

In a drastic change of scenery, the family are in Northumberland this week, right on the Scottish border. The first place we visited was Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, which is joined to the mainland by a narrow causeway at low tide. It contains a beach, some green fields, a village and an ancient monastery, which was undergoing several months of refurbishment. Down on the beach some unusual stuff is to be found – I overturned a couple of rocks and found a brittle star and some kind of alien sea millipede, which didn’t really come out on the pictures. I’ve never found a brittle star before though.

 

The pale pink wild flowers below, known as sea pink or thrift, are rife on the island’s stony soil – here they are, with a backdrop of the distinctive bright white lichen that grows on the rocks. Thrift is particularly suited to both rocky and saline environments, so it's a doddle here on Lindisfarne.

House martins Delichon urbica
House martins Delichon urbica
Silverweed Argentina anserina
Silverweed Argentina anserina

Back in the car park (above), house martins were landing to take advantage of the puddles caused by recent rain. I assumed they were taking a drink, but a close look at the two individuals to the right reveals that they are picking up beakfulls of mud – presumably for building their nests.

 

This dense, feathery foliage in the grass is silverweed. It has buttercup-like flowers and is actually a species of Potentilla.

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