Looking at the Countryside report Porchfield Wednesday 15 July
19 members met at Porchfield on a mild morning with high cloud for a walk to Elmsworth Farm and through Burnt Wood to Slinks Bay. For the majority of members this was new terrain. The leader had asked three local experts to attend and talk about the area.Barry Angell, the farmer at nearby Lock’s Farm talked about the history and animal life of the sites. John Wilmott, the Bird Recorder for the adjacent Newtown Rifle Range talked about the birdlike and Andy Yule brought with him specimens of fossilised insects which has found over the many years of collecting from the soft cliffs of the area. Sue Blackwell answered members’ queries about the plants seen.
It being July, bird life was not abundant but, a distant view of a pair of Hobby was a notable sighting. Marsh Mallow was growing in profusion near the beach and Wild Service Tree was seen in the wood. Two dramatic beetle species were found, the Wasp Beetle (Clytus arietus) and the Black and Yellow Longhorn Beetle (Rutpela maculata). Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Marbled White, Small Skipper and Purple Hairstreak were identified. The leader demonstrated several species of Rust Fungi to anyone who stood still for long enough. The return was through the field known as Slinks, the dialect word ‘slink’ meaning ‘a small piece of wet meadow land’. The group applauded the three experts for their contributions. David Biggs