The Hull Natural History Society

News > 2018

News 2018

Lincolnshire weekend

Despite heavy rain on the way down to Ancaster on the Saturday, we set off in the dry, but that soon changed. Undeterred we headed for our first stop, the cemetery where, as we hoped, we found the long-stalked subspecies of Thrift. The nearby Moor Closes reserve is an area of wet meadow and the purple of Southern Marsh-orchids amongst the Yellow Rattle and Buttercup was a fine site, appreciated even more because the rain had eased. Returning round a fishing lake, we found the handsome Cyperus Sedge and, along the main road verge, Bur Chervil, a good crop of Danish Scurvy Grass and a couple of plants of Sea Spurrey. However our next destination was the far richer roadside verges on nearby Copper Hill which are managed as a nature reserve. This is one of the few sites that support Man Orchid and we were pleased to find about ten spikes in flower, as well as plenty of the usual limestone grassland species.

On the Sunday we visited Moor Farm reserve in Woodhall Spa. The main attraction is an area of heath and we spent a few hours in the sunshine discovering some very interesting species including Trailing St John’s-wort, Shepherd’s Cress, Bird’s-foot, Small Cudweed and Trailing Tormentil. Further along the trail in a wetter area there was plenty of Heath Spotted-orchid and one instance of Water Purslane. The bird life was not quite as exciting but a cuckoo did land a couple of times in the trees overhead, and was promptly mobbed by blackbirds.

Andrew Chadwick, 4 June

Man Orchid - Lincolnshire

Man Orchid

Picture A Chadwick

Trailing St John's-wort - Lincolnshire

Hypericum humifusum

Picture H Kitson

Tall Thrift - Lincolnshire

Armeria maritima subsp. elongata

Picture A Chadwick

White Bryony - Ancaster

Plants of White Bryony are either male or female and bear slightly different flowers. The male flowers have five horseshoe-shaped stamens which bifurcate into 10 (right) and the female have three fuzzy styles (left). An inflated ovary can also just be seen beneath the lowest flower in the photograph.

Helen Kitson, 5 June

Cyperus Sedge - Lincolnshire

Carex pseudocyperus

Picture A Chadwick

BSBI New Year Plant Hunt 2018

Five members of Hull Nats took part in the annual plant hunt for flowers in bloom which this year ran from 30/12/17 to 2/1/18. Our first and most successful foray was on the only sunny day and at the most sheltered site, around Priory Park and Ride, Hessle on New Year’s Day. Andrew, Helen, John and I recorded 55 plants in flower, mainly all-year-round weeds and clingers-on, but including fresh golden Hazel catkins and spring Whitlowgrass. Highlights: Narrow-leaved ragwort, Yellow-wort and Cornsalad – and (non-recordable as still in bud) Stinking hellebore.

In my local patch, Newland Avenue, on Jan 1st, a day without buses, I found 25 species, the usual urban suspects, plus Shaggy soldier, a last delicate Wall lettuce and, surviving on the railway embankment, despite the best efforts of "improvers", Winter heliotrope. Richard squeezed in a quick visit to River Hull Mouth monad at lunchtime and had by far the most interesting list, including Thrift, Tansy, Centaury and Cordgrass.

On Jan 2nd Richard, John and I spent a couple of nithering hours (why did we?!) on Hessle foreshore before being rained off. The river side was scoured clean but we spotted some bedraggled specimens on the railway side of the path- in all 25 species, including Blue fleabane, Black medick and Pellitory –of- the- wall, a very poor showing. Results from the whole country can be found at Not surprisingly, the most varied lists were from the south of England (Chichester, Cornwall and Swanage). Our position (at last count 17th on leader board) is probably a reflection of the appalling weather conditions in the west, plus the advantages of a group turnout.

Gabrielle Jarvis, 5 January 2018

Fly Agaric - Houghton Wood

Fly Agaric fungus

Picture A Ashworth, 4 November

Strawberry Clover - Kilnsea

Trifolium fragiferum. Picture H Kitson, 22 July

YNU VC61 Residential weekend

A fantastic weekend with the ongoing warm, dry weather allowing for entomological recording throughout. There were over 16 people attending at any one time, with a good representation of Hull Nats. Richard Shillaker lead a dragonfly expedition around Clubley and Kilnsea Wetlands, which I was more than happy to join. We recorded 11 species of dragonfly, with 5 species showing evidence of breeding. Richard Middleton gave a mesmesiring talk on the geology, palaeontology and archeology of the Peninsula illustrated with a museum deserving collection he has amassed along decades. This followed with a strandline walk on the beach at low tide. Gabrielle Jarvis and Helen Kitson botanised along the breach and beyond. Saturday was a packed day, with moth trapping, bird ringing, bird walk, dragonfly walk, lichen expedition and a memorable barbeque put together by Jonny Fisk, from the Spurn Bird Observatory. On Sunday we were freer to explore our interests. I am looking forward to the upcoming reports to be published in The Naturalist in due time!

Africa Gómez, 26 July

Knapweed Broomrape - Mount Airy

Orobanche elatior

Picture A Chadwick, 3 July

Hairy Dragonfly - Welton Waters

Hairy Dragonfly

Picture H Kitson, 26 June

Kelsey Hill

Bee swarm A cold and damp Tuesday evening at Kelsey Hill. A swarm of honeybees obviously thought so too, and were bedded down for the night in the corner of a field. A Drinker moth caterpillar also brightened up the visit.

Picture A Chadwick, 29 May

Drinker Moth Caterpillar - Kelsey Hill


Picture A Chadwick, 29 May

A lively Adder - Allerthorpe Common


Picture H Kitson, 12 May

Morel - Kirkdale

Morel fruiting body

Picture G Jarvis, 21 April

Moschatel flower - Kirkdale

Moschatel flower

Picture H Kitson, 21 April

Micro-moths - Lincolnshire

micro-moths Argyresthia bonnatella and Nemapogon clematella

Pictures A Ashworth, 12 July

Hornet Mimic Hoverfly - Wawne

Volucella zonaria. Picture A Gómez, 24 July

Galium x pomeranicum - Burdale

Hybrid Bedstraw This striking hybrid between Lady's Bedstraw and Hedge Bedstraw is intermediate between its parents in almost all aspects. It has not been recorded in East Yorkshire since 1976.

Picture H Kitson, 7 July

Linaria vulgaris f. peloria - Burdale

Unusual form of Toadflax This specimen of Toadflax is exhibiting a genetic abnormality which forces radial, rather than the usual bilateral symmetry, producing flowers with five, rather than one, spurs. Thanks to John K. for drawing our attention to the plants which have survived in the same place for many years.

Picture R Middleton, 7 July

Bullfinch - Mount Airy


Picture J Robinson, 3 July

Bird's-foot - Allerthorpe Common

Ornithopus perpusillus

Picture H Kitson, 12 May

Beefly on Primrose - Kirkdale


Picture A Ashworth, 21 April

Yellow Brain fungus on Gorse - Scalby
 Tremella mesenterica

Yellow Brain fungus

Picture H Kitson, 24 March

Glaucus Gull - Tophill Low

Glaucus Gull

Picture Aitana Gómez, 25 February