|18-spot Ladybird - you can see how small it compared with a finger tip|
Leith Hill was the venue for an afternoon of wandering the greensand slopes in the company of my family, plus an obligatory stop at the tea room in the tower for some excellent National Trust cake - oh, so Surrey - I could almost be an extra in Downton Abbey don't you know (albeit sent downstairs once my true station in life was discovered). As always on such walks I took my binoculars and camera just in case. I didn't expect three lifers!
The first is a bit of a cheat. Monkey-puzzle is found on the upper slopes of Leith Hill, looking terribly naturalised - this species appears listed in the botanists bible Stace, so I'm having it. The second is a commonly naturalised plant that I must have walked past time and time again - Shallon. There are virtual forests of the stuff at Leith Hill. The third tick was a little more pukka, being an 18-spot Ladybird found by my eldest daughter Rebecca as we sat under a Scot's Pine (which happens to be its foodplant).
I need to clear up a long-standing family disagreement. Back in 2011, I claimed on this blog to have found a Strawberry Anemone in the rock pools at Bude, Cornwall. I must now right that claim as it was, in fact, found by my younger daughter Jess. She has never forgiven me for my blatant stealing of her rightful claim as finder.
|Shallon - large banks of the plant are found at the top of Leith Hill|