Friday, 24 July 2015
22 JULY - IN THE RAIN AT RIMAC
8 members of the LWT were among 12 members of the Louth U3A Fauna, Flora and Ornithology group who visited RIMAC last Wednesday.
As a group we are often very fortunate to meet enthusiastic and knowledgeable wildlife experts. Today was no exception. John Walker, the retired RIMAC warden, not only had the above attributes but he also had charisma and a wonderful way of telling the story of this area of saltmarsh, freshwater marsh and sand dunes. We learned about the history of the people who collected the salt and how the geography of the large area had changed in the last 2,000 years.
I have visited RIMAC many times and have read lots about it but did not know that the small pools in the middle of the freshwater marsh had been caused by WWII Home Guard soldiers using the area for hand-grenade practice!
John took us through the fence to see the relatively rare Natterjack toads that breed in the dark spaces adjacent to the shallow pools. He found one and showed us the distinctive yellow stripes that identifies this species. Jane thought it was prettier than the Common toad – maybe she was looking for a prince!
The orchids were just about finished but we did see Marsh hellebores together with a beautiful soft green Burdock. I had not noticed Pignut before whilst Dennis became aware of the magnificent, spherical seed head of Goat’s-beard. The Knapweed was emerging and proving popular with the six spot Burnet moth. The Ragwort was in full flower often accompanied by the striped larva of the Cinnabar moth which feeds solely on this species.
A couple of hours passed very quickly; even though we were glad of our waterproofs for much of the time.
Ray W FFOer in Chief 22 July 2015