Saturday, 2 June 2018

Excavation at NT Sutton Hoo (and a Damselfly, of course)

We decided to visit to NT Sutton Hoo again this afternoon before the heavy showers arrived, and we were so pleased that we did as we discovered it was the last day of an excavation, the first for almost three decades, which is being carried out by MOLA (see this link too). There was plenty of digging and panning going on, and we were able to see some Neolithic flints and Bronze Age potsherds that had come to light.

It was a strange afternoon, with short bursts of hot sun followed by humid swathes of grey cloud. There were plenty of people about but few insects. We noticed one very large orange and black sand wasp (like the Red-banded Sand Wasp here), but it was too fast for my camera. I see the linked website actually mentions Sutton Hoo as a location, so perhaps I am on the right ID track.

I presume these little holes in the area near the mounds were made by ants, wasps or some other 'digging' insect. 

What a lovely spot for an excavation! 

A new viewing tower is to be built in this area, but I was disappointed to find that there are no plans for a lift to make the feature more accessible.

 You can see just how sandy the soil is.

We had a good look around this area of the site before heading back towards Tranmer House (below).

I kept my eyes open for insects and eventually found (what I think may be) a Common Blue Damselfly on a leaf ...

On our way back to the exhibition area we paused to check the small patch given over to wild flowers...

There was a good-sized carpet of this yellow-green sedum: I'm not sure how 'wild' it is and I'm sure I know it by another name (update 4 June: the name I was trying to remember is Stonecrop). 

The dog rose below in the wild flower garden reminds me that June is already upon us. We bought a few bedding plants to brighten up our own garden on the way home, and hopefully to attract more insects. We checked again for bats this evening, but failed to see any. There was one Cockchafer/Stag Beetle floating around: it narrowly missed my hair!


Lowcarb team member said...

That does look a sandy soil ...
What a very nice colour that dog rose is.

Happy June to you.

All the best Jan

Ragged Robin said...

It is so interesting to read of the excavations at Sutton Hoo. I spotted my first Dog Rose in flower yesterday and am also trying to identify some damselflies seen! It sounds as though you had a super day.