Monday, 13 June 2011

More Orchids, Butterflies and Rain

Had a fairly quiet weekend-well after the hectic twitch we needed it.
Saturday morning we called in at Thrift Wood near Maldon. The weather was looking a bit iffy-cool and cloudy, but it did not take long to find a Heath Fritillary. It looked a bit tatty, but eventually a couple of fresh ones were found.

 The small pond did not have any damsel or dragonflies, but we did see a few Meadow Browns and Large Skippers in the more open areas.
 Had not heard about Lizard Orchids at Newmarket, but knowing that they were out elsewhere (though at some sites they had aborted) but we went anyway. The wind had picked up, but it was rather sunny and warm in the lee of the dike.
 We found around a dozen flower spikes in various stages-some looked pretty good but one or two looked like they would not flower this year.
 Large numbers of Large Skippers were flying, along with Meadow Browns and a few Common Blues.

With it being a short day, after I left Colin's I called in at Hopleys Plants in Much Hadham-an old favorite and splurged on a few choice plants which apart from looking good should be ideal for bees an butterflies.

 Sunday's forecast for rain in the afternoon was welcome, so I thought I'd call in at Amwell and do a spot of gardening after dinner.
 The rain started just after I arrived at 0930. Had a chat with Bill and Jan about the Robin twitch, and as I had not seen them for a while we exchanged orchid and insect sightings of the last few weeks.
 Not much happening regarding birds-most of the waders had gone leaving a pair of sitting Little Ring Plovers and a few Lapwing. Most of the ducks had young, and the drakes were starting to go into eclipse so did not look all that great. Plenty of hirundines and Swifts and eventually a very welcome Kingfisher flew through-not many sightings at Amwell this year.
 Gave up after a couple of hours being rather soggy, and got the gardening done before lunch.

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