I only had Saturday free this weekend. There were a couple of potential good birds available-the best were too far away for a day trip, so we decided that with the good weather we would concentrate on insects and made plans for some local sites.
After popping in to se Sarah and Ed, we made our way the short distance to Danemead in the Broxbourne Woods complex. The weather was not looking all that good though-we were expecting the cloud to disperse and the temperatures to climb, but it remained cloudy all morning with a cool easterly breeze, not exactly ideal.
The meadow was full of Ringlets and Meadow Browns, with a few Skippers-Large and Small. I did not see any Essex. One Marbled White flew through and there were singles of Brown Hawker and Emperors patrolling. One of the Meadow Grasshoppers posed on my shirt for some time-good job I had the RX100 with me as I was able to get a few images one handed.
Entering the wood, we had a brief flyby Silver Washed Fritillary and a couple of Speckled Woods. A search revealed large numbers of Broad Leaved Helleborines, but only a few had flower spikes. Last year I could not find any at all, presumably all had been eaten. Another one snapped with the RX100.
Back in the meadow we met up with one of the site managers who drew our attention to more Helleborines in the hedgerow, most being very hard to locate.
Broxbourne itself proved to be very disappointing due to the weather. More Ringlets and Meadow Browns. One singing Chiffchaff and singles of Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, along with miscellaneous cheeps and chirps from birds, both juveniles and moulting adults hiding away.
We decided that it was not worth continuing with the trip and called it a day before lunch.