Saturday 29 May 2021

The Chilterns

Monkey Orchid - Hartslock Reserve, Berkshire.

A wonderful day out today, with Kev, in the Chilterns. The focus was flowers but there were many other distractions. The highlights were, of course, the famous Orchids with eight species (and a hybrid) seen - Monkey Orchid, White Helleborine, Common Twayblade, Military Orchid, Early Purple Orchid, Fly Orchid, Bird's-nest Orchid and Common Spotted Orchid (basal rosettes only). Kev saw the basal rosette of Greater Butterfly Orchid at Homefield too.






A view of the Thames from Hartslock Reserve.

The cold spring is surely responsible for these gorgeous Pasque Flowers still being out.

Salad Burnet (and below).

Carline Thistle.

Horseshoe Vetch.

Common Rock-rose.

Wavy-barred Sable Pyrausta nigrata - several of these day-flying micros were seen at Hartslock.

Red Kites were, of course, a feature of our day in the Chilterns, but we also logged a couple Garden Warblers, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 or 3 Sedge Warblers,  3 or 4 Marsh Tits (family group) and a singing Corn Bunting (from the car).

Fairy Flax.

Common Blue.

 Common Fumitory.

Musk Thistle.

Bastard Toadflax - expertly located by Kev, but sadly not yet in flower...

Wayfaring Tree.

Small Heath on Changing Forget-me-not - Hartslock.

Lots of Banded Demoiselle on the wing along the Thames.

Summer Snowflake - also known as Lodden Lilly.

Quaking Grass - Hartslock.

Meadow Crane's-bill.

Lady or Monkey x Lady (and below).

Monkey x Lady Orchid hybrid. Apparently the only place in the UK where this combination occurs.

Common Twayblades were found at both Hartslock and Homefield.

Military Orchid - Homefield Wood, Buckinghamshire.

Muntjack Deer.

Brassica Shieldbugs on Hedge Mustard - Homefield Wood.

Early Purple Orchid - Homefield Wood.

Fly Orchid - Homefield Wood. A big thank you to the kind Wildlife Trust volunteer, who pointed Kev and I in the direction of this stunning flower.

Spurge Laurel.

White Helleborines were easily located in shady Beech woodland at both Hartslock and Homefield.

This was the most open flower we saw.

After fruitless hours searching locally for this species, I was so excited to finally clap eyes on the rare and enigmatic Bird's-nest Orchid - just amazing...

Grizzled Skipper.

Dingy Skipper.

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