A long day, definitely immersed in wildlife. Up at five for the last breeding bird transect in Thorpe Wood. It was truly magical, cool and misty, with the rising sun creating shafts of light among the gnarled oaks and hazel coppice stools. At that time in the morning the scents of the woodland are intensified, the sweet perfumes of elderflower, rose and honeysuckle contrasting with the reek of decaying wild garlic. The heavy canopy made recording more difficult, and it was clear that many of the tits had fledged their young and moved out of the wood, probably into gardens with bird feeders.

After breakfast I drove to Irnham to record the plants in an ancient woodland and meadow owned by the local estate. There were plenty of interesting species, though the ground flora of the wood had been badly damaged by intensive pheasant rearing, but I kept getting distracted by insects, particularly longhorn beetles. Most live in dead wood, but this species which goes by the name of Agapanthia villosoviridescens, lives in umbellifer stalks. It's never a common species, but I usually see one or two each year and always marvel at their stripy antennae.

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