The greenwood

While Pete and Chris were surveying some Great fen ditches, I had a gentle potter round Holme Fen. This area of secondary birch woodland doesn't have the colourful flowers of the ancient woodlands on the boulder clay, with their sweeps of bluebells and ramsons, but the fresh green of emerging bracken and birch leaves provided a gentle counterpoint to the white and grey trunks of birch and the warm brown of Scots pine.

I did find a single bluebell, which has somehow arrived at the site, but the highlight of the day was probably the extremely large population of green tiger-beetles (see extra) which I found on a trampled peat path - there must have been hundreds of them, though most were very skittish. I was also pleased to see a raven overhead, being mobbed by a crow - I thought I heard a pair earlier in my walk, so I suspect that they're now breeding on the reserve.

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