By mollyblobs


Out early for a dew-spangled walk round Barnack Hills and Holes, accompanied by a range of bird song, including the slightly melancholy call of Willow Warblers, a distant Cuckoo and the guttural croaks of Raven. 

The Pasqueflower have passed their initial flush of flowering, with many now turning to seed, but there are still a few more blooms to come. Usually they are mostly roped off to protect them from trampling visitors - because of Covid-19 this hasn't happened this year, but there was no sign of any damage to them. The same applied to the many spikes of Early Purple-orchid. The temperatures soon picked up and by the time I left there were many butterflies and day-flying moths on the wing including my first Common Blue of the year, Brown Argus, Mother Shipton, masses of Dingy Skippers and more Green Hairstreak than I've ever seen anywhere before (see extra).

On my way home I quickly dropped in to another meadow to see if the very small population of Green-winged Orchid were surviving. In recent years there has been only one spike, carefully protected in a netting cage. This year I was delighted to find six flowering spikes, four quite close to the original plant and a rather magnificent one about 30m away (see extra). 

A family barbecue in a warm and windless garden was the perfect end to a perfect late spring day...

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