As the dramatic display of Pasque flowers starts to come to an end and the spring showing of cowslips draws to a close the early purple orchids have taken over with a strong showing of some fine specimens and in some impressively large groups. Also the time has arrived for the more difficult task of tracking down Man Orchids. There are several now just coming into flower across the reserve. One splendid specimen can be found within a foot of the northern most gate between compartments 4 (wooded) and 1 (South west), assuming it is still there as a number of discarded Orchids around the reserve indicate some picking of flowers still occurs!
The butterfly counts continue to rise on the sunnier days with Dingy and Grizzled Skippers both photographed recently.
A Whitethroat nest in a bramble patch and activity along the Walcott wall by both Blue Tits and Great Tits also show that spring is progressing and the mobbing by six rooks of a passing Buzzard shows that feeding territories are being defended. The regular sighting of Buzzards and Red Kites over the reserve (something the summer wardens of 1980’s would have been amazed by) makes up a little for the marked drop in other bird species to be seen. More to follow as the summer progresses, comparing the summer warden reports in the archives to today’s flora and fauna.