Update from the Reserve

Whilst it may seem far from summer with the wet weather the reserve is still putting on a fine floral display with the added benefit since it is so well drained of not remaining too wet underfoot to enjoy it. With the Pyramidal Orchids joining the Bee Orchids, Fragrant  Orchids and the Man Orchids still holding on it is a bumper time of year to see Orchids on the reserve and the wet weather has enabled some pretty impressive flower spikes to grow this year. Not so good, due to the wet weather, is the butterfly display. A transect walk today yielded disappointing numbers but did add Speckled Wood and Meadow Brown to the list and a later walk with the dog added the first Marbled White to my own list. Unfortunately not the first reported observation of the year as that went to Tim and Steve the Wardens who saw one earlier in the afternoon! The late afternoon walk also provided the call of a Cuckoo possibly the last of the season given their imminent departure for warmer climates. The bright yellow flash and prominent call of a year round resident,  the Yellowhammer reminded me how lucky we are that, whilst numbers to me have been well down in recent years,  you can almost guarantee seeing one on the reserve, or certainly in the surrounding field hedgerows. I was reminded that we are fortunate in this by a recent conversation with a visitor to the reserve from Derbyshire and also a total absence of them during a holiday in Pembrokeshire last week. It is surprising how easily we take for granted what we can see every day on the reserve, perhaps unfortunately not appreciating it until after it has gone. So I encourage you to get out on the reserve, during the few dry spells and enjoy the flowers of summer, the migratory birds and of course the butterflies.

PS: One other benefit of the cooler weather has been the lizards are taking longer to warm up on the fence posts so provide more opportunities to spot them. Every cloud has a silver lining.