Hoverfly Eristalis sp. on umbellifer
Noonday fly Mesembrina meridiana
Our walk took us up a country track passing plenty of insect covered umbellifers through a wooded area growing on the old lime slag heaps whilst nibbling Wild Strawberries Fragaria vesca, up to the limestone quarry and onto a wildflower meadow before the return journey.
Highlights of the walk included the profusion of Orchids – Common Spotted Orchids Dactylorhiza fuchsii in a variety of colours along the track and wood, Common Twayblade Neottia ovata on the slag heap in the wood along with Broad-leaved Helleborines Epipactis helleborine that were not yet in flower, Pyramidal Orchids Anacamptis pyramidalis abounded in the quarry and we counted around a dozen Fragrant Orchids Gymnadenia conopsea that were just beginning to bloom.
Common Spotted Orchid
Common Spotted Orchid flower detail
Common Spotted Orchid var. albiflora
Other flowers included Field Bindweed Convolvulus arvensis, Hedge Woundwort Stachys sylvatica, Mossy Saxifrage Saxifraga hypnoides, Wild Thyme Thymus polytrichus, Common Milkwort Polygala vulgaris, Eyebright Euphrasia officinalis, Common Rock-rose Helianthemum nummularium, Self Heal Prunella vulgaris, Bird’s-foot Trefoil Lotus corniculatus and Weld Reseda luteola.
Birdlife included singing Chiffchaff in the woodland, a squawking Jay, Peregrine, Buzzard and Raven up in the quarry. Plenty of Butterflies and Moths with Large Skipper Ochlodes venata, Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages, Small White Pieris rapae, Common Blue Polyommatus icarus, Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae, Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina, Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus, Small Heath Coenonympha pamphilus, Six-Spot Burnet Zygaena filipendulae.
Common Blue Butterfly male
Six-Spot Burnet Moth on Wild Thyme