Monday, June 11, 2018

πŸ“– #37 ~ Hairstreaks and Orchids

☀️ 25C Monday 11th June 2018 ~ Spent the morning at Glapthorn Cow Pastures meeting up with Jim Timms, his wife Carol and Tony Harman. The weather today was once again glorious with clear blue skies and sunshine throughout, perfect conditions for butterflies.
The primary reason for the visit ~ Black Hairstreak

Glapthorn Cow Pasture
Is a 28.2-hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest north-west of Oundle in Northamptonshire. It is managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire. A mix of developing blackthorn scrub and high woodland, its designation as an SSSI site is because of its wildlife value and in particularly it's breeding colony of Black Hairstreak butterflies.

Black Hairstreak
Black Hairstreak
We met up on site at just after 09:30 and once through the gate and into the reserve we were immediately on to double-figure Black Hairstreaks! An amazing spectacle for me, considering this was my first visit here and even for those like Jim who'd visited on many occasions over the years, it was an unprecedented sight!

Scarce Chaser
Also of note during the visit Broad-bodied Chaser and a surprise Scarce Chaser, my first for 2018.

Barnack Hills a Holes NNR
After leaving Glapthorn we drove the short distance across to Barnack Hills a Holes NNR. Covering an area of around 50 acres the grassy slopes are home to a profusion of rare wildflowers. In fact, this type of meadow is now all too rare: half of the surviving limestone grassland in Cambridgeshire is found at the Hills and Holes.
The primary reason for the visit ~ Orchids and Wildflowers

Again another site first for me but a really enjoyable visit with many Orchids to be found, some just emerging, others past their best. We did in fact, thanks to one of the volunteer wardens get to see one of the few remaining Pasqueflowers, (Pasque meaning "like Paschal", of Easter) apparently during this Easter period the place was awash with these magnificent wildflowers.

Also of note today:
Man Orchid, Common Spotted Orchid, Fragrant Orchid, Knapweed Broomrape and Pyramidal Orchids 

Birds: Yellowhammer, Garden Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat and Red Kite

Man Orchid                         Knapweed Broomrape
Fragrant Orchid