So as I said , I will continue with the second site visited yesterday , Mt.Caburn , between Glynde and Lewis . The last time I visited , some 4/5 years ago , was on a filthy day with strong winds and horizontal rain . I remember walking up into the mist , and losing sight of the two old guys who showed me the site . This time , it was the heat that was the problem , until reaching the top , when a really strong wind was blowing , making photography very difficult . It is understandable why this is such a popular site for hang gliders to launch themselves off onto the beyond , not that there were any there on my visit . On the way up , I saw another two Common Buzzards , or perhaps the two from the butterfly site followed me , but they were at a distance over a recently ploughed field . One drifted off , but the other got into a fracas with a Hobby , that neither won , both drifting off in their own direction .
On reaching the top , which I believe was an Iron Age fort , the views all round were fantastic , South to the sea , and East and West along the South Downs . Right on the very top I found a Skylark on the ground , not a bad judge I thought . With that he launched himself into the air , and started rising and singing .
Then I got down to the object of the exercise , finding the Early Burnt Orchids that we found on the previous visit . It has nothing to do with age , but I couldn't remember exactly where they were , and anyway , everything looked so different . I scoured a South facing slope , but didn't even find an Orchid of any description . The wind was making walking difficult , especially as I was obviously doing more that I needed to do . I made my way to another South facing slope , and found the odd Common Spotted Orchid , then good numbers of Fragrant Orchids , and flowers like Horseshoe Vetch , but still no Burnt Orchids . As I descended the slope , the wind eased somewhat , and I started getting butterflies . The first was a Small Blue , that being so small was still being buffeted around by the lesser winds . There was , as I found out , agood sized colony on the site , but difficult to estimate the size in the conditions . Other species recorded were , Small Heath , Common Blue , Meadow Brown Painted Lady and Green Hairstreak .
Day flying moths recorded included Mother Shipton , lots of Burnet Companion , Cinnabar Moth , and several specimens of Forester moth , a species that I had not come across before .
I felt quite chuffed that for once , I had managed to ID the moth myself , until I realised that it might be the only day flying metallic green moth around , and a male I think , judging by thosefeathery antennae . Eventually , I found a small group of what I was looking for , Early Burnt Orchid . Not in the best of condition , but all Orchids seem to be very advanced this year . This species is so called as the upper petals form a hood which is reddish/brown when the flowers first open , giving the appearance of being 'burned' , but the colour fades as the flowers mature . Just after finding them , I had an unusual sighting on the top of the slope , when 5 Kestrels were in the air , all together , hanging on the wind , but unfortunately too far off for a shot . The only other species seen were Jackdaw and Carrion Crow .
On my way back down , pleased that I had found some Early Burnt Orchids , but nothing like the previous numbers , I found my first Pyramidal Orchid of the year in flower . I left Mt.Caburn , passing Glyndebourne Opera house on the way , heading for Ashdown Forest , an area I had passed through on my way to the butterfly site , but now with time to stop and have a look . But not before a typical view of the British countryside on the side of the road between , 3 fields full of Llamas . They must have been feeling the heat under those wooly coats , as the white one , on the far left , was actually standing in the drinking trough . Several females had recently given birth , and I'm sure one said his name was 'Warren' . Tomorrow evening , I shall be larking about at the Old Lodge Reserve on Ashdown Forest .