After getting some jobs done this morning , I decided after lunch to do the first full Butterfly transect of the year at High Elms Country Park , not expecting too much with a cool wind blowing . I was glad to have put on a fleece , as it was quite cool on my arrival . After getting some Warbler shots in the sun yesterday , I was brought down to earth with just one bird shot , if you could call it so , of a male Green Woodpecker that I disturbed in the long grass , just off the golf course . It flew to an adjacent tree , then whichever way I moved , he did the opposite , ending up with just a head shot . As often it seems , when I go to High Elms , the sun goes in , and today was no different . No sun and that cool wind meant that I didn't see a single butterfly , if fact hardly anything flying . Blackcap and Chiffchaff singing , Nuthatch , Gt.Spotted Woodpecker and of course the Rose Ringed Parakeets , were the best I could manage , so turned my attention to the flora . Spurge Laurel is a lime lover , and it's nondescript flowers are easily overlooked . Later in the year , the fruit , a black berry will be carried by this member of the Daphne family .
Along High Elms Lane , this is the time to look out for Green Helebores , and once again they did not let me down . Once again , a nondescript flower , but unusual , with leaves like the top of a Palm tree , and surprisingly , a member of the Buttercup family . The colony here seems to be going from strength to strength . Above Burnt Gorse , I searched the boundary of the Park for a colourful fungi that I usually find here . In amongst the leaf litter , I found just two specimens of Scarlet Elf Cup . They were faded specimens , but I hope to post more vibrant specimens when we do the first Dormouse/Adder survey up on the Greensand Ridge , next week .
One of the few insects that I found flying today , was this Solitary Bee , trying to get some sustenance from a Dandelion flower . I also found a couple of Buff-tailed Bumblebees , but nothing like the numbers found in recent days . One of the few plants in flower was the Wild Strawberry , which of course , is a member of the Rose family . I checked on the site of the Bird's Nest Orchids , which should be showing soon , but all I found were the seed heads of last years specimens . On the Orchid Bank , the only species that I found were small rosettes of Common Spotted Orchid , but they are not due to come into flower until the middle of next month , at the earliest . On the bridle path , down the middle of the Golf Course , I found the white version of Sweet Violet . They are usually blue/violet or white , but rarely , pink , lilac and yellow specimens can be found . Finally , down by the clubhouse , the Horse Chestnut is not only in leaf , but the flower stalks are ready to open as well .
Getting back to the car , I was well pleased to have worn the fleece , as the sun hardly showed at all , nothing changes when I go to High Elms .
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