Firstly , as I still cannot edit published posts , many thanks to Dean/DDD for identifying Grass Wave and Clouded Buff , the two moths from yesterday's post . Thanks Dean .
I spent at least two hours this morning , searching for a place and a flower that I last saw many years ago , and was taken to the site , hence the fact that my search took so long . This was the plant , taken on that visit , the Deptford Pink/Dianthus armeria . After two hours plus of searching , the plant was not found , probably too early , so I will try again later in the month . The visit did produce some nice plants though ,
Common Poppy/Papaverer rhoeas ,Bugloss/Lycopsis arvensis , not to be confused with Viper's Bugloss , though both members of the Borage family ,Broad-leaved Everlasting Pea/Lathyrus latifolius ,Bladder Campion/Silene vulgaris , another member of the Pink family ,Scarlet Pimpernel/Anagallis arvensis , surprisingly , a member of the Primrose family , but no sign of the target species .
Being so near , I stopped to check on the Green-flowered Helleborines , but once again , no sign .
Having recorded my first Dark Green Fritillary at Down last weekend , I decided to try and rescue the day by visiting the Country Park at Lullingstone to see if they had emerged there too . The meadow above the Visitor Centre was awash with Ox-eye Daisies , with the odd Pyramidal Orchid and Hawkweed interspersed . Rather than walking trough the meadow , I stuck to the woodland edge , where the Bramble was in full flower , and many Large Skippers , like this female , were making the most of it .What worries me though , is what will happen to the late emerging species if all the Bramble is gone over . Reaching the Orchid Bank , which could be called the 'non Orchid Bank' following the visit , the target species soon came into view . All the specimens that I saw , like the one pictured were males , but a couple told me that they had seen a mating pair . I thought that this specimen might have been a female , but , when it flew , it proved to be a male too . At the top of the bank is a stand of Greater Knapweed , and in all honesty , it should have a 'golden M' spanning it , as it was the fast food restaurant that all the males were stopping at .
At the bottom of the bank , a plant more often found around the coast , and highly poisonous , Henbane/Hyoscyamus niger , a member of the Nightshade family , that did not appear last year . Those flowers will become capsules , similar to Deadly Nightshade .
My 'non Orchid Bank' , refers to the fact that so few Orchids were found there . Pyramidal were coming through , but in small numbers , I found one gone over Fragrant , but not a sign of a Bee Orchid , which seem to be in short supply everywhere at the moment . The finding of two specimens of Lizard Orchid/Himantoglossum hircinum did help things , but with the current weather conditions , they were 'weedy' specimens compared to other years , but better than last , when I don't believe any showed . Along the Darenth , Odonata were also in short supply , but after photographing this Figwort flower , the battery gave out , and guess who had had another senior moment and not recharged the other one ?
I photographed this Small Heath on Ox-eye Daisy earlier , hunkered down out of the wind , and when I got home , noticed the small moth also on the flower , will the man be able to make this one ? Plenty of Burnet Companions and a couple of Lace Border (pictured) were also seen .
Difficult to record numbers in the conditions today , but a conservative estimate was , 10+ Large Skipper , 10+ Common Blue , 2 Small Tortoiseshell , 25+ Dark Green Fritillary , 15+ Meadow Brown and 10+ Small Heath .
Finally , in response to Mike H's request for details of Ashdown Forest , Mike , I don't seem to have your email address . If you provide it , I will be only too happy to send the information .
And , yes , I have recharged BOTH batteries since getting back home .