WARNING ; TWO PICTURES OF A DEAD BADGER AT END OF THIS POST .
The morning did turn out reasonable , but once again that wind was a pain , especially with photography . It was worse where I decided to go , up on the Downs , with butterflies and maybe a reptile or two . The recent rain and cooler weather would hopefully change my luck , but it wasn't to be regarding reptiles , as just three Slow Worms were all that was found . The first half hour on site was spent trying to find a Nightingale that was singing in short spurts from a scrubby area . At one point , a Common Whitethroat landed nearby , and a singing competition started between the two birds . At times I felt that the Nightingale was no further than an arms length away , but I could not see it . In the end , I caught a back end view as it flew to another patch of scrub and started singing there , but I did not follow him , just enjoyed the song as I went on . Once again , butterflies were very few and far between , and once again it was the flower heads of Ox-eye Daisies that provided interest . This Long-horned Beetle/Strangalia maculata , is the first of the species that I have seen this year , but now they are emerging , they will be everywhere , especially on Bramble flowers . Mind you , these two Leaf Beetles/Chrysolinahyperici , in their irridescent coats , chose one of the yellow Daisy family for their activities . Lots of Fragrant Orchids , in varoius stages were found , a few of them almost pristine . The butterfly records were hard to come by and just 5 species , Small Heath (19) , Large Skipper (13) , Speckled Wood (1) and Common Blue (21) , were recorded , until on the way back to the car , a small specimen flew past me , assisted by the strong wind . I felt sure it was a Small Blue , our smallest butterfly , but didn't get a good enough view . 50 metres further on , I found another , and this time was able to confirm the identification . I found another two close by , all 3 being males , looking as if they had just emerged . Surprising really as Steve/Kingsdowner posted the species several weeks ago now , down on his patch on the Kent coast .
A few flowers found , starting to give some much needed colour and nectar ,
Self-heal/Prunella vulgaris , another member of the Labiate family , and once thought to have medicinal properties , curing people without the need of a Doctor , hence it's common name .Wild Mignonette/Reseda lutea ,
Agrimony/Agrimonia eupatoria , a member of the Rose family , another that was used medicinally , to cure colds and to treat snake bite , must remember that ,and Eyebright/Euphrasia officinalis , a member of the Figwort family , and was used as the common name implies , to make ladies eyes sparkle .
DO NOT READ FURTHER IF THE SIGHT OF A DEAD ANIMAL MIGHT UPSET YOU .
The last two pictures might upset some people , as they are of a dead Badger that I found today .
There was no sign of injury or wound on the animal , and from the position it was in , it just looked as if it had layed down , and died . Such a shame .