"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Saturday, 31 May 2014

Orchids at Marsh Lane NR and Garden Update

We paid a visit to Marsh Lane NR this afternoon mainly to see the display of Southern Marsh and Common Spotted Orchids. The weather was very dull and gloomy and looked on the verge of rain so the light wasn't good and some of the photos are a trifle dark and gloomy! I've included a few more photos of the reserve from today's visit.

This is the pool by the car park on the main part of the reserve.

Yellow irises (flags) are coming into flower around many of the pools.

Walking down to Oak Hide from the car park.

Ox-eye daisies are coming into flower.

One of the pools (I call this the Reed Pool) viewable from behind a screen. The crop field is in the back ground - crops are left over winter to provide seeds for finches, buntings etc.

Dog Rose

Car Park Pool from one of the screens

The meadow behind Oak Hide was full of buttercups, Southern Marsh and Common Spotted Orchids together with a few patches of Ragged Robin :)

Buttercups and Orchids

Buttercups and Ragged Robin

Ragged Robin

Orchids and Buttercups

Southern Marsh Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid

The path towards Railway Copse and Hide

Slug rescued from the path!!

Cuckoo Flower/Ladies Smock - Orange Tip butterflies lay their eggs on this species.

There were several broken eggshells along the path - I suspect a magpie had been robbing nests.

Red campion flowering everywhere.

We had a walk round Railway Copse - a few damselflies about - too far away to get pictures but I did manage a poor shot of Tree Bumble Bee on a bramble flower. This species has built a nest in our roof (under a broken ridge tile) at home so now I know why its the most common bumble bee species in our garden at present!

Nettle Tap Moth, I think.

We spent time in Oak Hide on our way back to the car. There were lots of young birds round the reserve - a newly hatched Lapwing chick, coot families and Greylag Goose goslings of various ages.

Garden Update

Blue Tits

Three of the chicks left the nest last Monday and the smallest one of the clutch joined them the next day. We just wish them well in the wide world!

Emperor Moth caterpillars are growing well and have all shed their first skins and entered their 2nd instar. This photo was taken about a week ago - they are a lot bigger now!

You can possibly make out a shed skin in this photo.

I haven't been putting the moth trap much in recent weeks partly due to overnight rain and partly because I really am catching very few moths. In fact, so few have been caught I can't even be bothered to type up my usual moth session lists.

So just a few photos of some caught recently.

Foxglove Pug - one of the few Pug species that is distinctive!

Waved Umber - new for year. I actually found this one on the bathroom wall.

Knot Grass

Small Rivulet - New for Year and a new species for the garden.

Small Dusty Wave (found on kitchen window) - new for year

Straw Dot (found on garage window) - new for year

A couple of photos of Angle Shades - such a lovely moth and again the first for this year.

Finally, a Hawthorn Shield Bug found on nettles in the garden

I am still trying to spot 365 species visiting the garden this year - but to be honest my lists need totally updating as I just have notes scribbled on bits of paper and I have a folder of insects to identify but hopefully one day soon I'll get the records into some sort of order and will do an update.


Margaret Adamson said...

HI RR What a wonderful walk you must have had. I love seeing the meadows with all the beautiful wild flowers and you have captured them very well. great selection of Moths in your garden now and perhaps you catching up should be keep for the wintertime. Just get out there and enjoy what summer we are going to have! Let me know if you crossed the bridge today with me!. Have a wonderful weekend.

Countryside Tales said...

Love the Angle Shades in particular- haven't seen one yet this year. Great news re the Blue Tits and also the Tree Bee nest. Am wondering if we have the same thing here as I rescued one yesterday who was sitting on the patio. The orchids are lovely too. Hope the moths pick up for you soon. I think the weather is going to be better this weekend x

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - Thank you very much Margaret. Its such a lovely time of year for wild flowers.

Yes, you are right about getting out and worrying about id when the winter comes!

Yes, I'll be crossing the bridge with you later :) Thankfully, virtually!! If its the bridge I think it is you are very brave!

Countryside Tales - Thanks so much CT. Angle Shades are just beautiful - mild last night 11.2 and a few more moths in the trap - Heart and Dart have appeared!!

Tree Bumbles often nest in nestboxes apparently. So you could well have a nest either there or in roof - glad you've managed to see one. Constantly rescuing individuals from our garage!! I think our neighbours are most unhappy about the nest but it doesn't damage structure and they aren't aggressive so it will stay!!!

amanda peters said...

Looks like a great place to visit, have a spot near me that has Orchids will have to go and see if they are flowering. Started with a sheet and light to see moths, then talked husband into making a DIY light box, bought a UV light and put it out all night last night, caught zip ! Apart from one tiny moth that flew of when I tried to get it out of the egg box :( trying again to night.. Love seing all the moths you have caught.
Amanda x

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much. There's another meadow with orchids not far away - only open to public 2 weekends a year so I'm looking forward to that.

Great news about your husband making a moth trap. Wish you lots of luck. I've lost count of how many whizz off unidentified when I try and get them out of moth trap!!! Sometimes more escape than are potted! I only got 5 species last night but will get better as summer arrives. Look forward to seeing what you catch :)

Bovey Belle said...

Great post. I felt I was on the walk with you.

I think you must be well on the way to your magical 365 by now - some good moth photos again. I must start to look at the ones we get on the windows here in the evenings and see what they are. We had a dead Ermine Moth just by the greenhouse at the weekend. Only 364 for me to go then!!!

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much for your lovely comment :)

I must get my 365 list into some sort of order!! I did a 24 hour garden bioblitz over the weekend which has added a lot more species! :) Good luck with checking out your moths - its worth it as I've found some great ones on windows and in bathroom etc. :)

Em Parkinson said...

Funnily enough I went orchid hunting in the marsh today but was VERY unsuccessful. They all seem to have disappeared this year. A few weeks ago their spotted leaves were in evidence but now they've gone. Lovely pics all round.

Ragged Robin said...

Em Parkinson Thanks so much :) Sorry to hear your orchids have disappeared - not good. Have they finished flowering or are there no signs of flower spikes? I don't know a lot about orchid biology but do they flower some years but not others? Had a quick look at your blog earlier - looks like you had a great holiday.:) Will leave a comment later - been out most of the day.