Sunday, 31 May 2015

Slow Worms and Southern Marsh Orchids

My plans for a day out on Sunday 31st May went out of the window due to strong winds and rain but by 2pm the rain had cleared and I needed to get out of the house and so I went for a walk at Billacombe Railway and Blagdons Meadow.

Arriving at Billacombe Railway and it was cool and grey with a strong breeze but eventually the sun appeared and it was pleasant out of the wind. I checked out the felt squares again and found at least 30 slow worms, mostly small black and buff coloured ones but 6 large and brown coloured ones too. I also found a common lizard which played dead for a while before it scuttled off. I wonder if on my last visit the slow worms were there but hidden in the dead vegetation due to the warm weather but today they were closer to the surface as it was cooler.

 Slow Worm - small, and black and buff coloured
 Slow Worm - large and brown coloured
 Slow Worm
Common Lizard playing dead

Also seen were a Pyrausta aurata moth, a male common blue, a Southern marsh orchid and a flyover greenfinch. A chiffchaff was heard singing and I snacked on some wild strawberries, very small but very delicious.

 Pyrausta aurata
 Southern Marsh Orchid
Cricket Sp. Nymph

I headed over to Blagdons Meadow and quickly found more Southern marsh orchids in flower. The early purple orchids were starting to go over but there was no sign of any bee orchids. Male common blues were on the wing with quite a few burnet companion moths disturbed from the grass. Swallows were skimming low over the grass in the cool breeze and a pair of greenfinch flew overhead. So all in all not a bad couple of hours out and about and not far from home.

 This Maids Ocean Days are over - but a nest site for swallows on the River Plym
 Southern Marsh Orchids
Burnet Companion

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