Tuesday, 20 May 2008
I've never been to Denge Wood and Bonsai Bank which is now managed by the Forestry Commission, to look for Duke of Burgundy so today was the day. To be honest it didn't look too good. It was windy cold and not too sunny but I was optimistic. It's 50 miles from Longfield but in a lovely part of Kent, next to the Wye valley. I arrived around 10:30 and immediately loved the place as the beech woodland was looking great in the odd spot of sunshine. Bonsai bank wasn't hard to find but after an hour of wandering around and keeping to the paths I had only seen a few moth species and not a single butterfly but the lady orchids were superb. There were also a few speckled yellow moths on the wing.
There was a lot of variation in the lady orchids including this white variant that i've never seen before.
Then there were a few darker flowered plants.
A group of the more typical looking flowers.
I also managed to find this one having the best looking flower spike and nicely flanked by spurge.
After a bit more searching I finally found my first duke of burgundy resting on some spurge and what a little cracker.
Duke of Burgundy (female)
Then another two in an area of bramble.
In total I managed to see 6 along with large white, holly blue and brimstone.
On the way back to the car on the track I bumped into this lovely beastie a glow worm larva.
Glow Worm (larva)
Also saw 3 early purple orchids although they had gone over, a few white helleborines and there were some excellent groups of red campion. A few birds around too with 1 garden warbler, 2 blackcaps, 1 goldcrest, 1 bullfinch and 1 great spotted woodpecker.