Saturday, 24 May 2008

Trosley Country Park

An early morning trip to Trosley C.P. saw me there just after 7:30am. At this time it wasn't too windy and the odd sunny spell occurred. I headed through the woodland to the southern bank of the downs and started to look for orchids in the western section. There was a single man orchid and only 2 common spotted orchids in a place were normally I have seen up to 10. In the past couple of years I have also seen a single greater butterfly orchid here but this time no sign. There were still a few common twayblade and 4 white helleborine in flower and looking good. I decided to walk the length of the reserve along the downs. Apart from the 2 Dartmoor Ponies which I suspect might have nibbled the odd orchid I initially saw very little. I then noticed that a couple of reptile mats had been placed down and under the first one was a lovely female slow worm and under the second were 2 adders, certainly one being a female which quickly slithered off. The other adder was very small and could possibly have been born this year, not sure?
A bit of bird song around me but not much really. Blackcaps were the most evident with at least 6 a single whitethroat and chiffchaff. I finally managed to start seeing a few butterflies with the odd common blue and finally saw a total of 14 along with 1 peacock, 1 holly blue and a single dingy skipper, there was also a single female broad bodied chaser.
Back in the wood I found another couple of sets of reptile mats and managed to see a second female slow worm and then I stumbled upon a beautiful male adder basking on a tree trunk with his scales flattened to catch the most of the warming sun.

Holly Blue (female)

Adder (male)

With the ground being so dry and hard, I wondered if these holes in the wood chip path had been made by foraging badgers.


Mike - Fenphotography said...

Hi John, I followed your link from Warren @ Pittswood patch, nice blog you have here with some great shots, I really like the moth photos in particular, very nice. Mike.

Simon said...

Some super photos today John.

Steve said...

Like the Adder shots John. Some really nice sightings for you today. Steve

Steve said...

Scrolling down my blog I see that I was at Stockbury about this time last year - I didn't see Fly orchod there though - could you let me know where you saw them John? Also note I had Bee Orchid about this time last year at New Hythe - no sign of any yet this year....

John Young said...

Hi Steve, no problem, replied to your works address. Cheers, JOhn

Warren Baker said...

That Holly Blue is a great shot John. I have not managed to find one that will keep still long enough to photo!

Greenie said...

John ,
Re your smaller adder .
This years pairs have / are mating and the offspring will no be produced till late Aug / early Sept. after 3/4 months gestation .
Yours was probably last years or the year before .