Saturday, 9 May 2015

Flowery Ragpits

Homework finished, Bug Mad Girl wanted to have a quick run around Aston Clinton Ragpits. We've seen Slow-worms there the last two times we've visited, so she was excited to go back and see if we could find any again.

When we got there it was obvious that the orchids had really grown in the last couple of weeks. There were Twayblades starting to flower and lots more growing throughout the site. They're a green orchid and probably the most common of Britain's orchids.

Common Twayblade starting to flower

We also found lots of spotty leaves belonging to the Common Spotted Orchid and maybe Fragrant Orchids (although I can't remember whether they have spotty leaves or not!)
Common Spotted Orchid leaves
We saw several Greater Butterfly Orchids in bud.
Greater Butterfly Orchids will soon be flowering
 All of the orchids are going to look stunning in a few weeks ... really can't wait!

The Ragpits are such a brilliant place for wildflowers and there were lots to see apart from the orchids. The Primroses had gone over, but the Cowslips were still going strong.

We found Bird's Foot Trefoil and some bright blue Milkwort. We also found a small pink pea flower, but I'm not sure of it's name.

Birds-foot Trefoil

Bird's-foot Trefoil buds


Small pink pea
Then we spotted lots of tiny Adders-tongue Ferns growing in amongst the grass. It doesn't look like a fern, with an oval shaped upright frond and single, tall spike. It's quite unusual so we were glad to see it.
Adders-tongue Fern

Adders-tongue Fern
What about the Slow-worm? Well, we carefully looked under the metal sheets put out for them to bask underneath and we found 2 little Bank Voles. We were so surprised, that they'd disappeared by the time either of us got round to taking a picture!  Under the next sheet we found an ants nest, so carefully replaced the sheet for them.

Ants nest
 Then Bug Mad Girl spotted a Jay in the grass and disappeared off to get a photo of it.

We found a wolf spider with a blue egg sac and even found a few Roman Snails.

Roman Snail

Wolf spider with a blue pearl egg sac
With one sheet of metal left to look under, Bug Mad Girl said that if there was a Slow-worm underneath it, this would have been the best day ever! Unfortunately there was no Slow-worm, but it was still a pretty good day!


  1. Great pics of some interesting plants. Not much of a plant expert myself, so I am glad you are teaching me with this great blog.

  2. Thanks Sean. I'm not an expert, so sorry if I've got any names wrong!