Wednesday, 3 June 2015

#30DaysWild Day 3: Back to see the White Helleborines

The sun was actually shining today so I decided to go and have another look at the White Helleborines that Bug Mad Girl found last week. They're growing on chalk, on a steep slope in the shade of beech trees. Nothing else is growing near them and they really look out of place there. They seem very happy there though!

Some of the flowers had opened up to show their yellow colouring, but most remained closed, which is typical of White Helleborines.

Then I emerged from the shade of the beech trees and paused to take in the amazing view.

It felt like the grassland had burst into life since our last visit. Yellow vetch covered the slopes and everywhere was buzzing with literally hundreds of Garden Chafer beetles with their metallic green heads and shiny bronze wing cases.

I saw several Common Blues, one of which sat on my finger for a few minutes and made friends with me.
#30DaysWild day 3

I also saw a Dingy Skipper - shame about the name, as it's not that dingy!
Last week we found three Common Spotted Orchids in flower in one part of the site, but today there were lots more flowering in many different parts of the site. The Twayblades seemed to have appeared as well. It's amazing how the orchids all seem to pop up over night. You can look for them one day and find very little trace, then you go back a couple of days later and they're all there.

Common Spotted Orchid

Common Spotted Orchid
I found a tiny 14 spot ladybird hiding in a Twayblade and a Grasshopper in the grass. Both were very well camouflaged!

14 spot ladybird in a twayblade

Then I walked back through the woods and watched a bunny for a few minutes on the path ahead of me.  It eventually realized I was there and shot off into the bushes.

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