The reserve is split in two by the M40 motorway and this part is much quieter than the Beacon Hill side. It's covered in wild flowers and is a real treat to walk along the top of the hill, looking out over the wonderful views. There were hundreds of marbled whites fluttering all around me, plus ringlets, meadow browns and several small heaths. It was lovely!
As I was photographing them, I realised there were another two very close by. I was happy to have found them and gave up at that point, but I'm sure there were lots more nearby (I just couldn't see them!)
|There are four frog orchids in this photo - that's how hard they are to spot!|
|Common spotted orchid|
|Very popular with the bees|
About half way back to the car, the sun came out from behind a cloud and a large orange butterfly shot past me. It was flying fast and not settling and I was pretty sure it was my first fritillary of the year. Then I saw another and another and they were flying all around me, bombing about, hurtling around. As soon as the sun went in they disappeared, only to start flying around again as soon as it was sunny again. I chased them for a while hoping they might just settle, but they weren't in the mood to be photographed. Eventually I decided to plant myself next to some knapweed and see if they would come to me. Eventually one did exactly that and settled for about a second, just long enough to get one photo before it was off again. This is the only photo I got of them, enough for me to id them as dark green fritillaries.
|Dark green fritillary|
What a brilliant morning chasing frog orchids and fritillaries around Bald Hill!