Yesterday turned out to probably have been the best day this year, and one of those days when you just had to get out into the field!! and also the first day to be warm enough to stir butterflies to move.
At Holme Park Nature Reserve (Clawthorpe) two beautiful strong yellowy male Brimstones where seen and also two Peacocks (one photographed and shown here whilst settled on last years expired bracken -click over photo to enlarge). There were also countless numbers of large bumble bees which seemed to be surveying every quarter they could muster...
I could also hear two if not three separate Chiffchaffs, constantly calling to tell everyone "We have arrived"... and I thought at first I had a Willow Warbler calling with its soft two syllable "woo-wit"contact call.. but on closer examination it turned out to be the Chaffinch which also has a very similar call which when uttered soft, can so easily be confused..
Just now and again the large Raven would make its presence known with a quiet "honk" as it broke the skyline above me, before settling down on the rugged man made slopes of the Holme Park Quarry, where I presume it must have claimed its ledge for the coming months..
In the distance the Green Woodpecker could be heard "yaffling", also the quiet "piping" of the Bullfinch which now seem to be so common in these parts..
One of the main draws to bring me to such a beautiful little spot today was to see if there could possibly be any Early Purple Orchids starting to show. Its probably still another fortnight away before the flower can be seen but I was able to find a little spot where a colony was coming through, although you can see from the photo (Click over photo to enlarge), the leaves had been attacked already by some nibbly predator.
Also on show in one area was Barren Strawberry and the beautiful little Common Dog Violets.
(Click over photo to enlarge)
"Brimstones and Peacocks flutter on high,
Chiffchaffs sing their ditti's.
The Raven displays its majesty,
Whilst bonnie Violets die and Orchids