Nevertheless we still headed south popping into a roadside nature reserve for Man Orchid on the way down. The verge here has become a bit overgrown and numbers are down on last year. We saw c35
Next up was a river valley site I'd tried and failed at last year for Beautiful Demoiselle. This time, armed with detailed directions we scored within minutes. It was interesting to see them alongside Banded Demoiselles and this may just be unique in the UK. Certainly this is the only site in East Anglia for Beautiful. Apart from Bullfinch and 2 Large Red Damselflies we didn't see much else.
The previous evening we'd arranged to meet a contact who'd agreed to show us the only East Anglian Fly Orchids. He shall remain nameless, as will the sensitive and private site but he was good to his word and we were amazed to see c80 plants in 2 woodland clearings! Indeed the whole wood was superb with c20 Bee Orchids, 6 Greater Butterfly Orchids, Common Spotted Orchid, Pyramidal Orchid and Adder's Tongue all seen. Several Burnet Companion moths were flying and I found a single Blackneck too. Butterflies included Common Blue, Speckled Wood, Red Admiral and the first Meadow Browns of the year. Birdwise it was just Great Spotted Woodpecker, c3 Willow Warblers, Garden Warbler, Mistle Thrush and a couple of Common Buzzards
Greater Butterfly Orchids
Common Spotted Orchid, a strikingly pale specimen
Crab Spider on Common Spotted Orchid
On the way home we called into Theltenham Fen were there was a fine display of incarnata Early Marsh Orchids, Southern Marsh Orchids and Yellow Flag Iris.
incarnata Early Marsh Orchid
Southern Marsh Orchid