On this bright, mild morning, 12 turned up for a walk through new territory near Bartley, some suffering from a late-night mothing hangover, or so they said. We ventured south via Nicholas Corner into pleasant, deciduous woodland just outside the eastern boundary of Brockishill Inclosure, leading eventually to a stream (on its way to Bartley Water) and footbridge near Little Stubby Hat.
Brief forays further east had defeated the leaders as paths petered out, so the return circular route north was, perforce, through the bleak, managed Inclosure.
Near the start, the track was open and flanked by damp ditches with several species of Ranunculus including Lesser Spearwort. Then our path wavered indistinctly through woodland and clearings; shade and bright sunshine. Bird sightings were few but we could hear Blackbird, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatch, and found a ravaged shell of a Woodpigeon egg.
|Beautiful Demoiselle - male|
We came across Lesser Trefoil, Bog and Yellow Pimpernel, Tormentil, Foxglove, Bugle and Heath Spotted Orchid with a fine, tawny specimen of Pluteus leoninus on a fallen trunk. A few Speckled Wood, Brimstone and Large White butterflies bobbed about with even more elusive day-flying moths, and the brilliant turquoise of several Beautiful Demoiselle darting in and out of sunny patches above our heads. MW/SP