Haw Park & Anglers CP field meeting

Our group of about 12 were pleasantly surprised to be met by Pete Smith, with a collection of moths he had trapped on Saturday night, identified and put into magnifying boxes for us to see, including the beautiful carpet moth, snout moth, barred red moth, gold spangle moth and rarer muslin footman moth. Thanks Pete, for such an interesting start to our morning, thanks also to Paul Andrews, from the Butterfly Conservation Society who led, and shared his expert knowledge of Haw Park Wood on an interesting walk through the wood.

All the common species of butterfly were seen along the track to the cornfield, small skipper, speckled wood, gatekeeper, red admiral, small tortoiseshell and meadow brown with ringlets in abundance as we came under the canopy of the wood.  Along the main path the bracken and foliage were covered in common blue damselfly. Wildflowers noted were slender St John’s wort, broad leaved helleborine (not quite inflower) and heath speedwell

Paul pointed out a colony of wild honey bees’ busy making honey in a hole halfway up a tree, not easy to see and becoming more of a rarity in recent years.

Heath speedwell

Heath speedwell – Lesley Taylor

Meadow bron

meadow brown – Roger Gaynor

slender St John's-wort

slender St John’s-wort -Lesley Taylor

Wild flowers at Anglers Country Park

The bright morning soon clouded over but within a few hundred yards of the car park we came across the first few northern marsh orchids and a hybrid common spotted orchid amongst a waving cloud of meadow buttercups and fading lady’s smock.  We followed the path to the left enjoying the patches of bird’s foot trefoil, field penny-cress, crosswort and fumitory – down by the lakeside a pair of oystercatchers expressed their anxiety as we neared their youngster so we returned to the path past lesser stitchwort, hop trefoil and black medick. Swathes of ox-eye daisies and meadow buttercups filled the lakeside meadow as we turned onto the path to the main hide and we were delighted to see a really beautiful display of northern marsh orchids (possibly hybrid) on both sides of the path, they are not quite fully out but still wonderful to see.

Northern marsh orchids

Northern marsh orchids

Field panny cress

Field panny cress