Some days are wilder than others, even when you work on a nature reserve. Today was not one of the wildest, the morning was spent in a meeting, where wildlife was a topic rather than present and the afternoon was largely taken up with trimming paths with the help of our volunteers. During path trimming we saw a few common spotted orchid and broad-leaved helleborine, I looked for twayblade and southern marsh orchid, both of which I have seen in the same area before but without success.
It was warming up as we finished and on the way back to the Centre we saw a red admiral and a male large white. Butterflies are very few and far between at present, but soon the browns will be out and this should change.
As I went to lock up the sun was almost out and near the Woodland hide the orange-tip caterpillars were doing their best to look like the garlic mustard seedpods upon which they feed.
When I first saw these I discounted them as orange-tip, because they were not green, forgetting that they look quite different in their first few instars.
On the way down to the Ivy South hide is found a tree bumblebee sunning itself on a bramble leaf. This is a species that ha sonly colonised this country in this century, but is already common throughout most of England. It is similar to the common carder bee but the white tail gives it away.
Finally caught up, I just have to keep going to the end of the month now!