I contrived to have the longest day off this year, the first day of my weekend, so I suppose it will also be the longest weekend, at least for daylight. Remarkably it was not raining so I took the opportunity to visit Broughton Down again, a gem of a site and for most of the time we had it to ourselves. It is proper downland as you imaging it should be, or at least some sections are, some still suffer from scrub encroachment, but a long term program of control is taking effect.
The top of the Down is especially good for fragrant orchid, of which there are literally thousands.
They come in varying shades.
Usually as single flowering spikes, but sometimes in groups.
And to cap it all they are really fragrant too.
There were some other orchids, in the hollows especially, there were common spotted orchid.
And thinly scattered through the fragrant orchid were pyramidal orchid.
There were good numbers of butterflies, perhaps commonest were small heath, impressive as they are seriously reduced in numbers at most sites. Perhaps next most frequent was dark green fritillary, then brimstone, meadow brown, marbled white and common blue. None of which I got pictures of, although as I staked out a group of large scabious flowers I did get a Conopid fly, probably Sicus ferrugineus.
My other insect highlight remains unidentified, but is very smart, if anyone recognises it I would love to know.
Back home in the garden I did manage to get a picture of a meadow brown, one of at least three in our mini-meadow.
I also got a shot of a leafcutter bee on a geranium.