I have just got back from a lovely morning up on Hartslock where I can confirm that the orchid flowering season is definitely over. All of the Lady, hybrids & Monkey orchids have set seed or are very close to going to seed so if you haven’t come already then book a date in your calendar for the second/third week of May 2015. There are plenty of Common-spotted Orchids and around 100 Bee Orchids looking really exotic and the Pyramidal Orchids are just starting.
The rest of the site was looking really lovely with a profusion of flowers and butterflies. The first Large Skippers and Marbled Whites were out and a lone Clouded Yellow zoomed across slope 3, pausing to drink nectar from Dogwood flowers.
Dodder (Cuscuta epithymum) is starting to appear across the reserve but isn’t in flower so can be tricky to spot, while another rare and elusive plant, the Bastard Toadflax (Thesium humifusum), is flowering well across in slope 4 – accompanied by the Bastard Toadflax Bug (Canthophorus impressus)