Had a tiring but very enjoyable day on the reserve yesterday. I was very keen to see what it looked like because we had had some heavy rain – the first for nearly 2 months! Gerry & I spent the morning workparty revisiting all the mapped squares, noting down which orchids were in flower but not looking for any of the remaining unfound plants – I think that if we haven’t found a plant by now it has probably taken a year out or withered and dried up anyway.
Much to my amazement we found a few Monkey orchids in flower (about 40) but they were nearly all restricted to the western side of the slope, where the soils were able to retain a little more moisture. All the Monkey orchids on the southern aspect were yellow and the very few that had set bud were probably going to abort anyway.
In the afternoon a pre-booked party from the Hardy Orchid Society came up to have a walk round the site. We saw just about everything that we wanted to see (including a late Grizzled Skipper) but the Club-tailed dragonflies that had been common in the morning has all buzzed off and were not showing themselves. Out of the wind there were also a few large mayflies (Ephemera vulgata) doing their courtship dance.