As we reach the middle of 2012, in an unseasonally unseasonal year, the only certainty presenting itself for this visit was the apparent lack of bird life. Not that there weren't any birds, just that they were all rather busy with raising families and had plenty of undergrowth in which to lose themselves. This latter fact was immediately obvious from the usual opening shot.
The view along many of the rides was of lush vegetation encroaching upon the path, Hogweed being the most obvious plant, with its tall pinky white flower heads.
These blooms were alive with insects. Bees, hover flies, butterflies, beetles, and several species of micro moth. This is Nemophera degeerella, a species of longhorn moth.
In fact, insects were the order of the day. We noted several species of ladybird: Seven-spot, inevitably, but also Orange Ladybird, Halyzia 16-guttata, and Fourteen-spot Ladybird, Propylea 14-punctata.
The fresh Bracken shoots were amazing... fractal geometry anyone?
Whilst I investigated a woodland pond for odes, Our Lass remained on the main ride. So although I recorded a solitary Large Red Damselfly on a rush stem, she found a Broad-bodied Chaser dragonfly hunting along the vegetation at the edge of the path. Gah!
In one of the wider and sunnier rides, we spotted a yellow flower. My initial thought was some species of buttercup, but recourse to Blamey, Fitter and Fitter's Wild Flowers of Britain and Ireland, suggested that Trailing Tormentil, Potentilla anglica, was a more likely candidate.