Of our 4 day stay I spent the last couple of days at Powerstock common and it was rich for insects and birds and a lovely range of flora.
In the heathy open areas the air thick with mist, drizzle and heavy downpours but also the intoxicating songs of tree pipit, yellowhammer, whitethroat and willow warbler.
Patches of Heath spotted orchid alongside meadow thistles. Marsh fritillaries, just emerging seemed to like feeding on the thistles.
The railway cutting fantastically filled with all sorts. Butterfly orchid at the edge of scrubby woodland. Bee orchids just coming into flower. Lots of twayblade. A grizzled skipper. Slow worm and crested newt hiding under corrugated metal sheets. Frustratingly a lot of this was happening as the sun came out, just as it was time to leave
Long Mead – Kingcombe
a large patch of heath spotted orchids and nearby the dark spikes of marsh thistle.
Lady’s mead – Kingcombe… a long sloping meadow full of buttercups with flushes of ragged robin and marsh orchids. The latter seem like the glamorous protagonists with the million buttercups as supporting cast. There was a strange lack of insects considering the wealth of flowers and the season. I’d guess less than 10 bumblebees in a huge field. The damselfly (azure I think) was the only dragonfly I saw other than demoiselles down by the stream.
Great to have 4 days of solid sketching, there is always some kind of group momentum with these projects… spurring each other on.