Friday, 1 May 2015

Dancersend Blues

I went to Dancersend Nature reserve for a look around this morning. It's a large site made up of woodland, meadows and chalk grassland, so there's a lot to see, but the stars of the show today had to be the bluebells. They're at their peak at the moment and were absolutely stunning.


On the chalk grassland, there were plenty of signs that the orchids are on the way. I found lots of small spotty leaves and the larger leaves of the Greater Butterfly Orchid that's about to flower.  Fly orchids flower there, so I'll have to go back with Bug Mad Girl in a week or two to see if we can find them.

Spotty orchid leaves
Greater Butterfly Orchid (thanks to Mick the warden for help with the id)
There were plenty of other flowers to admire ...
Cowslips were out in the meadow
Greater stitchwort


Hedge garlic - foodplant of the Orange Tip caterpillar

Spurge growing in the woods

Wood anemone

Yellow archangel (yellow dead-nettle)
There were some lovely fern leaves unfolding in the woods. They look like tightly closed fists opening up.

It was a bit chilly and breezy for the butterflies, but I did see a male orange tip and a tortoiseshell as I was leaving. It's a lovely reserve and I'm looking forward to going back to see the orchids.


  1. Nice photos. Hope you have your alarm clock ready for Sunday? Hope it isn't raining for the dawn chorus. Got a Dawn Chorus Day special How To Draw on my blog for you to get you in the mood.

  2. The forecast isn't looking great at the moment, but hopefully they'll be wrong again! BMG is keen so it looks like we'll head out to the NR and join a guided walk. Should be fun, even in the rain!

  3. Your 'Twayblade' is actually a Greater Butterfly Orchid - pair of long, undulating, floppy leaves whereas Twayblade would have two shorter, almost circular, stiff leaves at this stage. I love all your photos, Glad you enjoyed your visit - do come back for the orchids..

  4. Thanks for letting me know - that's even more exciting! Can't wait to see the orchids.