Although I've not had the chance to post on my last few trips out, I think they can be neatly lumped together as: nice weather, nothing remarkable on the birding front, plenty of plants and insects to keep me interested (confused). Oh, and lots of insect bites - why am I so popular with them?
I was delighted to find my first orchids at Ufton a couple of weeks ago, the Common Spotted Orchid to be precise. Not that this took any great skill on my part, just the brains to turn up at the right time of year and actually look for them. Forgot my camera though, which makes it all the more fortunate that there were also some in Fingringhoe, Essex, this weekend - hence the picture.
Bird-wise, I'm disappointed to report that I have still only heard one cuckoo this year, and that at Brandon Marsh. Regular spots from previous years, including Ufton, Napton Reservoir and Radford Semele, have all been silent this year. Hmm. I notice that Swifts have been put on the amber list this year as well - sometimes it's hard to stay optimistic about these things.
Anyway, Fingringhoe put on a pretty good show - Nightingales still calling, plenty of warblers around, the usual Curlews and Little Egrets out on the marshes, and lots of newly fledged birds around the place - as with the Magpies in the photo, and the Long-tailed Tit, one of dozens which swarmed past me at one point.
Flower of the month: Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), just how did I get to my age without noticing things like this before - absolutely beautiful.