Today I decided to re-visit another of my favourite places in Worcestershire, Penny Hill Bank NR. The weather was although considerably milder, very dull and still not great for butterflies. But my main purpose today wasn't to look for inverts (although that is always at the back of my mind this time of year). No I had decided to pay a visit to check out some of the site's floral specialities. In particular the 4 species of orchid that I knew were present at the mo thanks to a bit of info from my old mate Jared 'Bellamy' Tibbetts.
On the way up to the reserve I recorded 4 Yellow Shell Moths along the public footpath that runs at the edge of the adjacent field. There were also good numbers of Pyramidal Orchid along this path.
In the reserve itself, good numbers of Greater Butterfly Orchids and Common Spotted Orchids were apparent. But it took a fair while rooting around at ground level to find the fourth orchid on my list, the diminutive Common Twayblade and finally I found one that was still in bud. There is an abundance of wildflowers on this limestone hillside but, as flora is not my forte, I couldn't identify much of it. Although something that did catch my eye was some rather stunning Hoary Plantain that was in flower.
I only recorded one butterfly on the visit and that was a single Brown Argus. The reserve wasn't a complete wash out in terms of invertebrates though as I did find a rather stunning Crepidodera fulvicornis Leaf Beetle.
Whilst on the reseve I could here a Tawny Owl periodically calling its 'ke-wick' call from the nearby woodland. Also noted at Penny hill Bank was a single Slow Worm.
Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata)
Pyramidal Orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)
Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha)
Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)
Common Twayblade (Neottia ovata)
Hoary Plantain (Plantago media)
Leaf Beetle (Crepidodera fulvicornis)
Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis)