Another natural history group outing took me just up the Thames at Streatley. This steep western edge of the Goring Gap is a National Trust nature reserve. A busy afternoon was spent mainly chasing butterflies, which were present in large numbers. For a report on all that the group found please look here. For other walks that include this area please see Goring and Streatley; Holies in Late Summer and Hartslock to Holies.
The Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) has an interesting flower, the seed head folds itself inwards after the flowers have finished.
A relatively widespread plant, the Bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), looked particularly attractive.
But it was butterflies that took centre stage. There were lots of Common Blue butterfly and also Chalkhill Blue (Polyommatus coridon), appropriately on this chalk hill.
Here is the same individual with its wings closed.
Grasshoppers were abundant. I think this is the Common Field Grasshopper.
Just about out in flower were Carline Thistles (Carlina vulgaris), which will be present for months to come in their dried form. The flower does not look much like a thistle.
The steep chalk slopes give a good view south east over the Thames.
These clustered bellflowers (Campanula globerata) were attractive too.
A less abundant butterfly that looks very similar to a female common blue is the Brown Argus (Aricia agestis) butterfly.
This strange red fuzz is Robin's pincushion gall (Diplolepis rosae). The gall is caused by a wasp which induces the plant to produce the distorted 'hip', it grows on roses, in this case it is probably a Dog Rose (Rosa canina).
The prize for prettiest flower of the day goes to a group of Pale Toadflaxes (Linarea repens) with delicate veining. It does look more purple than usual and could possibly be Purple Toadflax or a hybrid?
There were hosts of common blue butterflies (Polyommatus icarus).
The female common blue butterfly can be just as pretty in its own way as the male. There were some Adonis blues but unfortunately I do not have a good enough picture to share .
Finally, another blue flower to end on, the evocatively named Devil's bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis).