Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Stoke Row, Nettlebed, Bix and Highmoor

The weather is warming up again after some welcome rain on Monday. This walk was Another 'filling in' exercise covering some villages I have driven through many times but never walked through. Here is a Google map of the 14 mile walk:


View Bix - Stoke Row in a larger map

First to set the scene - a golden elephant.

maharajah's well,Stoke Row

So, this can be nowhere else but Maharajah's Well at Stoke Row. The 'usual' late Spring flowers were out, and foxgloves just starting to flower (Digitalis purpurea).

foxglove,Digitalis purpurea

I saw more than my fair share of these creatures, yapping and barking at every turn. More than any other walk so far.

dog

The humble clover was extremely widespread.

Clover

My walk took me through a good deal of mainly beech woodland. Already the ground cover is very limited now that the bluebells are over and all the leaves are out.

Beech woods

Nettlebed Church was interesting, a few good monuments, and some great 'modern' stained glass. The East Window was endowed by the Fleming family who made their money from investment banking. They have an even more famous grandson Ian Fleming (of James Bond fame).

Nettlebed church

Even though the window has loads of butterflies, the only vaguely co-operative butterfly I saw was a Speckled Wood (Pararge aegeria) and a very ancient Peacock.

Speckled Wood,Pararge aegeria

From Nettlebed I headed towards the Warburg Nature Reserve, on my way there I spotted a family of Great Tits (Parus major), the parents were teaching the fledglings how to stay away from trouble. I saw quite a few tits of various species. I also heard a tawny owl.

Great Tit

One of the main reasons for this walk was to hope to see some orchids, for which Warburg is famous. I didn't spot the fly orchids I had been promised, but for the first time I saw Twayblades (Listera ovata) in flower. Quite a challenge to spot as the flowering spike is green.

Twayblades,Listera ovata

In the same location I was happy to find six or so spikes of a new orchid to me. This is the rarer Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha).

Greater Butterfly Orchid,Platanthera chlorantha

Greater Butterfly Orchid,Platanthera chlorantha

A posting wouldn't be complete without a beetle, even though I always struggle to identify them. These two, once again in amorous embrace were on Wild Garlic flowers.

Beetle

On the fringes of the reserve was an idyllic looking cottage/shed.

Shed

Surprisingly Warburg did not have many 'common' orchids, I found only two fairly miserable specimens of Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).

Common Spotted Orchid,Dactylorhiza fuchsii

The wrong season for fungi, I know, and I am not sure which one this one is, if it was yellow I would guess Chicken of the Woods but it wasn't.

Fungi

A couple of flowers to end on. The first looks like yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor).

yellow rattle,Rhinanthus minor

Who can resist the allure of the rose, even when in its simplest wild form : dog rose (Rosa Canina).

dog rose,Rosa Canina