Friday 15th June - Friday 6th July 2018 White Stork, Zwin Nature Park, Belgium I'll start off with some photos of White Storks taken on my recent holiday in Belgium and the Netherlands. Based in Bruges, we encountered Storks nesting near the city in the pretty small town of Damme, and at Zwin Nature Park in Belgium, and also over the border in the dutch town of Sluis. Sluis is a picturesque town, and the Storks we saw here were clearly very used to humans. White Stork, Sluis, Netherlands Zwin Nest with young, Zwin Stork nest in Damme This nest in Damme was on the historic St John's Hospital Museum, currently being renovated I didn't see a Spoonbill during the whole of 2017, and hadn't seen one in 2018 until arriving at Zwin Nature Park and seeing one in flight over the centre. This was probably one of two I saw together from the main hide. This is a fantastic reserve with great facilities. Situated in the north-east corner of Belgium, j
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Friday 8th - Sunday 10th June 2018 Some Lizard Orchid photos from a (the) SW site I visited at the weekend showing the extraordinary flowers on these robust plants. On Sunday, only a single Marsh Fritillary was seen at Strawberry Banks near Chalford - they seem to having a bad year here. The Lesser Butterfly Orchids were doing better. In nearby woodland I found a good group of Bird's-nest Orchids , the flowers going over now. Also a couple of presumably Broad-leaved Helleborine plants springing up. Marsh Fritillary Bird's-nest Orchid Lesser Butterfly Orchid I also caught up with Chalk Fragrant Orchids recently in the Stroud area, lots of them, along with some Fly Orchids and hybrid Bee x Fly specimens. Also lots of Adonis and Small Blues . Chalk Fragrant Orchid Adonis Blue Adonis Blue (Chalk Fragrant Orchid behind) Fly Orchid Bee x Fly Orchid Bee x Fly Orchid
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Saturday 19th May 2018 Monkey Orchid On royal wedding day, I left Mrs M watching the telly and headed off east for the day. My first stop was Hartslock near Goring-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. The Monkey Orchids were looking fantastic, and I counted getting on for 20. The single Lady Orchid was past its prime, but two or three flowers recalled its full beauty. The most numerous by far are the Lady x Monkey hybrids, tall vigorous plants numbering around a hundred give or take. Some of the Pasqueflowers were still in flower, some still in bud even - I was expecting them to have all gone to seed by now. Butterflies on the wing included Grizzled Skippers , Dingy Skippers , Green Hairstreakes , Orange-tips , Green-veined Whites , Small Whites and Brimstones . Also a Common Carpet moth. This is a beautiful reserve, affording wonderful views of the Thames and surrounding landscape. I also stumbled across George Michael's house in the village, complete with a plethora of tributes.