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May 2020

posted 3 Jun 2020, 09:25 by Jane Arnold   [ updated 3 Jun 2020, 10:00 ]

Despite the incredibly dry weather we have had in May, the orchids are managing to put on a stunning display. There are a couple of areas where they are growing and some of these must have at least 100 plants flowering. These are southern marsh orchids, which may (or may not) be hybridised with common spotted orchids, and they are gorgeous! The dry weather has, however, taken its toll on the grass, which is looking rather brown and sad. Because of this, we have delayed putting the cattle on the Green for a couple of weeks and hope that we get a bit of rain to help revive the grass.

grasshopper warbler

At the beginning of the month, we were lucky enough to have a grasshopper warbler visit the Green and it looked like he was trying to set up a territory. These are notoriously difficult birds to see as they skulk around at the bottom of bushes and reed beds. This one, however was sitting on a bramble and singing its head off! They have an amazing reeling call, which does sound ... well like a grasshopper! Unfortunately it decided not to stay and was only around for about a week - maybe it will be back next year. This amazing photo was sent to me by Graham Burrows, who spent a few days on the Green photographing it. 

Image to the right courtesy of Graham Burrows

Finally, you might be forgiven to think that this is speedwell, but in fact it is a plant called brooklime. Whilst it belongs to the same family as speedwell, it lives in a very different habitat and can be found in the wet part of the Green. The flower is very similar to speedwell, but the leaves are much more fleshy and round. Seemingly, the leaves are edible, but quite bitter. Think I will give it a miss!