I've got lots and lots of stuff waiting to go on here after three excellent days in the field. I'm going to put them on in small doses though. On Monday I had to go over to Martha's in Winchester so I decided to take in a few sites on the way there and back. On the way there I made an early morning visit to the New Forest, then on to a couple of sites to the east of Winchester on the South Downs and finally a visit to Salisbury plain on the way home. I saw way too much for one blog post so I'll start off with the New Forest visit. As you may well have guessed I was looking for Wild Gladiolus - Gladiolus illyricus, the New Forest being the only place it grows in the UK. I wasn't all that hopeful as I'd read that it can be very difficult to spot in amongst the bracken, but not long after I'd arrived at my destination and walked some distance to an area of bracken on the edge of a wood I spotted a couple straight away right alongside the path. I couldn't believe how easy it was! Once you get your eye in they are easy to pick out amongst the dense bracken too.
On the walk to the woodland, crossing some heathland I was surprised to see a male Silver-studded Blue because it was just 7.30 am!