That was the outcome of the Big Butterfly Count in my garden last Sunday, on the last day of Butterfly Conservation's 'citizen science' initiative. Not bad for 15 minutes on a cloudy and not-terribly-warm day. That was two large whites and a meadow brown, the latter spent the entire 15 minutes on one of my buddleias, thus demonstrating their value as a nectar source. In the sun, I have seen gatekeepers, small tortoiseshells and brimstones flitting by as well, so not bad for a little forgotten corner consisting of a near-vertical slope and a small patch of brambles (lovingly tended for this year's crop).
Later that day I headed out for the customary Sunday afternoon walk, back to Grovely Woods again. I've covered this part of the Wilton estate in previous posts, but it's a very handy local patch, with many permutations of loops to be walked. It's quite difficult to get lost (even for me!), as most of the forestry tracks in this mixed plantation woodland always come back to the main track 'First Broad Drive' through the wood. Lined with magnificent beeches, and stretching off into the distance, it makes for a very good yomp indeed! We took a side track off and found ourselves in a new area we hadn't been to before, along a path seemingly running parallel with the main drive, passing through a band of ancient woodland - a change from the dark depths of the conifers.
Tomorrow I'm hosting Sunday lunch, so the afternoon walk - if we can stir ourselves - will likely be off to Old Sarum again.