16 of us met at Lodge Farm car park and set off at a saunter, along the track towards the Darnley Mausoleum.
The day was warm & sunny and there were plenty of wild flowers in bloom. Birds and butterflies were less evident today, but Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat were still singing and we had good views of a male Yellowhammer.
In the Kitchen Field at Ranscombe, poppies and corncockle added brilliant colour to the wheat crop, but we were also lucky to spot the less common Rough Poppy and Venus’s-looking-glass. Cudweed, a speciality of Ranscombe which has a large percentage of the UK population, was found too. As we walked through the field this lovely Red Admiral butterfly settled on some dog faeces on the path, presumably to enjoy a favourite food!
Later on the walk, in a field full of flowering Rough Hawk’s-beard, we found the galls of Timaspis lusitanica on almost every stem, much to Malcolm’s delight!
On our return to the car park our final discovery was the Stingless Nettle, an unusual version of the Stinging Nettle and much more friendly!