I was initially attracted to drive out to Hemsted Forest by a bird list which I had seen on
|Comma - Polygonia c-album - Canon 400D +100-400mm|
After a while I turned right down a side track to take me deeper into the forest which is where I came across some what I believe to be Meadow Browns and a Ringlet, the former refusing to stop still with wings open and the second refusing to stop with its wings closed! They were more active than the Comma’s!
|(I believe a) Meadow Brown - Maniola jurtina - Canon 400D +100-400mm|
|(I believe a) Ringlet - Aphantopus hyperantus - Canon 400D +100-400mm|
Another couple of left turns brought me out onto a slightly wider path where I found some White Admirals, a butterfly I had never seen before.
|White Admiral - Limenitis Camilla - Canon 400D +100-400mm|
Well what about the birds? Amazingly I only saw a Robin, a couple of Carrion Crows and a Wren. There was some Tits calling from the upper canopy deep in the woods that I never saw, and occasionally the odd call from the depths of the
Forest, but nothing near me and nothing that I recognised (must practice more with bird calls). Perhaps it was the time of day, perhaps the time of year, or perhaps the gallon of insect repellent I had sprayed myself with. There was more to see though. It was after I realised that I was lost that I came across this chap, a Common Toad I believe.
|A Common Toad - Canon 400D + 100-400mm|
I decided to expand my new interest in Flora, first there was a small group of Foxgloves near where the Toad was seen, then a little further on this white flower stood out from all the surrounding greenery. I have identified it as a White Musk Mallow, please correct me (as with all my identifications) if I am wrong.
|A White Musk Mallow - Canon 400D + 100-400mm|
|A White Musk Mallow - Olympus SP590UZ|
Thankfully I came across someone walking their dog who pointed me in the right direction which took me past a glade where two Southern Hawkers were, however they were constantly on the move and I was unable to get a picture. Despite my bird count of 3 (how embarrassing is that?) I enjoyed the walk and intend to return for an evening stroll soon and perhaps catch a bit more bird activity.