Common Hill Nature Reserve - First Visit of 2023

Not sure why it has taken us so long to pay our first 2023 visit to Common Hill - possibly because there is not too much to see in January, February and March! However, April is a must month to visit! And, we did finally visit on the warmest (21 ℃ in our back garden) day in April (29th). The cowslips were definitely the stars of the show ...

Photo 1: Cowslip at Common Hill (29/4/23)

along with the Early Purple Orchids ...

Photo 2: Early Purple Orchid at Common Hill (29/4/23)

and lots of Lady's Smock (aka cuckoo-flower), a major food plant for the Orange-Tip caterpillars - this specimen was photographed in the nearby Lea & Paget's Wood visited on the same day.

Photo 3: Orange-Tip () Butterfly on Cuckoo-Flower (Lea & Paget's Wood, 29/4/23)

Bluebells were present here and there on the Common Hill Nature Reserve - they were much more prevalent in Lea & Paget's Wood.

A list of the flora and fauna we spotted within the three sections of the Nature Reserve (North Meadow, Monument Hill and Rounds Meadow) that we walked through is provided below.

Flora (in flower):
Apple blossom
Barren Strawberry
Dog's Mercury
Early Purple Orchid
Field Wood-rush
Ground Ivy
Lady's Smock
Lesser Celandine
Narrow-leaved Bird's-Foot Trefoil
Thyme-leaved Speedwell
Wild Strawberry
Wood Spurge

Blue Tit
Chiff Chaff (widespread and constant!)

Holly Blue
Small White

We had been forewarned that Adder's-tongue fern was out but we had trouble finding any. April is a little early in its life cycle as they are more widely seen between June to August. And it can be difficult to spot - a small green plant surrounded by other green plants! A bit like a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn't there! (credit to Sir Marcus Browning, MP/Rowan Atkinson and Confucius).

Photo 4: Cowslips at Common Hill (29/4/23)

Photo 5: Cowslips at Common Hill (29/4/23)

Photo 6: False Oxlip in Lea & Paget's Wood (29/4/23)

And, finally, a couple of Mary's arty (though not farty) photographs of ferns in Lea & Paget's Wood ...

Photo 7: Unfurling Fronds - Lea & Paget's Wood (29/4/23)

Photo 8: British Fern (and not Fern Britton) - Lea & Paget's Wood (29/4/23)


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