After the walk along the canal, I had a craving to be out in the fresh air and nature again so I headed to the path along the golf course. The whole path is probably less than half a mile long but is turning out to be one of my favourite places to walk as I always spot so many interesting things. This time was no exception.
The path was a lot more overgrown than the last time I visited...
...with lots of tall grasses and flowers lining each side. I crouched down to take this shot though, just in case you were thinking these willowherb had grown to triffid proportions!
One of these days I'm going to be able to tell the difference between all of these white umbrella-shaped plants. I need to learn to take photos of the leaves too to make it easier to narrow down the options in my wild flower guide. In the meantime I'll just continue to admire them.
Just as I admired the honeysuckle emerging from a patch of nettles and brambles.
On the other side of the path were some wild raspberries. Actually they might not be wild but garden escapees.
There were lots of butterflies fluttering around which kept me entertained for ages trying to get photos of them. This Gatekeeper (or Hedge Brown) finally obliged and settled on some Common Ragwort.
That wasn't the only creature I found on the ragwort though. Most of the clumps were covered in bright yellow and black caterpillars of the Cinnabar moth. What amazes me is that, despite the caterpillar being this colour, the moth they transform into is red!
At some points the path was hardly visible as the ferns and grasses crowded together.
When it finally opened out there were more plants to admire. I can recognise dock leaves and have used them on many occasions when I was younger to dull the sting of nettles but I don't think I ever knew that they flowered.
This yellow plant was a new one on me though: it's Tall Melilot.
At this point I left the path and headed up into a wilder area surrounded by trees and small shrubs. This is where I watched the baby birds and it's proved to be a good place to find other wildlife and flowers.
Here I came across some Common Fleabane - which seems a horrible name for such a pretty plant.
I found a clear space to stand and patiently and quietly waited.
Eventually, I was rewarded with a Small Copper.
And, not long after, with a Small Skipper. I also spotted a Meadow Brown and Small Tortoiseshell but they were just too quick for me.
What had been missing up to this point were birds. There had been barely a tweet but while I waited I gradually became aware of more birdsong, getting louder and louder.
The next moment a flock of long-tailed tits came by and, amongst them, a few blue tits and great tits. Then I spotted chaffinches and a white throat. The only bird I managed to catch on film, however, was this willow warbler. I wonder if it's the same one I saw feeding her fledglings?
Just as quickly as they all came, the birds moved on and that seemed the perfect cue for me to do the same. My favourite little patch didn't disappoint again - I'll be back!