Monday, 4 June 2012

Wiltshire Wildlife Trust - Morgans Hill Reserve

Common Spotted Orchid
Yesterday I took up a new role as Assistant Reserve Warden at the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust's reserve at Morgans Hill on the Marlborough Downs. Morgans Hill is a superb area of mostly north facing chalk downland. It has a stunning array of orchids, wildflowers and butterflies. Unfortunately I didn't see any butterflies yesterday because the weather wasn't great but I was shown a good number of orchids and wildflowers by Reserve Warden, Tony Coultiss.

We spent several hours walking round the reserve discussing the role and generally observing what was happening on the reserve. I was on the look-out for birds whilst Tony showed me round.

There were a large number of yellowhammers, meadow pipits and skylarks. I saw a couple of ravens flying away from the reserve, a grey partridge in the car-park and best of all I spotted a red kite on the slopes just to the north of the site. Absolutely amazing bird and really pleased because that's the first time I've seen one in my locality.

Fly Orchid

Yellow Rattle

Here you can see some of the plants that we observed. The fly orchid is particularly rare and Tony had never seen any kidney vetch on the site in the previous six years. However, he knew

Kidney Vetch
Horseshoe Vetch
that  it  was  present because of the presence of a particular butterfly that only feeds on kidney vetch.

As things progress and I become more and more involved I will return to this subject in the future. No doubt I will have other observations and photos to share.


  1. Hi Nick, lovely blog! Red Kites are amazing birds, I agree - saw some in Wales once. Congratulations on your new role! I'll be subscribing to your feed, to find out how you get on. :)

  2. Many thanks for your comment Omi. I will be trying to give Morgans Hill updates about once a week. With other things in between. Please do subscribe to the feed.

  3. The Clare Foundation hosts the Red Kite Ramble every year in June, allowing walkers to raise money for their chosen charities. Groups and individuals are welcome to take part. Charities are encouraged to make the event their own with themes for fancy dress, or by providing their walkers with T-shirts and Medals. For more details, Read This


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