Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Haddon Hill

Looking north towards Wimbleball Lake

Having just had a nice walk around Tiverton, I headed east to explore Haddon Hill, a known site for the elusive Heath Fritillary. It was pretty cloudy, so my hopes were not high, but I headed west along a circular route thinking that at least I would spot some wildflowers. Soon I was aware of lots of Tormentil by the side of the track.

There was also a good smattering of the beautiful pink Cross-leaved Heath ...

... and the darker pink Bell Heather.

No butterflies at all however. After a while I was passing below the summit of Haddon Hill (321m) and strolled up the last little bit to see the view from the trig point there. This is the delightful view to the south.

While to the north, the full extent of the reservoir was now apparent, including the Bessom Bridge, a bit Capability Brown from this distance.

The summit area had a few sheltered depressions and some new flowers. First I spotted this rather striking Common Cow-wheat.

Nearby, in a warm dell, was this delicate Common Milkwort. I always find it a bit dispiriting when attractive flowers I have never noticed before turn out to be called Common something or other.

I headed back downhill and carried on along the path curving around the hill top to begin the return leg. This was not remarkable, although I had nice chat with a fellow walker, until I investigated one of several scattered wild azalias I had seen dotted about in the heathland. Close up, it was absolutely stunning.

That was it although I saw a token Meadow Brown near the car park.

Conditions: Cloudy, mild, a few rays of sunshine.

Distance: 2.5 miles

Rating: Three and a half stars.

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