Monday, 18 May 2009

Monday 18th.May 2009

On a tip from John/Go Wild in Kent , I headed off to a wooded site , hoping to see for the very first time for me , Lesser Butterfly Orchid . On the way , the rain 'that would pass through by 0900' according to the weather forecasters , was still coming down like stair rods . By the time I arrived on site , it was easing off , but the sloping site was like a black run on a ski slope , and had to be treated carefully . Never having been to the site before I started wandering about , and within a few minutes , saw , what I hoped was a Lesser Butterfly Orchid . As it happened , it was close to a Lady (front left and a Fly Orchid (small , just left and forward of the white Lesser Butterfly Orchid) . I got a glass out , and had a look at the throat of the flower , and sure enough , the two pollinia were parallel and close together , it was truly a Lesser . I would like to think how many flowers I have looked at over the years , and the pollinia have been at an angle to each other , making each one a Greater Butterfly Orchid . Apart from that , the plants are very , very similar . I was then able to wander around and see what else was about . The Early Purples were well passed their sell by date , but were most numerous with a count of 53 . Lady came second with 28 , and lots of headless plants , probably the rabbits . Just 3 Fly Orchids were found , one well gone over , and loads of Common Twayblades , growing tall in the woodland situation . Another interesting plant found was Houndstongue , a member of the Borage family . I have seen it once before up on Mt.Caburn , near Glynde in Sussex , whilst looking for Burnt Tip Orchids . The book says it is found on grassy places and dunes , but there is a rarer relation Green Houndstongue , that is found in woods and shady places . Although near a busy road , Blackcap , Chiffchaff , and Great and Blue Tit were all singing . Just two butterflies were seen , a male and female Green Veined White . Once again , he had intentions and she told him where to put them , and off he flew . On an Ash log , lying on the ground , was this fungi , going by the name of Dryad's Saddle or Scaly Polypore-Polyporus squamosus , the size of a dinner plate as the 35mm. film cannister shows . I made my way back to the car , a happy person , thanks to John .
I had to make a pick up in Canterbury at three o'clock , so with time to spare , I headed for Elmley on the Isle of Sheppey . For those who know the site , not the best of places on a windy day like today , but I just slowly made my way along the track , and the best thing I can do is to list what I came across .
One of a pair of Redshank with 3 young , that I only got glimpses of in the long grass .
Little Egret dashing about , looking for lunch .
One of many Lapwing facing into the strong wind .
Oystercatcher on nest .
Most ditches were ablaze with Common Water Crowfoot .
On the track , a Meadow Pipit posed for a shot .
Returning down the track , a pair of Grey Partridge , came towards me . I turned off the engine and waited . They came so far , then stopped . I got lots of shots , then decided to break the impass . I started the car and moved up to where they were on the trackside . He , on the right ,
and she , on the left , just sat and let me take shots , until a car coming in meant I had to move .
A Pied Wagtail , busily chasing after insects .
An early view of one of Warren's roast dinners of the future .
Sorry Warren , couldn't resist this one .
A young Rabbit had found shelter .
Good numbers of Yellow Wagtails along the track .One of three Red Legged Partridges seen .
Full bird list was , BH.Gull ,Pheasant ,Redshank , Cuckoo , Yellow Wagtail , Robin , Marsh Harrier (M) ,Skylark , Lapwing ,Carrion Crow , Magpie , Oystercatcher , Rook , Shellduck ,Reed Bunting , Heron , Gn.Woodpecker , Lt.Grebe , RLPartridge , Swallow , Starling ,Swift , Lt.Egret , Jackdaw , Coot , Mute Swan , Grey Partridge , LBBGull , Meadow Pipit , Pied Wagtail , Mallard , House Sparrow , Blackbird and Gadwall . And that was without getting out of the car .


Adam said...

Hi Greenie

Sounds like you made the most of a bad day! I know the location of the orchids you mentioned and though how fantastic it would be to get all 3 orchids in one shot (if only I'd had my camera) but you did an excellent job!

Also belated thanks for ID advice on Brown Argus/Blue I saw last Sunday. Cheers.


Warren Baker said...

well done greenie, the weather can't stop you can it! enjoy the rest of the spring!!

ShySongbird said...

Lovely stuff Greenie and your previous post too. I thought the Houndstongue was interesting and don't recall having ever seen it. I loved all the photos too.