Saturday, 8 May 2010

Saturday 8th.May 2010

As today is overcast with on and off drizzle , I have spent most of it sorting out the photos taken over the last few days . Also , as mentioned on my Thursday post , on the way back from Dungeness , I made a detour to Marden Meadow ( TQ 763445 ) , a Reserve managed by Kent Wildlife Trust for wild flowers , primarily , the superb Green-winged Orchid-Orchis morio . As I passed the stile , heading for the car park , I could see the lush green vegetation had a purple hue amongst it , and I knew that the Orchids were in flower . Just one other vehicle in the car park meant that I had the place almost to myself . Two of the three fields are in the process of being returned to the state of the third , 'unimproved haymeadows' , but this will take some time as they were previously farmed and 'improved' .
The view as you go through the gate into the original Reserve of what must be thousands of

Green-winged Orchids is breathtaking . Mainly purple , but I did find a couple of white

specimens , and the other different shades of mauve , lilac , and even a few pink specimens .

The name Green-winged , comes from the green veins on the 'wings' , either side of the hood of each flower , as can be seen in the last but one close up shot . Naturally , the green veins show up much better on the lighter coloured flowers . Also found on the site , are large numbers of
Adderstongue/Ophioglossum vulgatum , a member of the Fern family . They always look to me like small specimens of Lords and Ladies , with that spathe -like frond at the back , and their spadix-like spike of spores to the front .
Having seen just one butterfly at a windy Dungeness , my first Small Copper of the year , the Reserve provided another 10/15 specimens , all of which were in pristine condition , and very colourful in the late afternoon sunshine . One wet corner of the field held large numbers of St.Mark's Fly , and they were good use of the conditions as well .
In previous years when visiting the site , I have had Cuckoo , Turtle Dove and Reed Warbler , together with a carpet of Water Violet on the small pond , but unfortunately , I didn't manage to record any of those species on this visit .


Warren Baker said...

Sounds like a magical place Greenie, great photo's today. Enjoy the weather - not!

ShySongbird said...

It sounds a real treat! Lovely photos, Greenie. what beautiful flowers they are. I'm not very up on Orchids but I found somewhere last year (too late for flowers) which is apparently rich in them and this post has reminded me that I promised myself a return visit, I feel a visit coming on very soon :)

Rob said...

Haven't seen a Green-winged so far this year, and never a white one. Superb pics.
It's been drizzling all day here on the IoW too, but just now there's a blackbird singing through it wonderfully.

Orchids and Nature said...

I've been looking for the Green Veined Orchid for years but I haven't had any success up to now.You've given me new inspiration.