Towards the end of a frankly uninspiring BTO breeding bird survey, my enthusiasm was rekindled by the discovery of a single, solitary Early Spider Orchid. Standing about 6" tall, it's not a particularly attractive plant but its scarcity and unpredictable growth means that it's a treat when you find one.
Less rare than the Late Spider Orchid that appears (infrequently) in June, the Early is known to appear in a number of sites around the village, and I had put off mowing my own lawn just in case!
Important sites for orchids in the UK are shown on the map, with Dover to Kingsdown Cliffs in orange, presumably indicating that we get them, but not in large numbers or the very rare ones.On the bird survey, 27 species were seen in the quadrant area, with another 9 on the walk to it.
Notables included the first drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker of the year, eight singing Common Whitethroats, two Peregrine Falcons (one of which was very light on the back, presumably the youngster), 18 Fulmar nest-sites and the welcome return of House Martins.