Saturday, 22 May 2010

Flies and butterflies

The combination of light easterly winds and warm sunshine had the usual effect on the east coast..... a sea fret kept the village cold and clammy. Time to head inland, then, to the splendid Yockletts Bank where I hoped to find Fly Orchids for the first time.
Success eventually, when one of the numerous orchid-spotters kindly pointed one out - as is often the case, once you have seen one specimen and understood its character and habitat, finding others comes relatively easily. This despite the fact that they are small (most spikes were about 3" high), unassuming and have developed a camouflage method of looking like spent bluebell shoots.
I saw about 20 altogether - they were well worth the trip - lovely little things.

Lady orchids are plentiful in the wood too, including two adjacent light coloured ones.
A red campion plant struck me as not-quite-right, and I belatedly realised that it had a black centre to the flowers instead of white.
Common Gromwell reinforced the wide variety of species in the wood.

A Brimstone looked bright yellow when it flew, but duller of course when it landed. It was surprisingly keen on being still which is unusual for this type of butterfly - egg-laying perhaps (I didn't look too closely, as privacy should be respected at such times).
The Brimstone was a big brute, and I was pleased to see the smallest - Small Blues - had emerged on my return to Kingsdown, where the mist had finally rolled away to expose blue skies.


Greenie said...

Steve ,
Glad that the Fly Orchid and yourself finally got together .
Re. your Campion flowers , could it be Purple Anther Smut ? Read about it on Rob/Wight Rambler's blog .
Good to see the Small Blues .

Warren Baker said...

Those Brimstones never sit for me Steve! They are the only local species I havn't got a photo of yet!

Duncan said...

I was also on the Lydden orchid walk a few weeks back and have finally remembered to look up your site. Now I need to work out how to get to Yockletts Bank by public transport!


Mary said...

Both orchids are lovely and I can see why you would have trouble seeing that little 3" one. I love that last photo of the butterfly on the flower. Very nice!