Monday, 9 July 2018

More Orchids

The interest in Orchids has not gone away and I was pleased to find a stand of Northern Marsh Orchid whilst we were walking round a small wood at Saltburn just outside Invergordon. That's one I wasn't expecting.

Northern Marsh Orchid  -  Dactylorhiza purpurella

Northern Marsh Orchid  -  Dactylorhiza purpurella

Northern Marsh Orchid  -  Dactylorhiza purpurella

A more planned find was a trip to Noar Hill to look for Musk Orchids. Around four to six inches high and with small greenish yellow flowers, this is an Orchid that is easily overlooked. They grow closer to home but the beauty of Noar Hill is the that with an estimated 10,000 flowering spikes they are just that little bit easier to find.

So it proved in practice. We started off searching for any sign of a spike and ended up being surrounded by them and having difficulty finding anywhere to put our feet without causing damage.

Small and delicate, they look like ideal rabbit food but I couldn't see any damage from grazing. Perhaps there is something in the "Musk" that puts them off.

Musk Orchid  -  Herminium monorchis

Musk Orchid  -  Herminium monorchis

There were plenty of other Orchids around including freshly emerged Pyramidal Orchids.

Pyramidal Orchid  -  Anacamptis pyramidalis

The Marsh Fragrants below were found on the north slopes of Ditchling Beacon growing on chalk grassland. Hardly the environment I would have expected but the handbooks do record this habitat as a very occasional occurrence. I can't claim much skill in finding them, I picked it up from Grahame Lyons blog. Just hope I got the right Orchid, differentiation between the various Fragrants is starting to get a bit confusing.

Marsh Fragrant  -  Gymnadenia densiflora

Florets Marsh Fragrant  -  Gymnadenia densiflora

Not so convinced by the one below but all the Chalk Fragrants seem to be well past their best so I am assuming it is another Marsh Fragrant.

Marsh Fragrant  -  Gymnadenia densiflora

I also found a report of Heath Fragrants at the Sussex Wildlife Trust's Chailey Warren reserve. I drove over to have a look but then couldn't find any access route onto the reserve. All gates were marked as private. Contacted them that evening only to be told it was a closed site as there was no public right of way over the land surrounding the reserve. Note to SWT, it might save members a lot of time if you made that clear on your web site.

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