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Monday 30 May 2011

Four wild Orchid species and butterflies near Kingswood, Surrey today.

This Southern Marsh orchid and Ragged Robin is growing by a man-made pond next to the footpath.

This clearing in the Long Plantation is great for butterflies.
Meadow Brown butterfly.
A Large Skipper perhaps.
White Helloborines were lovely to see.

As was White Campion.

In Banstead Woods we found Common Spotted-orchids.
These and the Twayblades below were a couple of weeks behind those on the South Downs.

Saturday 28 May 2011

Common Blue & Meadow Brown butterflies & Common Groundhopper yesterday.

Above photo was taken with a zoom lens from about 4m away.  Hence the graininess.
Bumblebees were abundant on this mass of Hound's tongue plants.

This might be a Common Groundhopper.  Click to enlarge the picture.

Tuesday 24 May 2011

Southern Marsh-orchids at Pagham harbour

Thanks to 22 pairs of eyes and especially those of Ian and Yvonne, this Mid Sussex Ramblers' walk found what we were looking for; the Southern Marsh-orchid.

Here the group is near the end of the 8.5 miles walk, at Sidlesham Quay, just before we found the orchids above.

Sunday 22 May 2011

Orchid walk under the shadow of the mighty Quinag mountain

We stayed two nights at the Drumbeg Hotel.  This walk was on the 9th May 2011.  The nearest interesting footpath started at map reference NC 442/158314.  The hire car was parked off the single track road on rough ground under some rocks -- not a passing place and we set off across a ford to the mighty Quinag range.  With only one car this was a linear out and back walk under Quinag to the top of the pass where we would get views of Loch Assynt.  Click on any picture to expand it.
Butterwort in flower was just a delight to see... and difficult to get in focus in constant high winds. 
One has to improvise.

Alongside Loch Uidh na h larna
Heath Spotted-orchids enjoys acid soils (so is not so common in Sussex).  Here were swathes of it; heaven.  And very many were pure white, without the spots.

Passing the larger Loch an Leothaid.
Over a burn or two.
Climbing up against a strong, cold headwind with the sea in the background is invigorating and inspiring.
On the ridge, with great view over Loch Assynt and beyond. 
Scroll across the above 180 degrees panoramic stitched picture.

The view across Loch Assynt.
Now we had to retrace our steps back to the road.
On the way, I had to stand in a burn to get this shot of a bumble bee on what looks to me like a Marsh Pea.
With the wind on our backs and having missed the worst of the passing squalls on the way up, the return was just a long slog with the end only a few miles away.
Just a great walk.  How I love Scotland.

Native orchids of Sussex; Common Spotted, Fragrant, Twayblades, White Helleborine, Early-purple, Butterfly & Fly ochids...all in one walk.

This walk on the South Downs yesterday was just fabulous.  Common Spotted-orchids were just coming into flower.
Blue butterflies were common.
This looks like a Common blue.

A Fragrant orchid (?) was just about to open.

White Helleborines were in flower.

Butterfly orchids were lovely too.

The star sighting, which Gloria spotted, was this Fly orchid.

This looks like the last of the Early-purple orchids that covered this area some weeks ago.
Common Twayblades were past their best for their flowers.
What a great day!  See also   for orchids from 2015.

Special National Trust event 21st June 2016 : Orchid walk and talk see

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