Orchid hunting on the Downs

June 11, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

With Sunny evenings to play with and a couple of local sites to investigate, it only seemed right to go wild orchid hunting. With bright sun and gusty winds to battle against I started at Martin Down in Wiltshire. The old rifle range providing plenty of subjects to choose from. Hoary Plantains, Common Spotted Orchids, Self Heal, Chalk Fragrant Orchid and Burnet Moths. The Common Spotted Orchids giving plenty of variety in shape and patternation

Common Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza FuchsiiCommon Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza Fuchsii Common Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza FuchsiiCommon Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza Fuchsii Common Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza Fuchsii - White variantCommon Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza Fuchsii - White variant 6 Spot Burnet Moth on meadow grass6 Spot Burnet Moth on meadow grass 5 Spot Burnet Moths on Chalk Fragrant Orchid5 Spot Burnet Moths on Chalk Fragrant OrchidZygaena Trifolii on Gymnadenia conopsea

Next Came Fontmell Down, slightly mixed skies yielded a bit of shade for photography but the wind was even fiercer than before as would befit it's positioning on the side of a 1 in 3 slope, thus making for interesting opportunities and walking. Here stunning examples of Common Spotted, Chalk Fragrant, Butterfly and Bee Orchid were to be found amongst other varieties and a thriving population of Burnet Moths covering anything floral.

Bee Orchid - Ophrys ApiferaBee Orchid - Ophrys Apifera Common Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza FuchsiiCommon Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza Fuchsii Chalk Fragrant Orchid - Gymnadenia ConopseaChalk Fragrant Orchid - Gymnadenia Conopsea Greater Butterfly Orchid - Platanthera ChloranthaGreater Butterfly Orchid - Platanthera Chlorantha Common Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza FuchsiiCommon Spotted Orchid - Dactylorhiza Fuchsii 5 Spot Burnet Moths on Chalk Fragrant Orchid5 Spot Burnet Moths on Chalk Fragrant OrchidZygaena Trifolii on Gymnadenia conopsea Burnet Moths on Vipers BuglossBurnet Moths on Vipers Bugloss Bee Orchid - Ophrys ApiferaBee Orchid - Ophrys Apifera

Both locations are well worth a visit and I'm sure they have much to offer all year round, if anything for a nice walk to clear to cobwebs.


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