Sunday, 22 May 2011

Kent Orchids

Spent Saturday in Kent visiting a couple of Orchid sites.
Started off at Yockletts Bank and walked south along the upper path. Found a few poor White Helleborines and a couple of well past their best Lady Orchids in a clearing. Unfortunately Colin slipped down the bank and damaged his camera. We carried on down to the southern-most part of the wood, finding a lot of Twayblades and a few Broad Leaved Helleborines-one of which appeared to be in bud.
We returned along the lower path, finding a large chalky clearing with a few fresh Ladies, some Flies, and more Helleborines.

Did not encounter any other Orchid species. No butterflies which was a bit odd as it was warm and sunny. Birds were pretty quiet too, apart from some singing Blackcap and Garden Warblers and a family of Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

We next went to Park Gate Down where I was not expecting much as I had heard that the Chiltern Monkey Orchids were pretty much over. Seemed to be the case here as there were only a few spikes in the first field around the old chalk pit. Lots of Fragrant spikes coming up though. The second field turned out to be  full of Monkeys, with a good 50 or so, looking a fine sight. At least a dozen wild Columbines were flowering at the top of the bank, but we did not see any Lady, nor Greater Butterfly. No-one we spoke to had seen Man Orchids either and a long search proved fruitless.
One interesting sight was a Cuckoo mobbing a Rook on the ground.

Had intended to visit a few more sites, but Colin wanted to get his camera into the repair centre so our day was a bit shorter than expected.

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