Greater Knapweed near Saltby
Saltby Airfield outcrop
Two photos of the rare form
Var.chlorantha Bee Orchid
Over the last few days (Saturday and Yesterday)I have been completing a few plant surveys for the "Life on the Verge" wildflower project (see the Link). The areas I have checked out included near Pickworth in Rutland and around Saltby Village in Leicestershire.
Although I'm a bit of novice when it comes to identifying most wildflowers, the guide supplied by the project helped greatly.
The highlights I found included small numbers of Bee Orchids,Southern Marsh and Common Spotted Orchids at Pickworth and Pyramidal and Bee Orchids at Saltby.
At the nearby former RAF Saltby airfield I also checked out the limestone outcrop here and to my surprise I found the best bit of Limestone flora I have ever seen in Leicestershire!! Highlights here included a record count of over 170 Bee Orchids and the cherry on cake for me was finding a single plant of the rare form Var.chlorantha Bee Orchid. This is probably the first ever record for Vc 55, so to say I was pleased was a bit of an understatement!?
Over the next couple of weeks I will checking a few more sites for this project, and hopefully more interesting sightings to come?
Finally on the birding front I did also see a Turtle Dove and Spotted Flycatcher at Saltby, so sometimes it does help to go off the beaten track to find scarce migrants in the county.