Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Leicestershire Orchids: Frog,Heath,Bee and Pyramidal.

With a day off from work, I went and did a bit of orchid hunting in my home county. The orchids I found included Common Spotted Orchid, Heath Spotted Orchid, Frog Orchid, Bee Orchid and Pyramidal Orchid.
The first site I visited was Merry's Meadow LRWT, near Cottesmore airfield. The reason to look at this site is that it's the only site in Vc 55(Leicestershire and Rutland) for the rare Frog Orchid!
Checking the usual spot for the Frogs I was pleasantly surprised to find at least five spikes in the surrounding vegetation.
Other orchids I found at this reserve included good numbers of Heath Spotted Orchids and a couple of Common Spotted Orchids. The only minus point on visiting the reserve was that I couldn't find any of the Chalk Fragrant Orchids which I had find in previous years.
I then moved on to Clipsham Park Wood on the Rutland/Lincs border to look for Greater Butterfly Orchid. At this site I found loads of Common Spotted Orchids in the Yew Avenue and three Heath Spotted Orchids in the nearby rides, but after much searching no sign of the Butterfly Orchids!
I also made a mental note about this site as it looks brilliant for Hawfinch and possible Crossbill in the winter!?!
My last destination of the day was the very under watched Saltby Airfield.
At this site last year I found record numbers for the county of Bee Orchids and Pyramidal Orchids so hopefully I was expecting the same again?
Although parts of the site are private you can view most of it from the nearby footpaths and bridle ways. So over the next couple of hours I found 23 Pyramidal Orchid spikes and at least 48 Bee Orchids plants. Most of the orchids were still in bud and will probably be at there best in the next couple of weeks so I will searching this site again in the very near future?!

 
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