Friday, 30 July 2010

Three Blind Mice.... Ghost Orchid Germany Trip part 4.Hill side Butterflies!

Here is a few shots of the Butterflies the group saw in the meadows of Black Forest hills.
The top is Scotch Argus, the next two are Marbled White and the bottom two are of Chalk Hill Blue.

Three Blind Mice.... Ghost Orchid Germany Trip part 3. Butterflies!

More photos from the Germany trip this time its woodland butterflies! From the top, the first three are Silver- washed Fritillarys, with two shots of the dark form of this species. The next one is of a High Brown Fritillary and the last one is Map Butterfly.    


Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Three Blind Mice.... Ghost Orchid Germany Trip part 2. Amphibians and Reptiles

More photos of the German trip, this time the Amphibians and Reptiles we saw and just for the Drunkbirder and the Llama:
The top one is a Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra), the frog is a Pool Frog (Rana lessonae),the next is a Slow Worm (Anguis fragilis), the Newt is an Alpine Newt ( Triturus alpestris) and the Lizard is a Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis).

Three Blind Mice.... Ghost Orchid Germany Trip part 1.

Over the weekend I was based in the small town of Braunlingen in Southern Germany. This was because myself and my fellow group(the "mighty" Sean Cole,Graham, Simon,Geordies Paul and Andy, "Epipactis" Mark, "Reptile Man" Paul and "the Bear" Chris!) were in search for the mythical Ghost Orchid (Epipogium aphyllum).
So below is a few photos of  what we saw and found!

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Off to Deutschland today!

I'm off to Southern Germany today via Zurich for a bit of orchid hunting in the Black Forest. So expect a few shots of Ghost Orchids when I get back!!

Monday, 19 July 2010

Before my nights... Marsh Helleborines in Warks and some verges!

I haven't updated for a few days due to the fact I've been on nights with the day job! Any way before my nights I nipped over the border to Warwickshire to photo the Marsh Helleborines at Ladywalk NR and in the previous days I surveyed a few road side verges in Rutland. The highlights included finding some more Pyramidal Orchids, good numbers of Knapweed Broomrapes and hopefully a couple of road side verges to be added as road side nature reserve due to the rich limestone flora!

Monday, 5 July 2010

4 go mad in Dorset!? Sand Lizard,Lesser Butterfly Orchid and Bog Orchid OMFL!!!

Meeting up with Sean Cole, Len (or Bernard Manning for short) and Stan the Man in Swadlincote in the early morning of Sunday(well actually 7.00am) and after a few hours driving it wasn't long before we hit the magical county of Dorset. The targets for the day included another "mutant" Bee Orchid in the form of the rare variety of Atrofuscus, Smooth Snake, Lesser Butterfly Orchid, Sand Lizard and to finish off the day Bog Orchid in the New Forest.
First stop was Radipole RSPB for the Var.atrofuscus Bee Orchid which had been identified the previous week. Meeting with a group of fellow orchid twitchers along the footpath, the two plants were quite easy to find and after a quick chit-chat I took a number of photos of the orchid.

After Radipole, we drove over to Hartland Moor NNR,near Wareham for the target species Smooth Snake, Sand Lizard and Lesser Butterfly Orchid.
Over the next couple of hours of searching the nearby heathland we connected with a corking female Sand Lizard and good numbers of Lesser Butterfly Orchids, Heath Spotted Orchids and the rare form "pulchella" Early Marsh Orchids.

 The final stop of the day was in the New Forest for Bog Orchid.
Leaving the busy the A34 we were soon on site for the final species of the day.
Wellies were required for this site and it wasn't long before the group so find loads of tiny Bog Orchids in the surrounding vegetation.
As the ground was very boggy photographing the orchids was a bit of a challenge but after getting your feet in the right position I took a number of shots of this tiny orchid.
So at the end of the day and late finish back to the Midlands and thanks to Sean for all the driving it was a long time since I've had four life ticks in day!
So I can say Lesser Butterfly Orchid, Bog Orchid, Sand Lizard and Atrofuscus On My Fu*king List!!

Bee Orchids 2: More god dam mutants!!

On Saturday I drove over to a couple of sites in the Midlands, were I photographed more "mutant" Bee Orchids.
The varieties I went to see included Var. bicolor, Var.belgarum and Var.trollii (or Wasp Orchid for short).
At the first site in Oxfordshire, I noticed that most of the Bee Orchids had gone over and although I couldn't find the Var.Belgarum type I did get some decent shots of the "Wasp Orchids".
Then driving into Warwickshire and probably the highlight of the day I find the Var.bicolor next to a busy round-about not far from Shakespeare birthplace.

The only other wildlife sightings I saw during the day included small numbers of Marbled White butterflies and a single Red Kite over the village of Long Compton in Warwickshire.

Friday, 2 July 2010

Bee Orchids: God dam Mutants!!

Over the last week I have been taken photos of some of the Bee Orchids in Leicestershire. Here is a small selection of what I have seen!