Getting ready

I needed to recce a few sites in preparation for a visit, this Thursday, from Jon Dunn, who is currently writing a book on the UK's orchids. The good news is that the particular species that he is targeting this week are present, with some only just flowering - it seems to be a late year. I will hopefully have a full post about what we get up to later on in the week.

Back to today - I made a whistle-stop tour of Juniper Bottom, Juniper Top, Mickleham Downs, Box Hill (several sites) and White Downs. The targets were present, in varying stages, with few out in flower, but producing a spectacle non-the-less - in fact some of these orchids look more fascinating even before reaching full flower.

Birds were not to be left out, with the lower slopes of Boxhill producing a singing Firecrest and two croaking Ravens along the scarp. Butterflies were few, the temperature being quite inhospitable for them whenever the sun went in, which it did more frequently as the day wore on.

Green Hound's-tongue - a bit of a North Downs speciality.

Man Orchid - a spectacular gathering on Box Hill
Bird's-nest Orchids - almost there, maybe fully out by Thursday!


Derek Faulkner said…
Interesting, I didn't realise that there was a Green Hounds-tongue. We have the ordinary Hounds-tongue growing all over the Swale NNR here. The seeds are like velcro and get spread round easily by sticking to animals legs etc. If you crush the leaves they smell strongly of mouse urine.
Steve Gale said…
I do like Hound's-tongue, Derek. I often find it on disturbed ground, especially around rabbit warrens. As for the smell - interesting!

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