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2016 UK Orchids (1 Viewer)

leptochila

Well-known member
It takes some very careful searching on the lower slopes.

7 years of checking this colony and I can certainly vouch for this! You really need to put the time in.

I might be inclined to phone the warden (his number can be found online) in advance to actually confirm flowering plants are present. The site is pretty remote too.

As already mentioned - lots of Heath Fragrants there, even more Heath Spotted and a handful of Greater Butterfly.

Mike
 

leptochila

Well-known member
Orchis x bergonii

The finder of the plant has been very open on social media with this one (publicised in a wildflower group in excess of 9000 members) so I have no doubt that the cat is well outside the bag by now. So here it is. Last record for this hybrid in Kent was 1992 so fairly exciting to see it again.

Photo taken last Friday. What a little beauty!

Mike
 

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John Cantelo

Well-known member
I've been out to Bonsai Bank several times over the last week and, not having been there for years was very impressed by the many (hundreds) of lady orchids there. Many were fully out, but a good few were still closed spikes. I've no idea how long they take to come fully into flower, but I'd have thought some would still be in good nick next week. Also had Early Purple (some past their best), Green Hairstreak & Duke of Burgundy Fritillary there too, not forgetting a few Turtle Dove.
 

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Allewes

Active member
Thank you for these detailed updates. I'll be staying with friends in Brighton this weekend and I'm very keen to catch up with the Burnts at Caburn and perhaps elsewhere.

More to come do you think?

Mike


Hi Mike
I would have said so last week BUT have been up to Caburn this evening. I was expecting to see more than the two dozen I saw out on Frisay after a few days sun in Sussex. But it took ten minutes hunting to find my first, even though it's a familiar local site, and I sould say if I saw twenty I was lucky - many of these recognisably the same I saw Friday and starting to go over. I only saw two or three opening rather than fully out. So though I'd love to be proved wrong I'd say this is a very poor year, easily the worst in the five years I've known the site, which usually has a hundred in a bad year and a thousand in a good year. The burnt orchids grow on what becomes quite tall grass and I'd suspect that the stop-start weather has favoured taller vegetation and is making it tough for the burnt orchids this year.

It depends how you like your orchid expeditions. I'd say from visits that after this weekend the Early Spiders at Castle Hill and the few Burnt at Caburn will both be going over. If visiting, at Caburn the very few Burnt is quite a challenge even with knowledge of the site or good directions and I'd say could number less than ten good specimens if my interpretation is right; Castle Hill will have lots more Early Spiders (Early Purple also but will be going over) and much more chance of seeing a good number of fine orchids in good condition.

Both are lovely walks - Glynde to Lewes is a classic short downland walk.
 

Allewes

Active member
I've been out to Bonsai Bank several times over the last week and, not having been there for years was very impressed by the many (hundreds) of lady orchids there. Many were fully out, but a good few were still closed spikes. I've no idea how long they take to come fully into flower, but I'd have thought some would still be in good nick next week. Also had Early Purple (some past their best), Green Hairstreak & Duke of Burgundy Fritillary there too, not forgetting a few Turtle Dove.

Lovely photo of a great site - Lady has a great habit of having early and late bloomers which gives a good chance of seeing some in good condition for quite a while!
 

Allewes

Active member
Hi all, I'm off to Kent tomorrow for a few days and hoping to catch up with some of the orchids down there that I won't have seen in East Anglia, especially Lady Orchid, Fly Orchid, Monkey Orchid and Early-spider Orchid. Staying just outside Whitstable. Was going to visit Queendown Warren and perhaps Marden Meadow for the display of Green-winged Orchids. Any help and advice from those who've been recently or know the sites really appreciated - PM if prefer (also any butterfly advice appreciated, esp for Duke of Burgundy or Pearl-bordered Frit)

Hi Connor
Darland Banks near Chatham is a great site for Man and should be good in next week or so.
Yockletts Bank is a little treasure and should be at good stage for Lady and Fly around now.
Good luck
 

Allewes

Active member
I'm hoping to get to Kent for lady orchid next week 25 - 26 May. Will I be too late do you think?

Liz / Dave - late June should be fine for both fen orchid at Kenfig and small white orchid at Vicarage Meadows. Small whites are in the furthest field. The last couple of years they have not been marked. It takes some very careful searching on the lower slopes.

Fen orchids - please PM me and I can give you directions.

Gareth
I haven't been this year but would say you should still be okay to find some in good condition. Bonsai Bank and Yockletts Bank are great sites, the latter also with Fly and Greater Butterfly among others. Good luck
 

gpg

Active member
Burnt orchid

Hi Mike
I would have said so last week BUT have been up to Caburn this evening. I was expecting to see more than the two dozen I saw out on Frisay after a few days sun in Sussex. But it took ten minutes hunting to find my first, even though it's a familiar local site, and I sould say if I saw twenty I was lucky - many of these recognisably the same I saw Friday and starting to go over. I only saw two or three opening rather than fully out. So though I'd love to be proved wrong I'd say this is a very poor year, easily the worst in the five years I've known the site, which usually has a hundred in a bad year and a thousand in a good year. The burnt orchids grow on what becomes quite tall grass and I'd suspect that the stop-start weather has favoured taller vegetation and is making it tough for the burnt orchids this year.

It depends how you like your orchid expeditions. I'd say from visits that after this weekend the Early Spiders at Castle Hill and the few Burnt at Caburn will both be going over. If visiting, at Caburn the very few Burnt is quite a challenge even with knowledge of the site or good directions and I'd say could number less than ten good specimens if my interpretation is right; Castle Hill will have lots more Early Spiders (Early Purple also but will be going over) and much more chance of seeing a good number of fine orchids in good condition.

Both are lovely walks - Glynde to Lewes is a classic short downland walk.

After many years observing this species at a number of Wiltshire sites I am more & more convinced that it is monocarpic. Populations fluctuate dramatically & plants are found in areas they have not previously been seen & disappear from areas where large numbers have occurred in earlier years. This applies to both early & late flowering forms.

The only study of long term population dynamics that I am aware of for this plant is reported in the book 'Wild Orchids of Bedfordshire' & their figures would seem to partially substantiate this theory.

It is in flower on the Wiltshire downs at present & in one site in significantly reduced numbers, though there could yet be more to come.
 

ionh

Well-known member
Purple pain

Found a "monster" EPO at Noar Hill last weekend which was so robust that i immediately thought that it must be a hybrid -- it absolutely dwarfed everything else, and had a very dense flower spike with largely unmarked labella. On reflection, there's not much that it could hybridise with at this time of year, and the Hants BSBI recorder has poured further cold water on the hybrid hypothesis. Shame....
 

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rmielcarek

Well-known member
Found a "monster" EPO at Noar Hill last weekend which was so robust that i immediately thought that it must be a hybrid -- it absolutely dwarfed everything else, and had a very dense flower spike with largely unmarked labella. On reflection, there's not much that it could hybridise with at this time of year, and the Hants BSBI recorder has poured further cold water on the hybrid hypothesis. Shame....

Funny you should say that as a couple of days ago I found two plants that initially I couldn't decide if they were SMOs or EPOs (not two confusion species I'd imagined). They were both EPOs, the confusion was because the inflorescence is much denser than normal on both.

Rich M
 

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Connor Rand

Norwich resident, Holme devotee
Thanks very much to all those who helped me out with info on places to go in Kent. Had a great trip in glorious weather.
 

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muba

Well-known member
With 90 minutes before rain due, there was time for a brief trip to Alyn Waters to see what is happening there. The Bee Orchid spikes are just appearing, the Common Spotteds a a bit behind, and the Common Tways seem more numerous than ever before. Perhaps this is because they have the jump on the other vegetation. No signs of either Green-flowered or Dune Helleborines yet.
 

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Bodhyfryd

Well-known member
Coralroot - Lindisfarne

Hi,

I’m going to be in Northumbria during the first week of June and am planning to look for a couple of species I’ve not seen before: Lesser Twayblade and Coralroot Orchid. I understand that Holystone Northwood/Burn is good for the former and the Snook on Holy Island for the latter but any additional more specific info would be really appreciated. PM me if you think it’s necessary.

I assume I’m way too early for either Lindisfarne/’Tyne’ Helleborine?

Thanks,
Toby

Hi Toby

Not sure if anyone has replied to this yet, but yes there was a nice (though fairly small) stand of Coralroot Orchid on the Snook last year. We were there around mid June, but Coralroot flowering times do tend to vary quite appreciably. I can give you location details by PM if you still need them, but of course cannot vouch for this year's flowering time! There is a local contact number, but in my experience they are not always that well informed on the flora.

Lindisfarne helleborine would, as you say, be much later in a "normal" year (early-mid July). Likewise Tyne Helleborine (but not on Lindisfarne).

An additional point - the island should also be very good for marsh orchids at that time. Last year we found some leucantha-like EMOs, whose identity Richard Bateman was very helpful with. I will add some details in the PM.

Martin
 

John P Lee

Active member
Broad-leaved Helleborines just starting to appear Stover Country Park, South Devon
 

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Hampshire Sword-leaved Helloborine status

New to this forum, lovely to see everybody's enthusiasm for these beautiful plants! ;-)

Info from the main Hampshire locn for Sword-leaved Helloborine: If planning a visit, I would leave it another week to 10 days. Was able to drop in yesterday (near Southampton for work), but only a couple (literally) of plants in full flower at the moment; overwhelming majority still in tight bud, or even spikes only. Wardens said they felt everything was 10 days behind (they had the public walk scheduled for this Sunday but putting both that and the annual count back a week). Attached photo was the most 'out' plant I found but most way behind that.

Nice fly orchid specimen also out, plus whole nursery of baby fly orchids on way. Other visitors reported the spikes of the Bird's Nest Orchids on way.

Loving the slow-corkscrew detail on the stems of the SLH flowers by the way: had no idea about that.

Got about 10 minutes at Clearbury Rings later in the day: one BTO, very diminuitive (2-3cms) (but I didn't manage the full site).

---

Background (by way of introduction): a landscape photographer mostly (www.dylan.reisenberger.net; https://twitter.com/dylanlandscape), but last year discovered wonderful orchids on the chalk downloads near where I live (deep Dorset), and seeking more. Oddly enough, grew up near the Park Gate Down reserve in Kent and remember being taken there to see orchids as a child in the 1970s - how things come around ;-)
 

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Andy1979

Well-known member
I went to a site in Kent today which I think is the same as mentioned by the Young Hunter in #102. Some stunning Lady (pic1) and Monkey Orchids (pic2). I found the hybrid (pic3), but am still not sure what two species have hybridised?

Also, can someone tell which the other species is (pic4)?

Thanks,

Andy M
 

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