Monday, 21 May 2018

Bird's-nest Orchid

Today's plan was simple - early start to get the Bird's-nest Orchid then a short hop to Chiddingfold Forest to get the Wood White. What I hadn't taken into account was the amount of time it would take to find the orchid. After three miles of trudging through thick beech woods I had just about given up. All I had to show for my efforts were a Common Twayblade and a woodland Fly Orchid.  Sauntering back to the car, all thoughts of going for the Wood White banished, when I came upon, completely by serendipity, a glorious stand of nine spikes of some of the best BnOs I have ever seen.

The description Bird's nest comes not from what is seen above ground but from the fact that the tangled roots resemble a bird's nest. Their preferred habitat is the deep gloom created by heavy beech canopy, hence finding them can be a tad difficult. I have to confess when I found these a smile of smug satisfaction spread across my face. It is evident that this site has had little disturbance as last year's stalks with empty seed heads were still standing between this year's blooms.

No human damage but falling timber has destroyed some plants.

Taken without flash using natural daylight and a silly ISO

I counted nine spikes

Some days I would be happy to go home with just one orchid recorded, the Fly Orchid was an added bonus.

In the deep gloom even the deer couldn't see me but they were aware of my camera shutter clicking away

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