Thursday, 25 April 2019

Early Spider Orchid

Back out on the local patch today, not for birds or butterflies but to search for the early orchids that we have. We kicked off at Lancing Ring for some Early Purple Orchids, unfortunately the site has declined terribly and there were few orchids to be found and those that we did find were well past their best. However, out in the adjacent fields we found several fresh specimens that had survived. 

Next up was a trip to Anchor Bottom, access land next to the old cement quarry on the Steyning road. Despite enduring heavy rain and a biting east wind we managed to record  several specimens of Green-winged Orchid from a few hundred on the north facing slope. Another week and these will be at their peak. We found the normal purple, some bi- coloured and the pink forms. Sadly no white blooms yet.

Our final venue was Castle Hill NNR, home to many thousands of Early Spider Orchid. Some blooms were already going over but a host more were on the way. A bonus in the form of some fresh Early Purple Orchids as we made our way back to the car park. If you go, one word of caution - Watch where you tread! - these little plants are easily flattened.

 Early Spider Orchid

Early Purple Orchid

Green-winged Orchid

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