Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Pasque Flower, Powerlifting and Patch Tick

Yesterday I headed over to Martin Down NNR in Hampshire (well only just) hoping to see the rare Pasque Flower. It is only found at a few locations in the UK albeit quite numerous at a couple of them. Not Martin Down though, which I think is its southernmost location. Here there are only a handful of plants, four I think. I only know the location of two of them having seen them in seed last year. I was hoping to see them in all their glory this year but unfortunately I was just a tad too late. I reckon they'd have been at there best last week while I was in Scotland. Still they weren't too awful...
 One plant had three flowers, looking a bit curled at the edges.
 Still very pretty and a lovely colour...
Past its prime. 
When in ful flower they have a bright yellow centre. Here though the seed head is already forming, the green and red filaments in the centre later fan out as the purple sepals fall off, to form a spiky globe. I'll remember to take a photo of it when I return in late May for the Orchids.
The other plant had two flowers and was a bit less withered.

Back on patch it was nice to see a few Early Purple Orchids in flower at the usual site. 
Today a quick visit to Alyesbeare Common on the way back from a trip to Exeter, was extremely quite with very few birds and not much in the way of insects either apart from a few Brimstones. Although the Wood Ants were showing well, as usual.
Here making light work of lifting what looks like half a large Centipede.

An overdue patch tick for me this afternoon when news reached me of a Great White Egret on the lagoon at Seaton Marshes. There have been a couple on patch over the years and I think I'd be right in saying that only the relative newcomers to the patch, like myself and Bun, hadn't seen one here. Well we have now and what a corker! I've never had good views of an adult in full breeding plumage before. I know it's still only a white bird but it has lovely salmon pink legs and brilliant pea green around the eye. It was entertaining too, feeding on small fish and what looked like a frog too. I couldn't stay as long as I'd have liked due to work being imminent. Best Great White Egret I've seen though. Most definitely!
You can see the colour of the face on this one (click to enlarge)
Love that bendy neck, it's like a piece of rope

1 comment:

abbey meadows said...

Love to see the Pasque flower but a long drive south from here. Like the Scottish pics I'm going up there at the end of May.