Looking very atmospheric now the National Trust have decided to remove all the fences from the surrounding land to create a more natural looking landscape.
There were some smashing Bee Orchids along side the entrance road.
The ones on the earthworks themselves were quite puny and very soggy!
'Spectacular' Frog Orchid
Very pretty close up though, I think. Talking of up close....
Fearless Tree Pipit!
It was so preoccupied with trying to out-sing a bird a few hundred yards away it wasn't in the least bit bothered by my presence.
I saw another new orchid this week on the East Devon Commons, Early Marsh Orchid. They are a complicated group with many subspecies and named variants. I think the ones I saw were subspecies pulchella, going by the colour, flower shape and habitat.
Early Marsh Orchid, Dactyloriza incarnata pulchella.
There were also several of these beautiful white forms.I thought these were probably the variety ochrantha, which often grows amongst pulchella but it is described as unmarked creamy-yellow.
Up close you can see the flowers are very subtly washed pink and have a few very faint pink spots at the base of the lip which leads me to think that they may be very pale forms of the subspecies incarnata. If they are Dactyloriza incarnata incarnata, then the purple ones could possibly be a purple variant of that subspecies and not pulchella after all. See, I told you they were complicated! Let's just say they are Early Marsh Orchids and leave it at that!!
Another new plant species for me was this Grass Vetchling, which until it flowers just looks like any other grass so I've probably overlooked it before.