Friday 11 July 2014

Whitford Bridge and Hampshire Orchids

On Sunday I dodged the thunderstorms and went to the River Axe at Whitford Bridge to look for White-legged Damselflies. I only spotted four in total (mating pair and two males) but the weather conditions weren't ideal. There were also lots of Banded Demoiselles I attempted to get some shots of these in flight, but with a 400mm lens, so having to stand fifteen feet away, it was a bit tricky!

 White-legged Damselfly - Platycnemis pennipes

Banded Demoiselle - Calopteryx splendens

Common Mayfly - Ephemera danica

Comma Polygonia c-album

Great WillowherbEpilobium hirsutum

Marsh Woundwort - Stachys palustris

On Monday it was back to Winchester again to move Martha out of her flat. So on the way I just had to pop in to the services on the M27 to check on the Broad-leaved Helleborines. They were a long way from being at their best but a couple of plants had a few open flowers. Then onto a reserve in Winchester to look for Green-flowered Helleborine an orchid I'd not seen before. I'd looked for them here last year without success but have since learned there was only a single plant last year. Having learned of the exact spot to see them before this visit finding them was somewhat easier. We bumped into the reserve warden and together we found seven plants. They were a bit underwhelming to say the least, very small with all the flowers firmly in bud. Sometimes they never open at all, self pollinating whilst still in bud. On two of the plants the buds appeared to be browning and dying off so obviously not going to open any further. We have to go back to Winchester in several weeks so I'll go back and see what happens. 

Broad-leaved Helleborine - Epipactis helleborine

Green-flowered Helleborine - Epipactis phyllanthes

This sighting on the notice board made Martha and me chuckle.
If you can't decipher it it says:
"I heard rustles in the bushes and saw horns"

On arriving home we were greeted by the lovely sight of this years Herring Gull fledglings ready to take their first flights,which they did just after I'd taken a couple of photos of them. One we haven't seen since but the other spent one night away but is now back. Nice to see them doing well after last years single fledgling couldn't fly and was taken by a fox.


JRandSue said...

What a brilliant day you had,superb flight shots.

Wilma said...

stunning selection.

Karen Woolley said...

Thanks for commenting folks! :-)