Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Man Orchids in the rain.

The orchid season is short, and given that it is exam season and Dipper taxis are on call, opportunities have to be taken when they arise. So I found myself this morning at Chafford Gorges. Specifically, having googled a bit, at Grays Gorge. In search of Man Orchids.

Well, having descended the steps to the gorge floor, and having wondered round a couple of times seeing plenty of Common Spotted Orchid and Common Twayblade, and a flower I'm guessing is Round-leaved Wintergreen, I was no closer to breaking my Man Orchid Duck. And it had started to rain. So, I did the obvious thing, and rang the EWT. The lady on the phone was very nice, and asked a few people, but now-one knew precisely where they were. I mean, its a bit churlish to complain, but why don't they put the location on the signs? Its exasperating to say the least to have signs that say 'we have rare flowers here, but we are not telling you where they are!'

So I did the next obvious thing, and googled. I eventually found a blog post where the writer had been counting Man Orchids on the escarpment above the gorge. ah ha!

And so I found them. If you find yourself at a sign on the circuit at road level above the gorge going on about Sarsens, then they are just there, by the Sarsen stones. And a nice bunch of men they are too.

Round Leaved Wintergreen? Well, it has round leaves
Common Spotted
Man orchid.
Another Man orchid. Note the rain drops. I suffered for this.
there were a few ...
A Broomrape of some sort.
Here. Behind this sign. The one with rocks on. This is the place.

Sunday, June 02, 2019

Sawbridgeworth Marsh 2 June

A walk round Sawbridgeworth Marsh, currently in peak condition.


Southern Marsh Orchid. Two regions, 9 in the first and more in the second in the southern part.

Obviously lots of others, but I noticed this one below, possible a creeper on another plant, and am thinking its a garden plant that has made a bid for freedom.

Banded Demoiselle - lots, in places clouds of them
Azure Damselfly - quite a lot of these - I assume this rather than Common Blue
Large Red Damselfly - about 5 of these

Blue tailed Damselfly 1 seen
Hairy Dragonfly - 1 in the reeds

A large Blue one, whizzing round like a mad thing.


Speckled Wood
Orange Tip


Reed Bunting 3 males, possibly 4
Cetti's Warbler - 2 singing
Chiffchaff 1 singing
Sedge Warbler - 1 singing
Blackcap singing, 
Jay 1


Fox - 1 young one
Vole sp - 1 small blackish one by the waters edge. Much smaller than a water vole.

Hatfield Forest insects

Took the camera for a walk in Hatfield Forest. Here we go ...

Bees generally seem to have been scarce this year, but in the Forest there were a few clusters mainly on Houndstooth. ID of bees not my strong point, but I see no reason to go beyond the obvious - Vestal Cuckoo Bee here.

Mating Common Blues

Female Black Tailed Skimmer, and although I tried to turn it onto something else, Azure Damselfly.

Finally, Scorpion Fly

Commonly Spotted Orchids

We are fortunate in the UK in that the commonest orchids are also amongst the most beautiful. I spent a morning photographing some on the lo...