Sunday 28 June 2015

A day at the beach


A happy spell of good weather and Paul having a whole week to spend here gave us the opportunity to head for our favourite bit of the seaside, a wonderful patch of undeveloped shore. The area is a nature preserve and has nothing to encourage daytrippers except sandy beaches, dunes and exceptional wildlife.

seaside euphorbia

The variety of flora is intriguing, I would never have expected euphorbia to colonise sand dunes along with several sorts of orchid.

cropped orchid

I had never seen a Lizard orchid, Himantoglossum hircinum, before and these were really beautiful. Some of the sources on the internet suggest it has a goaty odour but I didn't find that although there was a definite scent. Maybe I just like the smell of goats. There were also pyramidal orchids and another sort, possibly Southern Marsh orchid but my pictures are poor and I'm not very experienced at identifying orchids.

bryony on the beach

There were lots of other plants some of which may have been introduced, a patch of Centranthus ruber didn't seem likely to be native, nor did a single outcrop of bugloss although it added some lovely colour. Irises planted under a shelter belt of conifers also seemed out of place. The bryony probably was a local, although it was stretched over a plant I think must have been privet.

glanville fritillary

It's not just plants either. Each year we find a species we've never photographed before. This year, it was the Glanville fritillary. This isn't a great picture - all the pictures here were taken with my Z3 phone - but you can see some better shots on Paul's flickr stream along with a Brown Argus and a Small Heath.


AlisonC said...

Cor! Is that the place you took us to? How big are the orchids?

Catofstripes said...

Yes, it is. Lovely again this year. The orchids are tall, nearly a metre and quite chunky.

AlisonC said...

Quite a bit chunkier than those ones we were looking at yesterday, though I read they also have bee orchids there somewhere - they are a bit more substantial I think?

Catofstripes said...

This is handy for native British orchids

I've never seen a Bee orchid in the flesh, it would be great.