Somerset Lizard Orchids

This morning, I got up early and visited a nature reserve in Somerset to hunt for Lizard Orchids (Himantoglossum hircinum), which I have wanted to see since I was about 15, but to date have never managed to be in the right place at the right time.

This year, I finally did it with some assistance from Lizard Orchid, thanks again Brian.

Here are the best shots.

The site was absolutely covered in Common Broomrape (Orobanche minor).

Common Broomrape (Orobanche minor)
Common Broomrape (Orobanche minor)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum)
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Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum) – Close-up of flower.
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Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum)

I was lucky to find quite a few Lizard  Orchids (Himantoglossum hir cinum)

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Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum)
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Lizard Orchid (Himantoglossum hircinum)

Orchids at Badbury Rings

I have to confess that after looking at the MetOffice website, I was a bit gloomy about today, as the weather forecast suggested a real humdinger of a day.  However, at the first sign of lasting sunshine, I was off to Badbury Rings  like greased lightning.

Badbury Rings did not disappoint, it was absolutely alive with orchids today, and I met several people who pointed me in the direction of where Frog Orchids could be found.  As I expected, I was too early for Frog Orchids, but now know where to look for them, so I’ll be back in a few weeks time to try again.

This year seems to have been a very good year for Greater Butterfly Orchids (Platanthera chlorantha) .

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Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha)

Greater Butterfly Orchids (Platanthera chlorantha) .

Greater Butterfly Orchids (Platanthera chlorantha) .

 

 

I was quite pleased to find a large number of Bee Orchids (Ophrys apifera) in full flower, as well as a lot of spikes still in bud.

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Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)
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Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)

There were plenty of Bee Orchids to choose from.

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Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)
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Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)

However, this Bee Orchid was by far the most impressive of all the ones I saw today.

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Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)
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Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) – Close-up of Flower

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Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) – Close-up of Flower

There were a few Common Fragrant Orchids (Gymnadenia conopsea) in flower, but not all that many, here is one.

Common Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea)
Common Fragrant Orchid (Gymnadenia conopsea)

The whole site was covered in Common Spotted Orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), and there were quite a few obliging Six Spot Burnet Moths (Zygaena filipendulae)  and not so obliging Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) and Small Blue (Cupido minimus).

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Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) and Six Spot Burnet (Zygaena filipendulae).
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Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)