Wednesday 30 June 2021

Odds and Ends

Cream-bordered Green Pea.

Looks like the Great Black-backed Gulls have bred again on Topps Tiles - just the one juvenile seen.

Ringlet - Dinan Way.

 One of three lovely  Pyramidal Orchids along Marine Drive. I also counted 43 along Dinan Way, opposite Lidl, but the Bees are way past it.

Four-leaved Allseed - a plant growing out of the wall along Marine Drive.

Red Goosefoot - thank you to Neil for id.

 22-spot Ladybird Psyllobora vigintiduopunctata.

Rosemary Beetle.

Small Angle Shades.

Crescent Plume.

White Stonecrop.


Rock Sea-spurrey - some nice clumps of this at the end of Marine Drive, beneath the cliffs.

Six-spot Burnet.

Monday 28 June 2021

Morris's Wainscot and Marsh Fragrant Orchid

Morris's Wainscot - near Culverhole Point. So chuffed to find this - a very rare species found only along a short stretch of coast, roughly between Sidmouth, Devon and Black Ven, near Charmouth in Dorset. I was photographing Diamond-backs when it flushed. Fortunately it landed close-by and settled. In flight it was very white, and my first thought was that it was going to be one of the Grass-veneers. Many thanks to Barry Henwood for confirming the id. I'd almost written it off as a very worn Small Dotted Buff.

After work I walked from Seaton to Culverhole Point - a long trudge along energy-sapping pebbles but so worth it with my target, Marsh Fragrant Orchid, found along with a host of Marsh Helleborines and Southern Marsh Orchids. Also noted - plenty of Wood Whites, Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Peregrine, Bee Orchid and Common Spotted Orchid. Additionally - loads of Sea Kale, Rest Harrow and Brookweed, plus Ivy Broomrape, Yellow Wort, Broad-leaved everlasting Pea and Wild Carrot.

Marsh Fragrant Orchid - just one found on Culverhole Point but it looked great and smelled fantastic!

Fragrant Orchid has been split into three different species - Chalk, Heath and Marsh. They all look pretty much the same but grow in different conditions. It's interesting to compare this with the hundreds of Chalk Fragrants Kev and I saw in Hampshire on Saturday. They were all well into flowering or even just past their best whereas this Marsh Fragrant is yet to fully open. To my eye this seems less pink and a little more mauve. It was growing in a wet 'flash' on the landslip.

Wild Carrot.

I was fully focused on finding Marsh Fragrant Orchid so to find dozens of Marsh Helleborine flowering on Culverhole Point was a brilliant surprise. They're just gorgeous.

Common Spotted Orchid.

Twin-barred Knot-horn Homoeosoma sinuella.

Bee Orchids provided a back-up cast to Marsh Fragrant, Southern Marsh, Common Spotted Orchid and Marsh Helleborine. What a place!

Some odd orchids amongst the Southern Marsh - perhaps some hybirds involverd?

A plain and very pale Southern Marsh or hybrid?

A densely-flowered and very fulsome Marsh Helleborine.

Yellow Wort.

Lots of  Diamond-backs on Culverhole Point. Good numbers of Silver Y and a Hummingbird Hawkmoth also pointed to ongoing immigrant activity. This pair of diamond-backs is resting on Sea Kale.

Wasp species - possibly Box-headed Mason Wasp Gymnomerus laevipes - thank you Nick.

Southern marsh Orchid.

Marmalade Hoverfly on Wild Carrot.

 White-legged Damselfly - stopped off to look at these on the Axe.

Sunday 27 June 2021

Little Terns

Meadow Brown.

Two Little Terns were with 24 Sandwich Terns, roosting on Cockle Sands just after midday. On Blackhill Quarry - a single Green Sandpiper.

 A quick look along Wright's Lane produced 4 Broad-leaved Helleborines. Can't wait to see these flowering properly in two or three weeks time. Seventeen were found last summer. Fingers crossed for at least that many this year but there's a fair bit of bramble growing, which may keep numbers down.

Saturday 26 June 2021


The chief target for today's Hampshire trip was the diminutive Musk Orchid. A great day out with Kev, visiting both Noar Hill, near Selbourne and Martin Down near Salisbury. We couldn't find Frog Orchids but saw loads of other stuff including Stone-curlews (2 adults with at least 1 juv), about half a dozen Red Kites, similar numbers of Corn Buntings, plus Muntjac and a whole host of insects and flowers.

Predictably, Kev found the first Musk Orchid but once we'd got our eye in we were able to pick out a number of spikes. They really are tiny.

Dark Mullein - possibly just a garden escape.

Chalk Fragrant Orchid - Noar Hill. Hundreds of these seen today.

A freshly-emerged Dark Green Fritillary.

Huge numbers of Common Twayblade were seen at Noar Hill. Not a single one was found at Martin Down.


Small Blue - other species seen today included Adonis Blue, Common Blue, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Brimstone, Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary and Large Skipper.

Orchid species - an all white flower and un-spotted leaves.

Noar Hill. Thousands of Orchids covered the chalk pits. I've never experienced anything like it! Seven species in total seen here and at Martin Down.

Pyramidal Orchid.

Fly Orchid.

Presumed Five-spot Burnet - mating pair. Probably can't rule out Narrow-bordered Five-spot.

Common Spotted Orchid.

Chalk Fragrant.

Black Bryony.

White Bryony.

Noar Hill.

Hoary Plantain.

Common Spotted Orchid.

Marbled White.

A pure white Pyramidal Orchid.

Knapweed Broomrape - Noar Hill.

Wild Parsnip - Martin Down.

Dropwort - meadows full of this at Martin Down but none whatsoever at Noar Hill.

Basil Thyme - a great find by Kev - only the one plant found - small and barely standing out amongst other purples like Tufted Vetch and Self-heal.

Meadows of Dropwort at Martin Down.

Lots more Chalk Fragrant Orchids at Martin Down.


 Common Valerian.

Chimney Sweeper - Martin Down.

Bastard Toadflax

Five-spot or Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnet.

Greater Butterfly Orchid.

Blue sp - thought at the time to be Adonis but not so sure now - Martin Down.

Forester or Cistus Forester.

Only one Bee Orchid found today.

Dark Green Fritillary - loads on Martin Down this afternoon.

Sanfoin - Martin Down.