Monday, 2 June 2014

Bee Orchids at Conwy RSPB





Bee Orchids
Still emerging male Common Blue
Basking female Common Blue
Male Greater Scaup
Tropidia scita
Having completed my fieldwork this morning, I decided I'd make a quick dash over to Conwy RSPB to see the recently emerged Bee Orchids. This is a species I have only ever seen once and that was back in 2006 at Brockholes, so I had almost forgotten what they looked like (although it didn't take long to jog my memory!).
Whilst onsite, I only walked from to the first hide along the estuary track and only spent an hour on site as that is all I needed to have a superb time. I started off by locating the first main patch of orchids with a nice group of 18 plants. I then carried on walking and found a further 18 dotted about including some very educational young plants that had the slightest hint of pink flower coming through. There was an area with at least 3 orchid stalks that had been obviously damaged. There are lots of Rabbits close by, but these looked like they'd been picked and dropped. I really hope it's not vandalism.
Other than the main reason for going, I was really surprised to find a drake Scaup actively feeding on the main lagoon showing very nicely. My first drake of the year. 
A quick scan of the south produced a Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and a very distant long-winged raptor that eventually turned into a Red Kite as it headed up the valley.
Finally, there was a bit of drizzle almost the entire visit, but a brief minute of sun revealed a single hoverfly which turned out to be Tropidia scita, which is a really nice species that I've wanted to see all spring!
Not from today, but last weekend on the Welsh Bird Race, I photographed this lovely Pyramidal Orchid (which I only ID'd today as I forgot I'd taken the photo!). This was at Gronant, just after seeing over 300 Little Terns!

1 comment:

Etienne Littlefair said...

Pretty early for the Pyramidal orchid, none flowering yet at my local sites in Oxon. Nice bee orchids at Conwy!