Durlston Country Park
Monday May 6th 2013
Walking north from the car park we set off in search of the very rare early spider orchid.
After stopping to watch a whitethroat, and wondering if a nearby bird really was a garden warbler, we entered a field that normally holds a good population of these tiny orchids.
However after much searching all we could find were some leaves of an early purple orchid, so we started to wonder if there were going to be any flowers at all to find this year.
The next field produced quite a few splendid spikes of early purple orchid, as well as masses of bulbous buttercups.
The third field held huge numbers of cowslips, including a hybrid cowslip x primrose - a "false oxlip".
A few English bluebells were starting to flower as well.
The real stars were found in the top corner where there was a patch of the weird adder's-tongue fern.
Time was running out and we still hadn't find any early spiders.
Then one of the group called us over and we feasted our eyes on one of the loveliest patches of this rare orchid I have ever seen.
These were the only ones seen all morning!
Garden warbler (perhaps)
Early Purple Orchid
Early Spider Orchid
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