Balsam bashing, PART 3…

Spent another day bashing Himalayan Balsam today at Hawthorne Dene. In the process we spotted the following…

• Ringlet butterfly

A relatively common chocolate brown butterfly with distinctive eye-spots.

• Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera)

We spotted this unique orchid, which can take 5-8 years to flower (!) in Hawthorn Dene’s meadow.

Why is it unique? Well, this orchid amazingly mimics a bumble bee resting on it, taking nectar. In fact, the ‘bee’ is the beautifully marked lip of the flower, and this elaborate charade has the purpose of attracting a real bee, which will bring about pollination (in the case of British bee orchids however, unlike other European species, this ruse is nearly always superfluous – the plants usually pollinate themselves!).

• 
Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

The UK’s most common orchid (as it’s name suggests!).

• 
Speckled Wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria)

We saw lots of Speckled Wood butterflies dancing in the dappled shade whilst we were picking away at the Himalayan Balsam.

• 
Blackbird nest

We also came across a Blackbird’s nest amongst shrub on the woodland floor, a seemingly unusal place for a Blackbird to nest!

————

Kate | National Trust

Kate | National Trust

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