In true 30 Days Wild style, I have been delving further into the guidebooks to identify more plants and wildflowers I may have previously overlooked or misunderstood – and you guessed it, it’s involved a lot of orchids!
I’ve definitely been hooked on finding out more about our native flowers. I feel like it’s my way of repaying the wildflower Gods after spending most of my life just referring to flowers as ‘that’s a nice flower’ and maybe instagramming it. They deserve so much more attention! They’re literally life givers and they do it in the most amazing ways, and looking fabulous whilst doing it.
This week saw my first trip to the Lavernock Point NR managed by the Wildlife Trust. Just 20 minutes outside of Cardiff, it’s neatly nestled between Cosmeston Country Park and the Bristol Channel. We went in the evening, with the sun lazily hanging in the sky and a cool, balmy sea breeze. The meadows were alive with insects flying between the flower heads which were peering over the meadow grass.
I spotted a few species I knew, there were goldfinches perching on thistles, and cheery buttercups, clover and dog bramble flowers were attracting pollinators. It seemed to be great place to spot butterflies and moths, even though I missed a lot of them! I managed to identify a 6 Spot Burnet moth and a Large Skipper moth who were both resting in the long grass.
And of course none of these insects would be there if it wasn’t for the flowers! I spotted a myriad of common spotted orchids which were practically littering the the floor, a real treat! But another first for me, I spotted a pyramidal orchid, distinct from the common spotted by it’s solid colour throughout.
Something I did notice was the range of colours between the common spotted orchids – some quite vividly pink and some almost white, the one thing tying them together was the fuchsia/purple spots on the flower heads. I did originally think they were two different species but after more research I can see the variation is common!
I did spend a lot of time looking at the ground for orchids and various creepy crawlies – so much so I nearly forgot to look up! Thankfully my girlfriend was on hand to point out a buzzard which was using the summery evening breeze to soar overhead. I’d really love to get a bigger lens so I can get closer to them and really see what they’re upto! The other birds I spotted included goldfinch, blackbirds and house sparrows – but it was quite late so the busier parents may have been babysitting by then!
I’ll definitely be heading back here throughout the summer months to see more wildflower and hopefully get up close to some butterflies making the most of the bounty! It was a lovely relaxing walk and it was a treat to hear the sea and no traffic or people – bliss!
Keep It Wild
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