Tuesday, 16 June 2015

30 Days Wild | Day 15 - orchid mayhem, then time to relax!

For Day 15 of 30 Days Wild, I was looking forward to relaxing a bit. I thought things would calm down after my oceanography exam last week but what with various things piling up while I was doing revision, and more things cropping up subsequently, I hadn't really had any chance to chill out. So I'd planned to set some time aside to sit out in the garden and read on Day 15.

Before that though, while I was walking to work in the morning, I was on the lookout for the orchid I'd found last week. Not only did I see it, but I discovered a further two orchids nearby which must have started flowering over the weekend! I'm fairly certain now that the first one I found was a Southern Marsh-orchid, and of the two I found yesterday, one was a Southern Marsh and the other a Common Spotted.

Today's new discoveries - had to hoist myself up a steep bank via a tree branch to get closer photos!
Last week's Southern Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa) is now in full flower.
Newly-discovered Southern Marsh-orchid (Dactylorhiza praetermissa).
Newly-discovered Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii).
I came across the Orchid Observers project via Twitter yesterday so am going to submit my sightings to that too.

Once I'd got home, I was ready for some chill-out time. But what to read? I've a large stack of books awaiting attention, seeing as I rarely have any time for reading things that aren't Open University textbooks. In the end I went for browsing my brand new copy of the BTO Collins Guide to British Birds. This arrived a couple of weeks ago and is excellent, it uses bang up-to-date distribution data from the Bird Atlas, has amazing and carefully-chosen photographs, and includes loads of super-handy identification tips. My favourite features are the calendar wheels, which show the likelihood of the species being seen in the UK month-by-month, and the 'default species' section - a set of common species from each main group, once familiar with these they can be used as a yardstick by which to identify other less common species.

After half an hour enjoying this in the garden, with House Sparrows chirruping in the bushes and House Martins fluttering overhead, I was feeling much calmer and ready to crack on with the rest of my evening!

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