Thursday, 25 June 2015

Kentle Wood; an evening stroll

We are just beyond the summer solstice. It is light until well into the evening and the weather is currently balmy. A good time for an evening stroll in Kentle Wood.

I was hoping to see a moth or two, and that was what I got - two moths.

Straw Dot at Kentle Wood, Daventry
24 June, 2015

The first is a Straw Dot, Rivula sericealis, a common moth whose larvae feed on grasses. It is bivoltine, i.e having two broods a year, particularly in the south of Britain so this could be from the second brood.

Agapeta hamana. Kentle Wood, Daventry, Northants
24 June, 2014

The second species obligingly settled on my net but in the fading light a good picture was a challenge. This is Agapeta hamana, another common moth, known as the Hook-marked Straw Moth. Its larvae feed on thistles. There are plenty in Kentle Wood so this'l be no problem (Ho-ho).

I could probably have found other moth species but my attention was diverted in an unexpected manner. I wandered off the main track to have a closer look at some ash trees and found...

Common Spotted Orchid at Kentle Wood.
Daventry, 24 June, 2015

...about two dozen spikes of Common Spotted Orchid, Dactylorhiza fuchsii. Yes, they are common, given the right conditions, but it was nevertheless a delight to see them in profusion.

Common but beautiful - a close-up

The flowers are distinctive, allowing for easy identification.

But if there is any lingering doubt the leaves are also helpful (although not a clincher as other, related orchids, have spotted leaves).

Dactylorhiza fuchsii in its white form.
Kentle Wood, Daventry 24 June, 2015

And the icing on the cake was a pure white specimen. The white variety is by no means rare, but is relatively uncommon.

Pyramidal Orchid, Browns Road,
Daventry. 24 June, 2015

I'd had an interesting time, but the evening had not done with me. I had left Kentle Wood and had almost reached Browns Road when a bright pink flower caught my eye. It was a Pyramidal Orchid, Anacamptis pyramidalis.  It tends to favour chalk and limestone soils but here it was growing beside a rough track among brambles; what the soil is like I've no idea.

So clearly, orchid species are like buses, you wait for ages and... You know the rest.

A very memorable evening! Total invertebrates now 203, including 29 spiders, 20 true bugs, 53 beetles and 66 two-winged flies


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