Most years I make the long trek over the Downs to see the Early Spider Orchids that are on a National Nature Reserve between Lewes and Brighton. Many years ago I used to assist the then Nature Conservancy Council in their annual count and it is also in an area that I used to Badger watch when I was a lad. All the Badger setts are still active that I used to watch and each year I tell myself I must go and see these wonderful animals again, but I still haven't done it!!
Around 3 weeks ago I went to the orchid site with Pete and we saw just 4 plants with only 2 in flower. This time however, there were much larger numbers with a couple of hundred plants at least spread over quite a large area with some past their best but some also still to flower.
Not before time I also saw my first Wheatear of 2019 several weeks after most people had seen one!!
Early Spider Orchid.
Following this I drove to another site where the Green-winged Orchid grows. Some sites these plants grow in their thousands. On my site there were probably around 100 plants with the odd colour variants of white and pink forms.
Green-winged Orchid in pink.
Green-winged Orchid in a normal purple colour.