Tuesday, 19 April 2011

More orchids

Since my last post, I have been spending practically everyday in the field and I will do a post later on some of the spring birds we have seen. It has been an odd spring with over three weeks with hardly any rain and above average temperatures (it has just started to rain again today). But I just want to follow-up on the theme of my last blog on orchids with the unfolding story of orchid spring in Extremadura. Just a few days after that blog (written in late March) I was back at the site I described. This time, the Woodcock Orchids (Ophrys scolopax)which I had failed to find in March, were abundant and what a gorgeous and varied species it is.



We also found Dark Ophrys (Ophrys incubacea).



As April progresses, so the first flush of the early spring orchids fade (although the verges near our house still have Champagne orchids in flower). Interest then turns to the species characteristic of late spring. Locally, these are predominantly the tongue orchids or Serapias. We visited a great area for these just a couple of days ago. Hundreds were in flower. They are a terribly complex group to identify and I have still not yet acquired a decent key or identification tool, so let me simply put some photos of them on the blog and if anyone has any ideas please let me know! Certainly the photos include Serapia lingua, but perhaps there is a Serapia vomeracea or Serapia cordigera there as well!



I will be back there when I can, and this time studying some of the anatomy of the flowers a little more closely!

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