Sunday, 22 February 2009

Thanks to expert help.

It's good to be among experts in Kent. I sent pictures of the two Orchid species we found to Dave Johnson and Phil Chantler and both came back with the answers very quickly, and most pleasing they both had the same identifications.

This attractive orchid is Fan-lipped Orchid, Anacamptis collina. It's a good job Dave and Phil new what it was because it is nothing like the picture in the Orchids of Britain and Europe by Williams, Williams and Arlott. There are pictures on the Web taken in Greece and Malta that are very like the specimens we saw. The book says that it is an uncommon species of the Mediterranean from Southern Spain to Turkey, flowering from February to April and growing on limestone soils in dry grasslands.

While the Corn Bunting has declined alarmingly in Britain it is still one of the most common passerines in Andalusia and they were almost continuously with in ears range as they sang their "bunch of keys" song from song posts.

When we found one Kittiwake John was surprised, but as the week went on we found more and more. these, lazing about on a bank, were part of a group of around 20. I suspect that they have arrived in larger than usual numbers because of the weather a couple of weeks ago.

The Glossy Ibis is one of those birds that is now doing better in Spain, after a decline in the second half of the last century and in 2002 the new colony in the Coto Donana held over 450 pairs, making the largest in western Europe. Every now and a gain one or even a small group turns up in the UK, like the famous Stodmarsh resident that stayed around for quite a few years.

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