Small Heath butterfly finds an Early Marsh orchid

Small Heath (female I think)

I remembered the camera when out walking the dog today. After a little incident with a young Roe buck (when I didn’t have anything except my phone) a few days ago, this was a major step forward.

There are often plenty of these Small Heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) butteflies up on the disused part of Blackbushe airport at this time of year, but rarely do we get close enough for a half decent photo, which is what this is; it’s not as well in focus as I would like.

But whilst trying to get that shot, I found this little beauty disguised among the Red Clover. I think, that with the kink at the end of the leaves, and the lack of spots it is an Early Marsh orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata), but I’m more than willing to stand corrected. There is a close-up of the flowerhead on my Flickr account here if it’s any help with the ID.

Such is the joy of the countryside; sometimes you just have to look really closely to find the hidden gems!

By the way, despite comments I’ve seen from people saying this isn’t a good thing, I think it’s wonderful to see the fields still haven’t been mown at the Red Cross Centre!

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About ramtopsrac

Church of England Priest, child of God, daughter of the New Forest, wife and mother.
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