Monday, 29 August 2011

Dawlish Warren

                                                            Saturday 27th August 2011

I headed off to Dawlish Warren this morning, the continued threat of rain which seems to have been ever present this last few weeks was again hanging in the air. Main reason for heading to Dawlish Warren was to find a Wild Orchid that is the last to flower in the Orchid season.

It did not take too long to find the Autumn Ladies Tresses Orchid, there was quite a few now in flower. The Orchid itself is described as being 'near Threatened' so when at this time of year I go in search of this Orchid it is still a special feeling to see them. The flower spike is very delicate and has a row of tubular white flowers often in a spiral pattern around the flower spike. They are generally found in Southern England from the Isles of Scilly to Kent, with a few scattered sites further North.
The height of the Orchid is 3-15cm so really very small and fragile. The flowers are pollinated by Bumblebees. The flowers are not self pollinating.
 Managed to get a good Macro shot of the flowers itself, please click on the photo for a larger image. The orchid is one of may favourite of the orchid season.

A lot of rain had fallen over the previous 24 hours and the Reeds were laden with rain water. I played around with this shot when at home, and it  certainly looks better in Black and White.

I found this fungi off the beaten track I think it maybe a Ugly Milkcap, but please correct me if I am wrong.

Futher along I found these Jelly Ears fungi, but these were grwoing at ground level, so I maybe slighly wrong here.

Lots of birds now on the move and also arriving back from their breeding grounds. Some of the Swallows are gathering. The Curlews are returning now and I had counted 49 roosting along the shoreline close the railway, along with 17 Little Egrets and many Dunlins and Ringed Plovers. Overhead the Sandwich Terns were back and forth fishing off the coast. Also about 250 noisy Oystercatchers were gathering on the shingle bank.

Doing a bit of beachcombing found some very large driftwood, again in photoshop I gave it sepia look and I hope you agree it makes it a better shot.

Above one of the many Northern Wheatears seen today. They are now gathering along the South Coasts feeding up and ready for the big lift off back to Africa for the Winter.

At low tide there was a fishing boat resting on the mud,  not sure if this was meant to be here like this or if they were doing some DIY on the boat, like removing barnacles from its bottom...sounds very painful to me.

              Above a lovely shot of an Evening Primrose with raindrops twinkling in the sunlight.

A moody shot of one of the groins along the shoreline at Dawlish Warren Nature reserve. In the not to distant future there will be many shore birds feeding along here.

A Small White Butterfly resting on Bramble enjoying the Warm sunshine. Of the other Butterflies, Common Blue and Speckled Wood were seen today.


  1. What a lovely visit, John! I, too, delighted infinding some ladies tresses the other day! They always make me smile.

  2. Hi Karen,

    Lovely to hear from you. Was getting worried about you. Hope all is ok. Are your Ladies Tresses similar ? Take care John

  3. John, thank you for taking us along on your adventure to Dawlish Warren. It looks like a lovely area. A wonderful variety of stunning images! I love the delicate orchid. A pleasure to visit your blog!

  4. Thank you Julie,

    It is so rich with it's wildlife, sad to say the sand dunes are being eroded by the winter storms. Not sure how much longer before they are breached. John

  5. Great macros of the Orchid John, that is one special flower.

  6. Hi Roy,

    Thank you, yes I agree it is a very special flower. Will never tire of seeing it at this time of year. John