Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Clovers and Orchids.

Pics from thursday 18th: Clover along the shepherd's trail.. at least four species found.. the crimson clover in an earlier entry, this charming clover above which has a close packed spiral seedpod, this yellow cluster of flowers below and a purple one with dark hairs also photographed last season up on north ridge.

This orchid was found just down from valley road, a little past the corner wattle tree. It's Orchis tridentata, the Toothed Orchid, its lower petals are divided, in contrast to the pink butterfly orchid. Another found by the shepherd's trail on thursday.

On thursday I went up to where we found the bee orchid last season, up from the valley road south turn picnic corner. The boy's camp from last year had been completely dismantled but I had no trouble finding the lone bee orchid, miraculously back pretty much where I remembered it was before and blooming proudly. This is the only bee orchid I know of in the whole area.. all other bee orchids I've found are Carmel bee orchids, a different species. Just now I compared the pic I took today with a pic taken last year and was struck by the similarity.. last year's flower looked glossier but that could be to do with the stage of development. The markings were far more similar to each other than any two carmel bee orchids tend to be, indicating that this was the same plant. I may post these next time

Below, a spider common and apparently everywhere on the lower open slopes of windsurfer hill, taken last week.

Wednesday 18th March:

Today my favourite discoveries were the toothed orchid, and a European cuckoo calling from the trees around the east watercourse, not far from the Pistacio orchard The orchard itself is becoming greener by the day, and seems to me to be glowing with a happy healthy vibe thanks to the recent attentions of the park authorities- pruning and other attentions. Meanwhile the almonds are in full exuberant leaf and the pomegranates are filling out, as are the hawthorns. Though, sadly, the acacia near the largest almond has fallen, all the other acacias in the area are growing well and blooming, though I don't see insect life on the flowers.. not very surprising given that they are really Australasian trees.

Hooded crows and jackdaws about, Collared doves active and cooing and an eggshell found on the ground near the orchid above, greenfinches chawing and active, flying between trees, blackbirds, various calls, great spotted cuckoo calls. Kestrel circling over ridge to the north.

Early morning: Sunbirds, house sparrows, bulbuls, laughing doves. Not 100% sure if I heard the warbler over all that noise, the sparrows are increasing in volume by the day.

Thursday 18 March: early morning: sunbird melodious calls, house sparrows, and by 5.45 a.m. laughing doves and a loud blackbird I have not heard singing here in a while. Rain on and off, and cold.

Later in the day: Tristram's starling heard towards sunset, greenfinches, collared doves. No luck on gazelles or hyraxes. Eurasian jay glimpsed,

No comments: