Friday, 23 May 2008
This is a great but small KWT reserve, in the Medway valley. It is the only place in Kent I know to reliably see early marsh orchid and at this time of year they should be in flower along with some of the early flowering southern marsh orchids and common spotted orchids also occur. There are usually some good clumps of ragged robin and flag iris and the buttercups are impressive too.
Southern Marsh Orchid
You do have to be careful at Holborough as there are not really pathways across the reserve and it would be all too easy to accidentally tread on a plant just coming up.
The best place I have found for early marsh orchid is in the south western part where I found a number of plants in a scattered group. The shot below is actually looking north east from the south western corner so probably not too much help. Not quite Marden Meadow but a rare plant in Kent.
Early Marsh Orchids
I had around 15 early marsh and 20 southern marsh orchids, 3 hairy dragonflies, many of blue-tailed damselfy, azure damselfly, large red damselfly. 3 green-veined whites, 4 large whites, 1 peacock, 3 common blue, 3 orange tip, seems to be a good year for these. Also 2 blackcaps, 1 cuckoo, 1 lesser whitethroat, 3 nightingales, 2 whitethroat, 1 sedge warbler, 4 house martins and 5 swifts.
Large Red Damselfly
Capea nemoralis, a common snail species but looks rather smart.