Friday, 20 June 2008

Lullingstone Country Park

I'd read that at Lullingstone C.P. there is a small colony of lizard orchids, somewhere, so I went to have a look. I wasn't surprised not to find them as I didn't really know where to look but it didn't really matter as the grassland chalk banks where superb, in some places full of pyramidal orchids, it was quite stunning. It wasn't until I got in amongst the tall grass trying to photograph a small skipper that I came face to face with this exquisite plant which I think is a grass vetchling.
Grass Vetchling

Pyramidal Orchid

I then tried to go all arty again with this dandelion head. Looks a little bit like a spiders web close up (maybe)?

In the long grass were quite a few common blue demselflies.
Common Blue Damselfly

Also a lot of Meadow Browns, this one being a male.

It wasn't until I was wandering back to my car that I noticed a different and very striking butterfly flying very fast across the long grass meadow. It was my first in Kent, dark green fritillary and what a big beautiful butterfly, in the end I saw 2 and tried in vain to get a shot, better luck next time. A very rewarding late afternoon out, with the added bonus of a male slow worm and a few swifts and house martins doing low passes over the meadows catching insects.


Josh Jenkins Shaw said...

Great photos John! I really like thhe Dandelion...I live quite near Lullingstone so I might have to visit it soon and get some shots of the orchids, Downe Bank KWT reserve is also ment to be good, apparently there are Butterly orchids there at the moment.

Steve said...

Great post John...nice to hear about the Dark green Frit. Trosley CP used to be brilliant for them but they are becoming v. scarce there now....nice pics of damsel and meadow brown

Anonymous said...

John ,
Not surprising you didn't find the Lizard Orchids at Lullingstone . I only managed to find and photograph
two flower spikes about 7/10 days ago . In previous years they have numbered 15/20 . As it happens , I'm calling in there for DGF today ,if they are still in flower will post TQ reference later .

Simon said...

Super photos John, that danadelion creates a nice effect.

Anonymous said...

The two Lizard spikes are still reasonable for photos . Three smaller ones have been found also.
TQ520642 puts you on a stoney bridlepath with fairway one side ,orchid bank on other .Look for two marker posts on fairway with double white rings . When they are in line walk towards orchid bank and look for flattened grass just as ground rises.The two taller spikes are here.Had positive3 ,
possible 5/6 DGF and managed photos with less wind .

John Young said...

Hi Greenie, many thanks for the info.

abbey meadows said...

Great post and incredible photography. I wished my shots were half as good! Love the subject. We have Dark green fritilary up here but it is usually July before they come out.

Warren Baker said...

Nice post John,
I can only dream of seeing a fritillary.
Better get some Swift shots while they are still here, 3weeks, and they will be scarce birds!

Anna Simpson said...

Fantastic photographs. I like the photographs of the Common Blue Damselfly, and the Dark Green Fritillary, they are fantastic, very well composed. Keep up the great work.

Kingsdowner said...

I like the Grass Vetchling (simple pleaures) and will try to twitch the Fritillaries next week (near one of my work-places, which is in fact shown in one of your photos).