Friday, 30 June 2017

#30DaysWild day 30 - A finale of frog orchids, fritillaries and fantastic views

For the last day of 30 Days Wild I decided to go and hunt for the frog orchids on Watlington Hill.

Beautiful views from the top of the hill looking out over Oxfordshire
The frog orchids aren't big and showy like many of the other orchids, and they're hard to spot as they blend into the grass so well, but that just makes it even more exciting to actually find one.

Their colour varies from red (in drier conditions) to light green (in damper conditions). They don't look very much like frogs, but you could maybe see a frogs body with it's long legs dangling below and behind it.

This one had a bug on it, which I believe is a type of mired bug called
calocoris roseomaculatus

As I walked around, I saw lots of butterflies including marbled whites, meadow browns, small heaths and small skippers. I also saw 3 dark green fritillaries bombing about and was lucky enough to get a photo of one that had settled for a few seconds.

Dark green fritillary

Marbled white
A green woodpecker flew past me, with its distinctive undulating flight. Then a mistle thrush (I think?) bounced around on the slope below me.

From my vantage point on the top of the hill, the red kites were soaring around me and in some cases below me, giving me a unique view of them from above.

A wonderful way to end 30 Days Wild!