Friday, 24 July 2015


We are selling up and moving from Skye to North Oxfordshire, swapping remoteness, dramatic, sometimes austere, landscapes and unparalleled wildlife for the cosiness of a Cotswold village.

In between packing, I have been completing this year's orchid survey.   I have not had a chance to analyse the data yet and lack of time meant that I only counted the early marsh, northern marsh orchids and the butterfly orchids.   There are as many heath fragrant and heath spotted orchids as ever but I am not sure if I would have learnt much from counting the 400 or so spikes of each.   I have though taken lots of photographs of the heath spotted orchids to show the range in the patterning, colouration and shape of the heath spotted flowers, a few of which follow.

I have also been completing the croft flora, with a few garden weeds bringing the total up to 146.  There may be the odd grass that I have missed, or maybe a willowherb, but I think the job is done now, and is a record for comparison in the future.  There are no rarities, save for a few hybrid orchids.   Dactylorhiza x evansii, the hybrid between heath fragrant orchid and heath spotted orchid is uncommon, as is the hybrid between early marsh and heath spotted.  There are a few of each of these hybrids.   The photos below are of a very pale form of D. x evansii; it could be mistaken for a heath spotted orchid but the plant is scented and the spurs are too long - a very elegant plant!

The bird count stands at 76.  I thought I had an addition when I saw a tawny owl in the early evening down amongst some eared willow bushes, but it turns out that I had recorded it oreviously based on hearing the call one night.


  1. All the best to you both for the future, and thanks for running this blog which I've enjoyed reading.

    1. You are both very kind. Many thanks for reading the blog.

  2. Thanks from me too. I enjoyed following what was going on in Ard Dorch.
    Wishing you all the best in your new home. Will you start a blog there too?