Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Orchids at Upton Warren?

It's true! We've seen new orchids at Upton Warren for the first time. We've had common spotted orchids for a while but the first new one we found was a pyramidal orchid at the Moors in early summer. And then, not too long after and quite close by, we found a bee orchid. Finding one orchid was a surprise - finding two was just spooky!

It's not just the orchids that are doing well this year either. We've also seen a couple of butterflies that we're quite proud of.

Essex skippers were first spotted at Upton Warren in 2006 and we think they've been present ever since. The individual in the photos was seen near the sailing pool. It's distinguished from the small skipper by the inky black antenna tips and the short, thin, scent mark on the wing, parallel to the wing edge.

We've also seen white-letter hairstreak butterflies. These have had a tenuous hold at Upton (and much decreased in the UK), with only a couple of specimens seen over the last few years. The photo is one seen in July this year. Compared with the early '90's when butterflies were seen on brambles and thistles, it is now only seen on its food plant, Wych Elm - which involves a lot of neck craning on our part!

If you're wandering around Upton Warren and come across anything else we should know about, why not comment below or tell a volunteer or member of staff.

Des, Upton Warren


  1. Have the otters been spotted recenty at Upton Warren?

  2. Mike, Stourport21 July 2009 at 16:58

    Really pleased to hear about the Essex Skippers and White-letters at Upton Warren. The latter have also been recorded at Trench Wood this year on 4th July which was the first sighting for a while. With the demise of so many of our big Elm trees over the years, it is good that the butterfly still seems to be hanging on even if difficult to spot.

    Mike, Stourport