Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sandwich Tern & Early Purple Orchid

This Sandwich Tern was fishing on the Western Yar Estuary. I'm trying to build up a small video library of the various terns so that I can learn their flight characteristics from a distance.  The Collins Guide says this about the Sandwich Tern: 'Large size and long, 'pencil' bill distinctive. Rapid fishing flight with measured, forceful wingbeats, wings slightly flexed, long and evenly narrow; also, appears short-tailed (front heavy) in flight. When feeding, often patrols at greater height than Common or Arctic Tern, with bill pointing down, making sudden and bold dive to catch fish...Pale grey upperparts, white underparts and broad white trailing edge give very whitish impression compared with Common or Arctic Tern'

There were good numbers of flowering Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula) spikes in Mill Copse. They are also flowering along the main ride in Golden Hill Country Park.

My orchid guides notes that, 'When the flowers are just opened the scent is usually sweet, like honey, but soon smells strongly of tom-cat's urine, a device which may serve to inform visiting insects that pollination has already occurred'. I didn't think to smell them....maybe next time! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Be very careful where you put your nose! Terns are all rather lovely aren't they?