We went walking to the north side of the Sanna Burn again today, not out of choice but because I'd left a piece of archaeological equipment near Rubha Duin Bhain. We were here less than a week ago, but the orchids on display have changed - and what a feast of orchids we were treated to!
We'd hardly left the car park when we stumbled across a small group of these beauties, all much the same shade of vibrant pink. I think they're northern marsh orchids rather than the early marsh - we saw plenty of early marsh just over two weeks ago at Sanna - see post here - but they've all disappeared.
What we haven't seen at Sanna before are these - lesser butterfly orchids. Previously, the only places we've found them were two scattered sites between Achnaha and the north coast. Again, there was a small group of them and then, despite looking out for them for the next two hours, we didn't see any more.
The most common orchid is the heath spotted, and they're having a good year, particularly around Sanna, while, in contrast....
....the fragrant orchids are hard to find this year - on the whole walk we saw only two. At least the fragrant is easy to identify as it has, as its name suggests, a delicate scent.
The heath spotted and the common spotted orchids hybridise so there's a complete range between them, but this one is at the common spotted end.
To complete the day, as we returned to the car park we found this northern marsh orchid, in a different shade to the ones in the earlier group.
In all, we had the joy of finding five species of wild orchid in a brisk two-hour walk while, at the same time....
....enjoying the distant views across a calm sea - in this case, to the island of Muck.