Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Sanna Orchids

Yesterday started under a bank of low cloud through which the sun somehow, occasionally, managed to shine, and with a forecast that promised rain by mid-morning, so I set off early for Sanna with the intention of checking whether any of its orchids, for which the place should be famous, had yet appeared. This picture was taken from the Sanna road, looking across to Beinn na h-Imeilte with its summit lost in cloud.

The first thing that hits you as you climb out of the car at Sanna at this time of year is the song of a dozen skylarks high above, all trying to out-do each other.

A good place for orchids in late May and early June is at the Sanna Bheag end of the township, on either side of the track as one passes the Sanna mission building, but none has yet appeared, though....'s quite possible that they have appeared but became someone's lunch.

However, below Sanna Bheag itself a few of the early marsh orchids are just coming in to flower, in the usual stunning colours. Give them a week or so and we may have a spectacular display.

From Sanna Bheag I walked along the beach, the sea calm and at mid-tide under a grey sky, and the sands deserted of humans but....

....with their usual avian inhabitants, including this lone dunlin in its summer plumage, which kept running away until it was close to the oystercatcher, after which it felt secure enough to allow me to approach.

On the north side of the Sanna burn there were more brightly coloured orchids but this may be a different species, perhaps the early purple orchid rather than the early marsh, but....

....the highlight of the day was finding this orchid which is very likely to be one of the butterfly orchids. To be certain whether it is the greater or lesser means a return to Sanna once the flowers are fully out in a few days' time.

By this time the rain had arrived so I returned to the car, not from any concern about getting wet but because photography in driving rain isn't much fun.

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