30 Days Wild – Day 8

I write this post from the shelter of the car as the rain hammers down outside – fingers crossed it passes in time for tonight’s bat survey!

I was lucky enough to spend a good portion of the day spotting inverts – a couple of my favourites are below:

Male scarce chaser dragonfly
Female scarce chaser dragonfly

Two variants of the same hoverfly were out on the site too – these are in fact both the same species, Volucella bombylans, both mimicimg bumblebees but each imitating a different species!

Volucella bombylans var. plumata
Volucella bombylans var. bombylans

I then had a little time before heading to the location of the evening survey, so I took the opportunity to see a type of plant I’ve never seen before – I’ve never seen one of the group of orchids called the helleborines. This Cambridge beech woodland on chalky substrate had a good population of white helleborine which certainly didn’t disappoint!

White helleborine flower

There are 10 species of helleborine in the UK – this one is relatively common in southern beech woodlands but is a much rarer sight in the midlands. Many of the helleborines favour woodland habitat, with some also occuring in marshlands and dunes.

One of the helleborines showing the beech woodland habitat in which they thrive

If you’re looking for an activity for 30 Days Wild, I would recommend taking the time to go out and find something you’ve always wanted to see – the Wildlife Trust’s Nature Finder app is an excellent way to do this as it helps you find local sites to visit, detailing the location, access and what you can expect to find when you get there!

White helleborine (Cephalanthera damasonium)