It was wonderful today down at Cleethorpes. The saltmarsh was fresh and green and the beach golden with the sea sparkling in the sun behind. I had gone hoping for butterflies and also to check ot the orchids. The dunes were a blaze of colour: yellows of swathers of buttercups and bird's-foot trefoil studded with the pinkish purple orchids. The orchids here are hybrids of common spotted and southern marsh orchids, both relatively small plants. The hybrids, though, benefit from hybrid vigour and are tall and robust and in a variety of shades and with and without spotted leaves. They have been hybridising here for many years and I couldn't find much evidence of the pure species apart from on clump of possibly pure(ish) common spotted. Butterflies, however, were notable from their lack. I only found 1 common blue, 3 small white and 1 male orange tip. Where are all the butterflies this year? Is it down to the very poor April and May?
The first image is of common spotted, the remainder are hybrids.
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