Another visit to Market Weston Fen, 30 June 2023

I trundled along to Market Weston Fen yesterday morning, primarily in search of the scarce 'ochroleuca' form of Marsh Heleborine. I found that virtually all the Marsh Helleborines there were at the pale end of the the spectrum with quite a few spot-on for ochroleuca. Having seen the 'alba' form before this is very similar but shows pink veins inside the flower as shown on the photos below.

Suffering from a heavy summer cold I didn't venture far but in the usual area of fen saw quite a bit of interest with Common Spotted Orchids, Southern Marsh Orchids, Marsh Fragrant Orchids and the usual confusion of dact hybrids. A single 'ocroleuca' Early Marsh Orchid was still out but obviously a bit past it's best. Other good fenland plants incuded Fen Bedstraw, Bog Pimpernel, Marsh Lousewort, Marsh Valerian, Great Fen Sedge and Marsh Thistle as well at both Milk Thistle and Cotton Thistle in the cow meadow. 

Insects were good too with a couple of new ones for me - the attractive fly Waved Picture-winged Fly and the elongated Common Twist-winged Hoverfly plus Roesel's Bush Cricket. Small Skipper and Meadow Brown were the only butterflies seen.

                                                                                                                 'ochroleuca' Marsh Helleborine

                                                                                                                        Marsh Fragrant Orchid

                                                                                                                                  dact hybrids
                                                                                                                              Great Fen Sedge
                                                                                                                                  Fen Bedstraw

                                                                                                                              Bog Pimpernel

                                                                                                                               Marsh Valerian

                                                                                                                                 Cotton Thistle
                                                                                                                                Milk Thistle
                                                                                                                                      Small Skipper
                                                                                                                        Waved Picture-winged Fly
                                                                                                                               Roesel's Bush Cricket
                                                                                                                 Common Twist-tailed Hoverfly

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