First Orchids of the year.
Whilst out birding in the Cacin Valley near El Turro today we found several spikes of Ophrys forestieri in flower, the first orchids of the year. Standing between 6 and 10 cms tall, about 30 plants were found on a roadside verge under Pine trees, plants can reach a hight of 40 cms. Most spikes have between 2 and 9 blooms. This species is usually one of the first to be found in flower but this year after the wet winter and a few days of sun shine they are earlier than usual. All the plants found were of the sub species fusca the most common form in our region. Two others can be seen, subspecies Dyris (some botanists consider this subsp to be a true species) and Ophrys subfusca. This species is found commonly though out the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranian.