Tuesday 6 October 2015

Autumn flowers and birds

Spiranthes spiralis - spontaneous apparition in a meadow at the Carsiana botanical garden (Trieste). This is the latest orchid of the season, in flower from the end of August to October. In Slovenia it is quite scarce and locally rare, although some meadows can be full of it. Grows predominantly on dry grassland. Note the twisted stem and thus the flowers arranged in a spiral.
First Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor of the season, yesterday on the Slovenian Karst. They always appear on the Karst at the beginning of October and remain here to spend the winter (until March).
Calluna vulgaris - in full bloom at the moment on acidic grasslands on the Karst.
Aster linosyris - found this one in the woodland in my local patch. It is considered a scarce species on the Trieste Karst. A warmth-loving plant, usually in flower later in the season (for example in full bloom now at the Carsiana botanical garden).
Dianthus tergestinus (D. sylvestris ssp. tergestinus) - an endemic species of the W Balkans; named after the city of Trieste. It is common on the Karst in spring. In the photo, note also a Hummingbird Hawk-moth Macroglossum stellatarum.
Cyclamen purpurascens - very common and prominent wildflower at this time of year.