Broomrape, Butterfly Orchids and Barn Owls

Carrot Broomrape parasitizing a Wild Carrot, Durlston Country Park.

Carrot Broomrape parasitizing a Wild Carrot, Durlston Country Park.

Carrot Broomrape

Carrot Broomrape

In common with other species of Broomrape the roots penetrates the host’s tissue and draws nutrients from it. With no need for chlorophyll the Broomrape lacks green pigment and the leaves have been reduced to withered brown scales.

Key features that help to separate Carrot Broomrape from the more widespread Common Broomrape include the pronounced yellowish bosses on the lower corolla lip and the purple stigma lobes that are partially united.

Yellow Brain Fungus

Yellow Brain Fungus

Yellow Brain Fungus, again at Durlston on a dead branch in one of the woodlands.

Greater Butterfly Orchid, Badbury Rings - Dorset.

Greater Butterfly Orchid, Badbury Rings – Dorset.

Surprisingly common on the ditches to the northern side of one of our most spectacular Iron Age Hill Forts.

Barn Owl quartering the meadows close to Corfe Castle

Barn Owl quartering the meadows close to Corfe Castle

Barn Owl close to Corfe Castle

Barn Owl close to Corfe Castle

Barn Owl watching and waiting

Barn Owl watching and waiting

Later on in the evening this particular bird moved on from quartering the meadows for voles and mice to nest raiding. A bit grisly watching the Barn Owl carrying young Blackbird’s back hopefully these were replaced by a 2nd brood.

 

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