la roque gageac

Dordogne Wildlife Diary

  • Woodcock Orchid or Duck Orchid?

    On a recent Travelling Naturalist wildlife holiday here in Dordogne we were very fortunate to find a good range of late orchids - probably aided by the rather cool, wet spring and early summer. On the dry stoney hills above Condat on the Causse de Terrasson, tucked under a hedge, we found not only Woodcock but also Fly Orchids. Group member Mike Stamp took some great photos of the flowers, one of which is shown below. The discussion of the orchids included a question I am often asked and didn't know the question to (there have been a few of those!): why is the Woodcock Orchid so named by Linnaeus or one of his colleagues? I always thought it must be due to the orchid flowering during the 'roding' (display flight) period of the Woodcock. However it seems that it is due to the shape of the structure holding the pollinia (above the colourful lower petal or labellum). This apparently resembles a Woodcock. See what you think. Mike reckoned we should re-name it 'Duck Orchid'!


Photo crop (passport)

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Welcome to my Dordogne Wildlife Diary

In it you will find regular wildlife sightings in the d├ępartement of Dordogne, notably of birds and butterflies in southern Dordogne where I live. In adddition there will be occasional references to neighbouring d├ępartements such as Lot et Garonne, Gironde, the Lot and places further afield. Check out the Faune-Aquitaine website for the latest wildlife sightings in Dordogne and Aquitaine.

Where possible I will add photographs to illustrate the entry. Many thanks to Margaret Mills (family photo) and Denis Cauchoix (birdwatcher photo).

I hope that you enjoy my diary and look forward to your comments.

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