Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pink Pyramids

Port Logan, on the Rhins of Galloway peninsula, is sandy bay backed by a stony beach and sand dunes, that takes the full force of the wind and weather sweeping in from the North Channel and Atlantic beyond.

Not, maybe, the kind of place you'd choose to stop on a wet and windy day, but we noticed some interesting-looking flowers in the dunes as we drove by, so stopped to investigate - and we were glad that we did.

When we reached the beach this ringed plover flew off and settled a few yards away, obviously trying to distract our attention....

... and we soon discovered why ..... this wonderfully camouflaged clutch of eggs, laid in a depression in the sand.

But it was the pyramidal orchids - dozens of them - that had first attracted our attention....

Most were the typical deep pink-flowered form but ....

... this one stood out - a much paler pink-flowered plant.

On this coast the weather changes rapidly and within a few minutes the sun broke through, coaxing out the bumblebees to feed on the sea bindweed blooms.

Unlike the climbing bindweed species that plague gardens, this species stays close to the ground, sheltered from the drying wind and conserving water in its succulent, heart-shaped  leaves.


  1. Those eggs certainly blend in with the sand Phil. Is it a busy beach? I'm wondering if they will survive there.
    And Orchids always look so special.

  2. What a great time and place to stop and see such special things. It is a wonder that the eggs don't get trampled. Is that bindweed in the genus Ipomea?

  3. Just catching up with your fabulous photos of Galloway. It's an area which I've only recently discovered the merits of - and part of its charm is that it's not so well known as it clearly ought to be. Hoping to maybe get up that way again this summer - although it may be hard to fit it in.
    I think that I saw a minke whale from the cliffs below the lighthouse at the Mull of Galloway.

  4. Hi Keith, The eggs did look a bit vulnerable. A few dog walkers use the beach but hopefully the chocks will have hatched by now (fingers crossed)

  5. Hi Wilma, The place has a really wild feel about it, especially in rough weather. The bindweed is Calystegia soldanella.

  6. Hi Mark, I guess most people tend to by-pass Galloway on their way up the west coast, but we've really enjoyed both visits and will go back. Looked for cetaceans from the Mull cliffs, but no luck - but I can imagine that it's a prime spot. There's a very handy New Naturalist volume called Galloway and the Borders by Derek Ratcliffe, published a couple of years ago...

  7. A lovely corner of Scotland and some fine looking orchids. We had a lovely holiday around that area in May 2009 and we were quite impressed with the area.

  8. Hi David, it's a great spot - especially if you're lucky with the weather. We were amazed at how many fine gardens there are in such a small area, but I guess that's down to the peculiar climate. Back at the turn of the year, when satellite photos showed the whole of Britain under snow, this was the only bit that wasn't.........