Road trip – Day 3 – Kwolyin to Marshall Rock

03/09/2017

After a great night catching up around the camp fire we wake to a beautiful spring morning. After breakfast we pack up camp then go for a wander around our campsite where we come across a few Ant orchids (Caladenia roei). Then we walk back towards Coarin Rock, which Richard and I climbed late afternoon yesterday, to show Deb the donkey orchids we found. However before this a fellow camper directs our attention to a lone spider orchid. NEW FIND – It appears to be a Drooping spider orchid (Caladenia radialis) as the petals and both lateral and dorsal sepals all droop and the labellum is smooth margined. This orchid flowers August to early December and range from Northampton to Jerramungup.

Past the ablutions on the track to the rock we find the patch with many Western wheatbelt donkey orchids (Diuris sp. ‘western wheatbelt’)and then backtrack to the Tritons for our drive to Kokerbin hill.

Kokerbin Hill / Kokerbin Rock is claimed to be the third largest monolith in Australia, so was a definite stop. We took a walk around the northern face to Devils Marbles and  found some Sugar orchids (Ericksonella saccharata), Ant orchids, Donkey orchids and a lone Hairy-stemmed snail orchid (Pterostylis sp ‘inland’)

Time to head north so we make tracks to Kellerberrin and have lunch at the lookout. A quick check around located more Western wheatbelt donkey orchids and other donkey orchids I cannot identify plus some Lemon-scented sun orchids (Thelymitra antennifera).

Time is slipping away so we head further north and pulled over to an area of woodland on the off chance of finding some orchids. The area was signposted Forsyth Woodland and it proved to be great off chance location. Deb, Richard and myself all head off in different directions to see who would find the first orchids. Deb won by finding some Blood spider orchids (Caladenia filifera). I am confident with their identification, this time. NEW FIND

Next up Deb comes across a small Mottled donkey orchid (Diuris suffusa) which flowers late August to late September in the shires of Trayning, Wyalkatchem, Koorda and Mount Marshall. NEW FIND  I find a lone Pink candy orchid (Caladenia hirta) and Deb finds a lone Fringed mantis orchid (Caladenia falcata).

Further Donkey orchids and Pink candy orchids groupings were found followed by a grouping of Ant orchids and a sole Sugar orchid.

Many more Fringed mantis orchids in better shape than the first were found as was a patch of very tall Hairy-stemmed snail orchids.

So Forsyth Woodland proved a very fruitful stop with 7 orchid species found. Sunset is looming and we have yet to settle on where to camp overnight. Our first choice, Durokoppin Nature Reserve was not suitable, so we headed north, passing through Trayning and made tracks for Marshall Rocks near Bencubbin. This was a great spot with only one other camper in residence, so we set camp for the night. I decide to quickly check the rock out for any orchids and only find some Hairy-stemmed snail orchids, as the rock and surrounding area was very weedy.

A great 3rd day with 10 species found.

Author: mickyjim64

I am an avid Native Orchid fan who loves to travel around my wonderful state of Western Australia hunting down orchid species previously not seen and record them in photographs. I live on the far south east coast of the state in the beautiful town of Esperance.

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