Orchids & Helleborines WildWest.ie is quickly becoming an Orchid site, unintentional but inevitable! This list is grouped into various species or groups within the Orchidaceae.

Spiranthes romanzoffiana

Irish Lady’s Tresses

A very special plant in North West Ireland and one we have studied for years… 2016 Observations. 2017 American seeds coming to Ireland? 2018 Numbers, Reproduction, Propagation. 2019 Daily LOG now ACTIVE 2019 total Count & Report 2019 2020 SURVEY & RESULTS ARCHIVED INFO from Lough Allen

Other ‘Special Orchids’

A rare group of species chosen for their significance, speciality, and their occurrence in the Wild West! Various genera. Anacamptis morio  Green-winged Orchid. Ophrys insecifera Fly Orchid. Very restricted. Hammarbya paludosa Bog Orchid. Local. S. spiralis Autumn’s Lady’s Tresses.

Non-Dactylorhizid Orchids

Orchis mascula Early Purple Orchid Neotinea maculata Dense-flowered Orchid Psudorchis albida Small White Orchid Plantathera bifolia Lesser Butterfly Orchid Plantathera chlorantha Greater Butterfly Orchid Ophrys apifera Bee Orchid Neottia nidus-avis Birds Nest Orchid Neottia ovata Twayblade FRAGRANT ORCHIDS: All SPECIES together… Gymnadenia conopsea Chalk Frgrant Orchid G. densiflora Marsh Fragrant Orchid G. borealis Heath Fragrant Orchid

Dactylorhizids… Marsh Orchids

D. incarnata Early Marsh Orchid D. pulchella                “ D. coccinea                “ D. cruenta Flecked Orchid D. kerryensis Western Marsh Orchid D. traunsteinerioides Narrow-leaved Marsh Orc. D. purpurella Northern Marsh Orchid

Other Dactylorizids

D. fuchsii Common Spotted Orchid D. maculata Heath Spotted Orchid D. viridis Frog Orchid


all Species together

Epipactis palustris  Marsh Helloborine E. atrorubens  Dark Red Helloborine E. phyllanthes  Green-flowered Heleborine E.helleborine  Broad-leaved Helloborine Cephalanthera longifolia Narrow-leaved Helleborine.
Habitats Various reports focussing on western Places, their topography and associated Plants and Animals…


Kesh Mountain, Co. Sligo.  A free-standing large hill with many interesting plants, caves, history and pre-historic remains. Eagles Rock, Co. Leitrim.
Birds and other Animals Our former site (LoughAllenBasin.com), now archived, was motivated by the stunning wildlife of that location and the time and the boat we had. We will be transferring some of the data from that site to here.

Daubenton’s Bat

The ‘water bat’ on the Shannon * One of the few mammals we have studied. Report shows distribution and population change over 10 yrs. Opens NEW TAB to Lough Allen Site. (Broswer BACK)

Red-breasted Merganser

A year in the life of our Mergansers * A beautiful duck, common in the sea around Ireland in Winter with an interesting small breeding population in Lough Allen that we have have studied for many years almost exclusively.

Glaucous Gull

A frequent visitor to NW Ireland. Not a native Gull but seen around the north west coast from October to May. A very large gull with no black on wing-tips and often an overall magnolia/white colour

Common Scoter

Few sightings on L. Arrow. A declining breeder in Lough Arrow. Numbers are few now probably due to and movement of their breeding range northwards.

Common Tern

An expanding species in Western Lakes * This Report is from L. Allen but will open in a new Tab.

Common Sandpiper

Distinctive bird of western shores * Opens a New Tab in LoughAllebBasin.com
Reputed ancient site for Eagles but none here now though Donegal birds can be seen occasionally in the area. Mainly interesting from a geological viewpoint and for some rare surviving alpine plants. Dartry Mountains, Co. Sligo.
The mountain range containing Truskmore, Benwiskin and other high limestone areas known for rare saxifrages and other alpine plants. The Burren, Co. Clare. One of Ireland’s prime orchid sites. South L. Cullin mudflats (RIGHT) and some breeding birds. Strandhill Habitat, Co. Sligo   (Updated 2020)  A major Dune, machair, and estuarine habitat with many interesting plants, birds and mammals. Killeglan SAC 2021 Co Roscommon  (Update for 2022 coming soon.)  An amazing karst habitat which, being an SAC, is protected during the Summer allowing some rare Irish orchids (Dense Flowered and Green Winged) to thrive. (Recent interesting records found May 2022)
Lough Cullin mudflats in Spring.

WildWest.ie continues the work started with LoughAllenBasin.com We have linked to certain archived pages on

that site, but WE ARE NOT UPDATING it! If you visit such a page return here using a WildWest TAB or use the BACK

BUTTON on your Browser. Thank you!

Strandhill Habitat, Sligo UPDATED with new research on the other Spiranthes, S. spiralis in this area… A Study of D. cruenta  a rare, short lived, orchid from West Clare to East Russia… Orchid Habitats in Britain. A study of other orchids from SE England. Small Fens & Limestone Lakes. A Covid Study (5km zone) with remarkable life and history.
Other Topics News / Records / Research / Reports…


Several Orchids species are at risk due to commercial development, forestry, drainage, etc. and we need to conserve this age old Biodiversity. Our rare plants really should be protected. They are (by Law) but in other ways they just look after themselves!  Irish Lady’s Tresses is a very rare orchid. We have participated in conservation before but now want to work with Local and National interests. While well represented in Mayo this species is scarce elsewhere and unknown in Europe apart from Ireland and Scotland. This years survey is now in progress… [More]


Other ITEMS: Mostly Birds… 2021: ARCHIVE Funguses, Wildfowl, Bird Feeder!  2020: A collection of Damselflies 2018: WILDLIFE SNIPPETS: Whimbrels, Godwits, Whooper Swans, Barnacle Geese, Golden Plover 2017: WILDWEST LOG  Wildlife Observations in the course of the Year, Orchids, Demoiselles, Scoters