Thursday, 31 May 2012

Dalton (deforested/Upper) Sketch

Not been out today and been busy finishing off my Upper Dalton Sketch (above). If you would rather see a larger resolution please click here, and then when its loaded click it again.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Spring Sandwort almost everywhere on the Roof.

Yesterday Tue 29th May 2012
1730-2030hrs - Plain Quarry to The Rakes (The Common) and return via circular.

Straightaway at the Car Park and Chiff Craig was singing. Finding Spring Sandwort almost everywhere on The Roof, just after leaving the Trig, again before the Rakes, and on leaving the Rakes, and at the Cairns. Far too much to make a serious survey at present. But if I do get chance later in the week I will try and get back and at least mark off the individual areas. It maybe a national rarity, but up here locally it does seem quite widespread. Also now stopped recording Early Purple Orchids, far too many to record.
Found a new one to me called "Sanicle", but from all accounts its very common. Most of these flowers where whilst coming through the Crag areas (on the Common).
Found a new patch of the rare Spring Cinquefoil. Also had 3 (new to me) Garden Warblers singing. The Yellowhammers on the Rakes side were singing. Also a new Tree Pipit singing from close to the Rakes area.

Today: Wednesday 30th May 2012

0800hrs-1030hrs Just a quick walk up to Lancelot Clark Storth, checking out various things and returning via Slape Lane etc.
Chiff Clarky singing away along with two Blackcaps, four Willow Warblers. The Common Cow Wheat is now in full flower everywhere on its patch. Found several small areas with Common Rock Rose and marked these off, along with mega amounts of Birdsfoot Trefoil, some of the small Lesser Trefoil and two good areas of the Common Meadow Rue, also had Eyebright, Lily Of The Valley and one lovely patch of Angular Solomons Seal. Also a nice suprise was to see a Bloody Crane'sbill reddish purple flower growing out of the limestone grykes.
On my way back found a large colony of Yellow Pimpernel.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Green Hairstreak Butterflies & Crossbills.

0615-0745hrs: Chiffchaffs Lee, Dale and Lad all singing away this morning. All others quiet.
The suns up now and really warm already, looks like being yet another very warm day.

0845-1030hrs: Plain Quarry to Trig, then Lancelot etc.
Several Speckled Wood and Small Heath Butterflies throughout Dalton. Found Lesser Trefoil on Ant Hill whilst going through Crags. Also when near "Line of Trees" had a party of six Crossbill fly in a South direction. Had a similar six party a few months ago over in Lancelot.
Checked out the new colony of "Hairy Rockcress" which lies just below and in the shadow of the line of trees and there is 49 flowers. Good colony of the Bugle flower just higher than the "line of trees". Several day flying moths "Speckled Yellow" flying about in Dalton upper. At one point had Lesser Whitethroat singing. Booked down one or two more Early Purple Orchids.

Crossing over into Lancelot, and crossing through to what I call "Arch Grove" just before you head directly down towards the BAP seat. Here I had six Green Hairstreak Butterflies feeding on the Crowberry/Bilberry leaf. A Garden Warbler calling from the area above the BAP seat and where you would cross over into Burton Fell. Also around here lots of very anaemic, sort of pinky lilact colour "Common Milkwort". On the pavements close to the side of the BAP seat there was a lovely colony of Angular Solomens Seal within the grykes, also the rare Rigid Buckler Fern.

Found a clump of ten of the rare Spring Cinquefoil further down in Lancelot.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Deer Ticks prolific at moment.

0545-0700hrs - Only one chiff singing away whilst on the rounds this morning and that was Lee

Beware of the deer ticks on Hutton Roof, they seem very prolific at the moment. I am forever brushing them off, these last few days, and another one got the bite only yesterday! It is usually the case if you lie or kneel down to take a photo, or working close to the ground. Not to worry its all part and parcel when you live, work or enjoy the countryside ...

Today meeting up with a good naturalist friend, who has asked me to point him in the direction of the Garden Warblers on Dalton. He is keen to try and get some good photographs. So we are meeting up at Plain Quarry, mid morning.

Also had a pair of Tree Pipits from down at clearing just before Crags. Also had Small Copper Butterfly at bottom of deforested, and several Small Heath Butterflies at clearing before Crags. Found a new colony of Hairy Rockcress which contained 42 flowers over a area of approx 15ft x 15ft square.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Surveying the rare Birds-Foot Sedge

1000hrs- 1330hrs.
Been very busy today, surveying by measuring the size of the area, counting and recording the rare "Birds-Foot Sedge" (Carex ornithopoda).

It was previously thought there may have been around the 40 - 100 clumps in our Hutton Roof area. But on survey the results came to a massive 678 clumps and spreading. So that really is good news for this threatened species.

The area checked out was approx 42 metres x 39 metres and the total counted was a very conservative figure, because there was clumps merging, and also some were lost to the undergrowth of other species etc. but all in all I do think this is a very fair assessment.

Noticed two Song Thrush eggs which looked to me like they had just been possibly plundered.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

From Serious Student one day to Soap Actors Company the next day.

0545-0700hrs. Well the sun is not cracking the flags today, in fact at present there is a low mist giving it that "spooky" sort of morning. But before long the sun will again be cracking the flags!!
On my way around this morning had Chiffchaffs, Lee, and Green (which I have not had for a while) and Vicar all singing away.
And now what a difference a day can make!!
Today will be a complete contrast - would you believe only yesterday I was well wrapped up with the serious study of the Rare Spring Sandwort on Hutton Roof, and today the absolute opposite, by going down to Granada Studios and checking out some of the Corry Stars. I was saying to my wife Sandra only this morning, that anyone knowing this would say "the man's barmy" the two things are as different as chalk and cheese, but she then encouraged me to put it on the blog, so I thought I would and here goes.
Yes when the family has got business on, or have decided to do a little shopping in the City, I usually bid their farewell and nip over to the local museums or alternatively will go down to the Granada Studios and have a hour or so chatting with the stars and sometimes getting photos or autographs.
What a contrast you may say, and I certainly would not blame you, but its all good fun, and OK to take a day off now and again....
Check these out from my recent visits to the studios:

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Spring Sandwort and Catch ups.

0545-0700hrs. Another fabulous day in store, already (0746hrs) the sun is crackling the flags!!
On way around this morning I had Chiffchaffs, Lee singing away at Thornleigh, and Slap near Slape Lane, and finally I had Claw near to Clawthorpe Hall. Also had a Goldcrest singing away at the top of Thornleigh. Also a new to me Willow Warbler to book down which was singing to the West side of Pipers Lane in Clawthorpe.

1000hrs-1400hrs. Up through Dalton and on to the Common and back.
On the way up through Dalton, I had the usual Blackcaps and Willow Warblers and a Garden Warbler at the top of the Crags. On my way back down the Crags later I also had a Common Redstart singing. Also had a couple of Lesser Whitethroats intermittently singing from various points in Dalton (upper/deforested). At one time one of the little birds was perched on the uttermost branch of the "Shrike" tree. The more I think about it, I am now sure there could be up to about three pairs near to this area. Also had the Cuckoo calling from its usual points.

Also Peacock and Speckled Wood Butterflies.
But when I got well up on the Common I found a super colony of the rare Spring Sandwort. Well that was it, I just had to start doing some counting and mapping out, and got completely lost with time. I have uploaded four photos of the rare Spring Sandwort (see photos above)

Monday, 21 May 2012

Birds Foot Sedge Photos etc

Photos: top Spring Sandwort, Spring Cinquefoil, Speedwell, Hairy Rockcress, Dinghy Skipper Butterfly and two photos of the rare Birds Foot Sedge.

Yes its been a absolute cracker of a weekend.
It started on the Saturday by being invited to the Cumbria Wildlife Trust 50th Anniversary being held at Hutton Roof Village Hall, with superb presentations etc about the history of the Trust and its early day connection with Mr. Rothschild, and lots of information on the historic ownerships, and origins of it all. This was then later followed by a expert led walk around the Lancelot and Burton Fell areas. It took in most of the day and there was lots on offer all the time. It was also a nice bonus to hear yet another Cuckoo this time calling from somewhere in the Burton Fell area, this bringing the Cuckoos throughout Hutton Roof to at least three.

On Sunday I have been all over the place on Hutton Roof logging Early Purple Orchids, Lily of the Valley, Angular Solomens Seal and other rare species.

Lots of rare species seen within the umbrella of the Hutton Roof Crags areas which did include: Spring Sandwort, Spring Cinquefoil, Birds Foot Sedge, Rigid Buckler Fern and The Limestone Fern. I've also just found some Field Madder.

Today (Monday) been up checking the rare Hairy Rockcress in Dalton and now up to 41 individual flowers (some immature) some in full head (see photo). Also today had at least two singing Lesser Whitethroats in the deforested areas, but suspicious that there could be a possible six birds in this area. Tree Pipits all singing well. One Wheatear (a female, solitary, darker dusky colouring) on wall before common. A small lizard no bigger than a newt crossed my path. And how nice to see a "Dinghy Skipper" Butterfly.

Also found a new to me colony of "Herb Paris" (with 40 flowers) in the Dalton Area. Lots of Blackcaps a odd Garden Warbler, and several Willow Warblers calling.