|A Mid May Diary page - Click over illustration to enlarge|
0630hrs-0745hrs (Wind: 2mph E)
Heavy frost overnight and windscreen scraping off. Lovely early morning with chill, but becoming sunny quickly and warming up. Clear blue skies.
Chiffs Mo and Lee singing away. Hirundines busy hawking.
1330hrs-1530hrs (Wind: 12mph)
Checking out areas of Burton Fell and Lancelot, looking in particular for the Common Redstart. Established a breeding pair of Redstart at the bottom of Burton Fell, both birds seen. Then heard another 3/4 way up the fell. And then another calling coming down the SE side of the fell. Bunty the chiffchaff singing somewhere between the clearing (plinth area) and the incline. Crossed over into Lancelot Clark Storth and checked out the Spring Cinquefoil. Several small patches at the area close to the NBA plot. Also Chiffchaff Clarky singing lower down.
Friday May 24th 2013 (Burton In Kendal)
0600hrs-0700hrs (Wind: 15-30mph NNW)
That wind was very strong this morning (seems relentless these days), and that's what is causing the inactivity of some of the hirundines. Still after saying that there were a few hawking around at Green Dragon Farm, but that's the only place, the rest of them around different points of the village where again missing and now I have come to believe that they are probably having a "lie in" and keeping warm perched on their "barn rafters", and will emerge a little later when the temperatures warm up or maybe if the wind drops. Brief sunny periods and hopefully getting better as the morning progresses. The only Warbler I heard this morning was a Blackcap at Pipers Lane, Clawthorpe. Off out shortly to try and finish the Birds Foot Sedge survey at Clawthorpe Fell.
1400hrs - 1630hrs - Clawthorpe Fell (Wind: 15mph NW)
Surveying Birds Foot Sedge. Now up into the 700 plus mark. Weather very windy and off and on showers.
Thursday May 23rd 2013 (Burton In Kendal)
0600hrs-0700hrs (Wind: 18mph NNW)
Its like a Winters day all over again, the temperatures have certainly dropped this morning, coupled with wind and light off and on rain showers.
The hirundines seem to have gone missing yet again, none seen at Tanpits, Green Dragon, Russell Farm, this morning, I wonder why this happens? I wonder do they go elsewhere or is it that they are tucked up safely at their nest sites, and feeling a little lethargic perhaps! Even the skies seem empty of our Swifts...
After all this time "Slap" the Chiffchaff was heard today singing from Browside on Vicarage Lane. The first sign of him this year!
0930hrs-1130hrs (Wind: 20mph NW)
Very busy surveying Clawthorpe Fell for the Birds Foot Sedge, now 50% done. In the background being serenaded by at least two Willow Warblers and a couple of Blackcap and one Garden Warbler.
1430hrs-1630hrs (Slape Lane and Lancelot Clark Storth)
"Clarky the Chiffchaff was singing at his usual spot in the Woodland adjacent to Lancelot. Whilst passing through Lancelot decided to check out the Birds Foot Sedge, Spring Sandwort and the Spring Cinquefoil and the Cowheat, all were doing fine. Another Blackcap was heard in this area and a new Willow Warbler to record which was just behind the Spring. First ever in Lancelot for me, and the only one on offer of the Yellow Pimpernel, growing to the area close to the "Cattle Crush". Also whilst walking across from the Spring to the Cattle Crush area, got absolutely full of ticks (both large black males and the small greyish females), all so easily attaching themselves to my moleskins. Will have to start wearing my garters again I think! Also Tormentil in flower in the rides. I'll bet its not in flower on the higher altitude areas yet.
Wednesday May 22nd 2013 (Burton In Kendal)
0600hrs-0700hrs (Wind: 20mph NW)
Just one Chiffchaff heard this morning and that was Lee at Thornleigh. A new Blackcap calling from on the border of the Dalton Hall Estate. I think it must have been a OK year for the Blackcap they seem to be popping up all over the place, yet their cousins the Garden Warblers are certainly few and far between this year and so far very poor records are showing. Swallows and Martins were airborne this morning from most of the usual places. But again Russell Farm's Swallows seem down, 6 on the line this morning, but a total count of maybe 12 birds now arrived. Still a far cry from the normal 30 plus.
0930hrs-1045hrs (Wind: 20mph NW) (Surveying Birds Foot Sedge on Clawthorpe Fell)
Did a bit more on the surveying of this rare sedge.
1330hrs-1630hrs (Wind: 25mph NW) Slape Lane, Lancelot Clark Storth)
Now six House Martins hawking above Vicarage Lane, Red Campion now in flower on Slape Lane. A Blackbird overhead mimicking the Curlew (and probably about the best version I've heard yet!), Speckled Woods, Green Veined Whites, Large Whites, Orange Tips, Small Tortoishell and Peacocks everywhere. Blackcap calling at the crossroad gates on Slape Lane. Checking out the small "bluebell" woodland on the edges in search of Redstarts or Flycatchers. I was immediately overcome by the profound fragrance of the multitudes of "Bluebells", if only I could bottle some of that, but the aroma seemed to diminish the more familiar you got with it.
"Clarky" the Chiffchaff was singing at his usual spot in the Woodland adjacent to Lancelot. Whilst passing through Lancelot decided to check out the Birds Foot Sedge, Spring Sandwort and the Spring Cinquefoil and the Cowwheat, all were doing fine. Another Blackcap was heard in this area and a new Willow Warbler to record which was just behind the Spring. First ever in Lancelot for me, and the only one on offer of the "Yellow Pimpernel" growing to the area close to the "Cattle Crush". Also whilst walking across from the Spring to the Cattle Crush area, got absolutely full of ticks (both the large black males and the small greyish females) all so easily attaching themselves to my moleskins. Will have to start wearing my garters again I think! Also Tormentil in flower in the rides. I'll bet its not in flower on the higher altitude areas yet.
Tuesday May 21st 2013 (Burton In Kendal) "Birds Foot Sedge"
0600hrs-0700hrs (Wind: 7mph NW)
Grey Cloud with the occasional small blue patch showing, but reasonably warmer temperatures on offer. Again to hear the birds so happy is such a pleasure. Chiffchaffs: Archie, Lee and guess what? After three and a half weeks of no singing Dale has finally come out of his "subdued" state and singing Merrily away at Dalton Hall. I did see the occasional Swift flying over the village and Swallows at various points from around the Village. A Blackcap calling from Thornleigh and another (new one to me) in the Orchard near to Sunny Glen just before the Clawthorpe turn off.
1000hrs-1200hrs (Wind: 15mph WNW) Holme Park Quarry Reserve, Clawthorpe
Thorpy the Chiffchaff was singing from the road side of the reserve. I counted 7 singing Willow Warblers which were around the perimeters of the reserve. Also one Blackcap close to the entrance. Also Early Purple Orchids (odds), Wood Sorrell,Dog Violet, Lords and Ladies, Wild Strawberry, Bluebell, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Gorse,Daisy, Cowslip etc.
Then over to the Clawthorpe Fell - I had four separate territorial Willow Warblers singing, also a couple of Blackcaps and one Garden Warbler, also Bullfinch.
Found even more Birds Foot Sedge and decided tto come back later and photograph and do a fresh survey to try and establish just how many plants there are on the Fell. They are absolutely fresh at the moment. Also pleased to find "Spring Sandwort" and some Angular Solomons Seal (needs another week or so yet). Also on the Fell there is the Cotoneastor, Dog Violet, Herb Robert, Primrose, Bugle, Gorse, Rue Leaved Saxifrage etc.
|Birds Foot Sedge (click over to enlarge)|
Surveying the fresh Birds Foot Sedge and already up to about 250 plants and only 1/3rd way through. Here is a photo taken.
Monday May 20th 2013 (Burton In Kendal)
0600hrs-0700hrs (Wind: 10mph NW)
Earlier had rained. Grey skies.
Did see odd hirundines flying at Green Dragon and also again at Russell Farm and up Clawthorpe.
Odd Blackcap calling on travels.
0900hrs-1100hrs (Woodlands within Dalton)
Checked out some more local woodlands and found more Herb Paris, lots of Lords and Ladies, Wood Sorrell, Garlic Mustard, Nettles, Cleavers, Ramsons, Bluebells, Ground Ivy, Herb Robert, Lesser Celandine and would you believe "Dogs Mercury"!! (everywhere...)
Also great to find two new Chiffchaffs in song, along with a Blackcap and a Marsh Tit and the "electric buzz" sound of our little old friend the treecreeper..
Sunday May 19th 2013 (Burton In Kendal)
1100hrs-1230hrs (Wind: 6-8mph WNW (Woodland in and around Dalton)
|A lovely Bluebell Wood|