Thursday, 2 July 2015

Holly Fern Check Up

Holly Fern No.1 in excellent health with its older fronds behind it!
Monday 29th June 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof - Records kindly sent in by Robert Ashworth of Kendal.

Wood Tiger Moth
Photo: Robert Ashworth

Click over to enlarge
Orchids: Dark Red and Broad Leaved Helleborines in bud, fly Orchids (2 on Hutton Roof) both well past their best.

Butterflies: Common Blue, Painted Lady ("tired" insect), Dark Green Fritillery and possibly more but not truely identified other than large fritillaries! - Small Pearl Bordered Fritillery, Meadow Brown, Ringlet, Small Heath, Speckled Wood, Dingy Skipper and Large Skipper.

Moths: A Wood Tiger found at top of Lancelot (see photo)

Birds: Crossbill (small flock flew North of Burton Fell). Cuckoo also showing tinged brown plumage.

Thursday 2nd July 2015 - Hutton Roof Complex - Checking out the Holly Ferns 0900 to 1115hrs

A much duller day, but more welcome in the fact it was slightly cooler! even so you could still feel the humidity.

"Rob Roy" natural sculpture
Click over to enlarge
The Warblers seem to have gone much quieter now with just the odd Willow Warbler, and Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff back down in Dalton Crags. Did have a couple of Tree Pipits which just about made a few light noises so you could just about recognize their calls, but nothing like their normal calling and certainly no display on offer.  I would imagine they are all settled down with young birds at the nest. Green Woodpeckers could be heard with a "bit of a yaffle".

The Wild Strawberries are now in their multitudes, and Self Heal has started to show everywhere as well.

Butterflies thin on the ground today, but for Ringlets which have definately had a massive hatch in the last couple of days. Also had one Dark Green Fritillary, One Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary,  and Small Heaths.

It was really nice to bump into Phillip from Preston again this year and I showed him the "motherland" of the Green Spleenworts which this year does have yet another small colony taking it up to about 8 in total. I also showed him "Rob Roy"  the natural sculpture and when I put some water over the indentations and it brought out the face, I think my friend was well and truly impressed. (see photo).

Today the main reason I was up on Hutton Roof was to check out the Holly Ferns.  I was well pleased with Holly Fern No. 1 which is plodding along lovely as you can see from the above photograph.

I cant say I was just has happy with Holly Fern No.2 because I soon realised it had been vandalised by maurauding Roe Deer and they had managed to nibble off a few of the fresh fronds on both the Holly Fern and also its cousin the "Hard Shield Fern" which are intermingled together with this specimen. (hybrid long awaiting!).  To be honest with you I was very surprised to find any fronds at all, because usually when they do get this plant they take the lot.

Every year they do get it! but usually it is not until in the New Year when all its surrounding hazel vegetation is bare and the bush is leafless, but by January you don't mind so much because it's had a good innings and hopefully by then the sori has flown!  So this year came as a bit of a shock to see its already looking a bit weary!  Never mind, that's nature for you.....

Holly Fern 2 after Roe Deer attack - Click over to enlarge.

You can't beat a foxglove amongst the bracken