Monday, 13 July 2015

The remainder of the Epipactis Schmalhauseneii on Hutton Roof

Lesser Meadow Rue on may way to see the Schmals - This could well be the largest colony on Hutton Roof with at least 15 square metres of the beautiful plant.  (Please click over to enlarge.)
On my way to see the Schmalhauseneii I passed several Common Spotted Orchid, with one particular small colony which had white flowers (see photo below).

I checked several random pavements but the access was really difficult at times, there where the odd Dark Red Helliborine but nothing much.  Yet I was surprised to see a Common Frog sat on a low lying Juniper.  I find it hard to understand why a large Frog was here where there seems to be little if any water and what I would have thought treacherous territory for a frog here with all the very deep (up to 12ft deep) grykes around.  It certainly must have been used to playing "hop skotch".

I managed to make a few more notes recording Angular Solomon's (obviously gone over) and its cousin the Lily Of The Valley (again gone over), and also some of the Ploughman's Spikenard records (lots this year). Small scabious are out now and I managed to take a photo (shown below). Also another colony of Bloody Cranesbill. Also found a new (one metre) Common Rock Rose colony.

Most birds were silent today, just the odd Willow Warblers with their "hou whit" contact calls.

But my main objective today was to carrying on from Saturday's work and to check out the rest of the Epipactis Schmalhauseneii (the rare hybrid between the Dark Red Helliborine and the Broad Leaved Helliborine plants we have on Hutton Roof.

Well I have got to say it proved very very disappointing from the start. The following plants or their previous positions were located and here were the results:

Schmal No.3  A good plant last year, but nothing whatsoever to show this year, just never came through.
Schmal No.4  Again a good plant last year,  but nothing whatsoever to show this year, just never came through.
Schmal No.5  As already reported earlier, just never came through this year.
Schmal No.6  Yes its come through OK and seems to be doing well.

So out of 15 Schmals recorded last year, sadly this year we only have 6 schmals to go at this year, unless I can find anymore.

Primary losses in total are:
Not come through at all = 4
"Runt" or stunted = 1
Probable Slug predation = 3
Probable Deer or Hare predation = 1
Total 2015 loss (9 plants loss) (6 schmals still active).

ALSO: CHECK OUT SWIFT UPDATES BY CLICKING HERE.  Also of interest locally is that Callum Graham witnessed a Red Kite on Sunday morning last seen going over Henridding.

Small Scabious on Hutton Roof
Very light coloured Common Spotted Orchid