Thursday, 26 November 2015

Green Spleenwort - Asplenium Viride - Normal and Different!!

Thursday 26th November 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof Common

I set off again today to see if by any chance the Great Grey Shrike had returned, but I searched everywhere in his normal haunts without any success. In fact very little in the way of birdlife other than a roving party of about 15 Fieldfare and later another party of approx 30 birds. A single Stonechat up near the gully in Dalton deforested.  And some Goldcrest were heard near the Trig point.

So I thought its time I checked out the Green Spleenwort populations at G3 and I counted eight separate populations (one population up on 2014). But for some reason my eye caught one particular group which did seem to have different fronds to the others and also the pinnae and sori looked different.  You can see from the photos below there is a clear difference.

Green Spleenwort - asplenium viride  (Click over to enlarge)
1) top: Green Spleenwort - normal, 2) middle: Green Spleenwort with a difference  3) closeby within one metre Maidenhair Spleenwort (asplenium trichomanes)

It was necessary for me to give the items more exposure than I would have liked but it was the only way in which I could express the light and at the same time keep out any shadow.

Green Spleenwort - asplenium viride - rear frond (Click over to enlarge)
1) top: Green Spleenwort - normal,  2) middle: Green Spleenwort with a difference, 3 bottom:  closeby within one metre Maidenhair Spleenwort.  
It was necessary for me to give the items more exposure than I would have liked but it was the only way in which I could express the light and at the same time keep out any shadow.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Harts Tongue Variants and Southern Polypody (18th/19th Nov 2015)

Sunday 22nd November 2015

Found another new to me Scollie variant in Dalton Crags today and here are the photos below:

 Looked interesting especially with the curvatures

This shows the same plant with two similar fronds the one at the top and another down at the bottom of the photo. 

Also of interest to me today was my find of a strange Maidenhair Spleenwort (asplenium trichomanes) shown below:

Unusual trichomanes

This was in a damp darkened cleft of the limestone escarpment and actually hidden behind some normal Maidenhair Spleenwort and mosses and herb robert (central), but if you look closely you can see the lobed spleenwort lurking.  I have gps'd and will be keeping a close eye on this. By the way within less than one metre is a good population of Wall Rue.


Thursday 19th November 2015

On the Bird situation.  I had a small five party of Siskin calling and flying above the large trees on the edge of the Plain Quarry car park.  Also had 4 Mistle Thrushes at the top of Lower Dalton Crags. One Green Woodpecker crossing Dalton deforested.  Also two Snipe flushed just east beyond the Trig Point (Ploverlands). Robert Ashworth also had a single Goldcrest near Plain Quarry this morning. Had a good look around for a Shrike, but nothing doing at the moment.

This morning whilst on my way up through Dalton Crags I again found yet another Harts Tongue Fern which was different to the norm and looks very interesting. At first viewing I just thought the serrated edges were a weather worn situation, but on closer observation, you can see that they are a purpose natural occurrence on this specimen, which is confirmed by the representative individual veining pertaining to each serration, and you can see it here in this first photo.  Here are the photos:

Harts Tongue Fern with serrated edging  (Click over to enlarge)

Wednesday 18th November 2015

What miserable weather!

I have been out over the past few days at various times when it was not too bad and seen one or two bits and pieces of fungi and ferns.  So here are my findings:

Harts Tongue Fern  
It certainly gives the appearance of difference! especially noticeable in the front central frond (also shown below) and its appearance in general stands out from the "norm".  Another interesting indicator was that the fronds did not bear any "sori" on the rear side although the frond lengths (approx 10-12") seemed to be of maturity.

Showing a clearer photo of the main frond

This photo gives a better view of one of the fronds which has a "lumpy" make up.

Rear of the frond showing a lack of "sori"

Also whilst out yesterday I found some more of the rare Southern Polypody (polypodium cambricum) in a new area of Dalton Crags and will obviously inform the County Recorder.  The area shows quite a few specimens over a approx area of one metre diameter.

Now then I do have a cracker here but its been very difficult to photograph, but hopefully I can give you some idea.  Its a "deformed" Harts Tongue Fern and actually does have 5 separate heads to the frond (of which two of the heads do contain Sori).  Its hard to show because of the entanglement but really interesting.  Also a similar occurance but to a lesser scale was also happening with another frond within the same group (see photos below)

This shows the deformed Harts Tongue fronds in situ (note x2)  (Click over to enlarge)

I have attempted here to separate the five heads  (Click over to enlarge)
Showing the entanglement in situ - also note behind frond  (Click over to enlarge)
Showing the rear with Sori on two of the heads  (Click over to enlarge)
There maybe some more stuff to add to the blog later so please try and check out again if you can later.

Sunday, 8 November 2015


Silk Banner which is displayed at CBDC Events  (Click over banner to enlarge)

Yesterday was the Cumbria Wildlife Recorders Conference 2015 held annually at Tullie House in Carlisle and for anyone who attended they were treated to a fabulous programme:

Stephen Westerberg (Cumbria Bird Club - On the launch of the Cumbria Online Bird Atlas
Frank Mawby - Movements of Wintering Geese and Swans on the Solway
Tony Marshall - Finding and Monitoring Dormice in Cumbria.
Brian Douglas (Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew) - Lost and Found Fungi Project
Richard Comont - Alien vs Predator - The Harlequin ladybird in Britain
Open Mike - Wildlife in Cumbria latest updates from recorders.
Sylvia Woodhead - Cumbria GeoConservation Group and Local Geological Sites
Simon Jackson (Tullie House Museum) - A Glimpse into the Geology Stores
Richard Comont (Bumblebee Conservation Trust) - BeeWalk - monitoring the plight of the bumblebee
Rebecca Barrett (North Pennines AONB) - Cold blooded and Spineless - Celebrating and recording invertebrates in the North Pennines.
Gary Hedges (Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre) - Highlights from the first season of CBDC Recording Days.
Nigel Gilligan - Five years of recording in an old Lake District garden
Teresa Frost (Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre) - Round up and final questions. 

A lovely day with lots of friends old and new and a big thank you to: Teresa, Gary, Stephen, Moustafa and Matt, and all who helped to make it such a wonderful success yet again.

Sorry to learn about Teresa leaving CBDC which will now be the gain of the BTO where she takes on the post of Wetland Bird Survey National Organiser.  Thank you for all the work you have done at the CBDC.

Need to keep sending in the wildlife records for Hutton Roof and anywhere else in Cumbria to the CBDC at Tullie House Museum in Carlisle. 


A photo showing the "grafters" at the Westmorland Show - August 2015

Smoked Sunbeams - Arnside Knott  (Click over to enlarge)
This photo was taken whilst sunbeams were coming through the trees at Arnside Knott, but at the same time the Foresters were burning wood about 50 yeards away and the smoke for some reason was travelling horizontal and eventually hit the sunbeams and gave it the smokey touch. 

Monday, 2 November 2015

Vismig Reports for Autumn 2015 (No.3)

Friday 6th November 2015 - Hutton Roof (West) 0715hrs to 0845hrs

Wind: South 9-17mph, 12c, 76% Cloud cover, 1009mb pressure. Odd light rain flurry with rainbow. Superquiet this morning.

Chaffinch: 19 SE
Alba Wagtail: 7 SE
Meadow Pipit: 13 SE
Goldfinch: 1 SE
Fieldfare: 7 SE
Redwing: 17 (10 SW rest SE)
Starling: 131 (31W rest x roost to SE)
Woodpigeon: 36 NW

Yellowhammer: 15 local wintering party.

Thursday 5th November 2015 - Hutton Roof (West) 0715hrs to 0900hrs

Wind SE 10-15mph, 9c, 100% Cloud cover, 1011mb pressure - light drizzle and rain from 0845hrs.
Confirmation of even more Meadow Pipits coming through which I have never seen before so late in the year.

Meadow Pipit: 111 (singles and pairs and parties of 12,60,30) the high numbered blogging parties had been down on the maize fields and then went off to the South East - Usually around this time of year you would not get numbers above 10 Mipits anywhere from about October 10th, so why all of a sudden are we getting this surge!

Chaffinch: 77 SE (a little better today)
Greenfinch: 3 W
Goldfinch 56 SE (best: 25,20,5)
Alba Wagtail: 14 SE
Fieldfare: 22 SE (one party 20)
Redwing: 12 SE
Starling: 75 W
Woodpigeon: 10 S

Wednesday 4th November 2015 - Hutton Roof (West) 0700hrs to 0830hrs

Wind ESE 10-12mph, 9-11c, 100% Cloud cover, 1012mb pressure.  Very dark first thing with nothing hardly moving, just dribs and drabs, had enough by 0830hrs.

Greenfinch: 3 SE
Redpoll: 2 SE
Chaffinch: 26 SE
Meadow Pipit: 23 SE
Alba Wagtail: 1 SE
Fieldfare: 8 SE (4 N)
Redwing: 24 SE
Mistle Thrush: 1 SE
Blackbird: 1 SE
Starling: 40W (15,25)
Woodpigeon: 26 (3SE,10W,13NW)

 Clive McKay checking out the vis on Hutton Roof (UK's National Co-ordinater for Trektellen Bird Site)

Tuesday 3rd November 2015 - Hutton Roof (West then East) 0700hrs to 1000hrs

Wind: South East 3-5mph, 5-9c, 20% Cloud, 1016mb pressure. Mist coming up especially from the West side and eventually shrouding the lower (west side site) so we moved further up on to the edge of Farleton (East side).  It was a lovely pleasure today to be joined by friend Clive McKay who was on a flying visit from Scotland and I was able to show him my local patch.  I am sure he enjoyed it.

Redwing: 132 mainly SW (7 parties)
Fieldfare: 805 mainly SW but some S and SE (18 parties)
Woodpigeon: 346S (10 parties)
Starling: 56 W (1 party 50)
Alba Wagtail: 2SE
Goldfinch: 12 (one party 10)
Chaffinch: 17 SE
Goldcrest: 1E
Meadow Pipit: 3S (but score or so blogging)
Spoarrowhawk: 1SW

also 2 local Peregrine and 2 local Yellowhammer.

    A spiders web in my garden (2nd Nov) caught up with thousands of dewdrops (Click over to enlarge)

Monday 2nd November 2015 - Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0700hrs to 0930hrs

Wind: SSE 5-6mph, 10c, 22% Cloud cover, 1024mb pressure. Clear were I was but fogbound in the lower levels and making sky creamy and difficult to distinguish birds at times.

Redwing: 82 mainly SW (20W 6 parties)
Fieldfare: 367 S/SE (8 parties)
Woodpigeon: 451 S (24 parties all S)
Starling: 149 W (8 parties - best 50)
Alba Wagtail: 4
Greenfinch: 1
Redpoll: 1
Skylark: 1
Goldfinch: 5
Linnet: 1
Chaffinch: 65 SE
Crossbill: audible only ?
Pink Footed Goose: 140W
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1
Red Admiral Butterfly: 1

A local roving party of approx 20 Yellowhammer and a local roving party of 31 Long Tailed Tits

Sunday 1st November 2015 - No Counts today - Totally Fogbound

SE 6-7 mph, 10-12c, 1027mb pressure

Good counts of Fieldfare (3000) down in Rossendale

Asplenium scolopendrium 'Crispum Greening'

 I have something rather special I would love to show you. What about this then!

Asplenium scolopendrium 'Crispum Greening'

This just is something very special and has been found in recent days on the Hutton Roof complex by my good friend Alec Greening (fern specialist). It is a variant of the well known Harts Tongue Fern, we have over recent months been so proud to boast of other finds of related varieties of the Harts Tongue including the 'Ramosum variety' and also the 'Undulatum variety' but to get on this very special rarity has brought about a lot of smiling faces! It is already creating quite a stir in the pteriologist world because its probably one of the best known examples to have been found recently. It is estimated to be about 3 to 4 years old.

Here below is another couple of photos which show 1) a close up of the frond and 2) the rear of the plant which clearly shows the absence of "sori" and with which gives another confirmation to its variety. 

1. "Click over photo to enlarge"

2."Click over photo to enlarge"