Friday, 18 August 2017

Comma Butterfly, Orpine flowers and Orchid flowers.

A beautiful Comma Butterfly in Low Lancelot (CWT) yesterday (Click over to enlarge)

Yesterday Thursday 17th August 2017 - Lancelot Clark Storth (Hutton Roof) 1130hrs to 1530hrs

Had a stroll up into Lancelot and checking out here and there.

I did have a family party of what I am sure were either Willow Warblers/Chiffchaffs which made themselves known with their regular "hou-whit" calls which came over to me from at least four separate locations. The skies also had three Buzzards circling very high but at the same time very noisy with their "mewing call".

Bringing a spot of colour was the beautiful Comma butterfly which you can see in the photo above. Other than the Comma the only other butterflies seen were a well used Meadow Brown, a Peacock or two and several White butterflies.

Whilst here I check out the well past their best "Birds Foot Sedge" (carex ornithopodia) with lots and lots more this year of this beautiful little sedge.  Here is a photo

Birds Foot Sedge (Carex Ornithopoda)
It's a wonderful looking sedge and always recognized with its paleness, which tends to have yellowish tips and then burnt on the tips. Its best to see it in Mid May when it has its sedge flower on it which does resemble a "bird's foot".

Whilst in this part of the woods I did want to check out a little pavement which I noticed the Orpine plant growing way back in Spring but had not had chance to revisit until today.

Orpine (Click over to enlarge)

Wednesday 16th August 2017 - Dalton Crags (Lower Sections and Mid sections) am.

Checking out Scollies (Harts Tongue Ferns) in the lower sections, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The most interesting thing was watching six Stonechat's hopping from hazel bush to hazel bush and then on to the wall.  I suspect there was maybe a couple of family parties and perhaps they had dropped into Dalton Crags but there again we do have breeders in the vicinity and closeby maybe it was a collection of these birds, whichever way it was a absolute delight to see so many together.

Three Kestrels were together and seen regularly hovering at varied areas, maybe a couple of young birds - again not sure.

Lots of Swallows hawking the area and coming down close to one's head as though tormenting! I must be mad talking to the little beauties, but these are such lovely experiences and it's just what you need before the skies go empty when the birds start to head back to Africa in about ten days time.

Expect to get cracking with the Visable Bird Migration watches in about ten days time. I guess it will be the turn of the hirundines first......

And to finish off today here below is the current orchid diary:-

Sunday 13th August 2017 - Hutton Roof 1130hrs to 1530hrs

Probably the last visit of the year today and here's one showing "Spotty" which I have still not been able to confirm what sort of "disease", but have now more evidence from yet another plant about 30 yards away.

What a beauty this helleborine with a slight "reddish look" - stunning!!

A lovely "reddish" look helleborine today - see close up below

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Crispum, Montanums and finish of Orchids (12th Aug 2017)

Friday 11th August 2017 - Dalton Crags 0900hrs to 1030hrs

Decided to check out the Crags and I wanted to check a lovely "scollie" which I thought may have turned out to be a "Crispum" but no it was not to be, as you can see with these photos which clearly show the "sori" on the rear of the frond. 

A lovely Scollie which looked like it may have been a "Crispum" in the making
Check next photo which clearly shows Sori on the rear of the frond.
"Sori" showing on the rear of the frond (Click over to enlarge)
Superb heads on our (new to me) rare Montanum's (Hypericum Montanum - Pale St. John's Wort) which are going over.  This year has been good with a total for Hutton Roof of 18 plants over three separate sites. Here is a photo showing the flowerhead.

The rare Hypericum Montanum nestling away in the Lower Dalton Crags (Click over to enlarge)

Also not to be outdone we had a lovely showing of the commoner Hypericum Perforatum and I could not resist taking this photo which to me looked absolutely beautiful showing both the fresh and gone over.

Hypericum Perforatum (Click over to enlarge)
Flower and gone over flowerhead on 12th August 2017

Thursday 10th August 2017 - Hutton Roof 1500hrs to 1630hrs

Trying to check out more about the "black spot" on the same helleborine, checking notes and the only thing I can come up with is possibly "Botrytis" which does not only come through in spots but far more variable - If it is this it is caused through water retention.  I did also note a "mullusc" hanging on to the rear of the plant.  The following photos are not good but do at least show the "black spot" disease or whatever it is!

A well spaced out beautiful E. Helleborine found on Hutton Roof today (see photo below)

A lovely Helleborine well spaced near to Schmal 69 (Click over to enlarge)

Wednesday 9th August 2017 - Hutton Roof 1300hrs to 1700hrs

A nice E. Helleborine under canopy - it seems to have spots in its make-up.

A spotty E. Helleborine on 9th August 2017
E. Helleborine "Dark Form" or "Purpurea" as at 9th August 2017
E.Helleborine Purpurea 3 today 9th August 2017
E. Helleborine Duo today 9th August 2017 check next photo for close up

Same plant as above (Click over to enlarge)

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Graylings, Warblers and lots of Orchids (6th Aug 2017

Looking back to last Friday, on my way up to the orchid fields (fell), I had a large roving party of birds all flitting across my path and included many small Warblers (Willow Warblers/Chiffchaffs) which again made up "a confusion of Warblers" but not only warblers but also lots and lots of various tits and also a considerable amount of Chaffinch. I wonder if these were the same party I witnessed a week ago!

Also over the week I have had lots of screaming Jays, I think they may have been young birds, but just sounded like something being "throttled".  Also on the Fell itself several young Green Woodpeckers, I can see why they hang about on the fell with all those juicy ants everywhere!

Butterflies included Meadow Browns, Red Admirals, Green Veined Whites and lots and lots of the beautiful Graylings.  I must have seen hundreds of Grayling over the years, but up until today I had never ever seen the upperside of one, and today I had two brushed past me in a glide at such a close distance I was actually able to see the upperside and what a beauty they are. 

Grayling Butterfly (upperside)

And now for a run down of the week's orchids which is quickly coming to a close and maybe a few more photos before we need to call it a day for yet another year, but what a fabulous year it as been!

Saturday 5th August 2017 - Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1400hrs

Several photos today, I did manage to get one or two more of the Purpurea No.1

Purpurea No.1 on 5th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)
I did a good scout around the area and noticed that there were two more helleborines near to this one that had been "deercut" previously.

Also managed to get this photo of the same plant

This is yet another of the most beautiful "Purpurea 1"

Welcome to "Lempet-ell"
I have not yet worked it out! but this is now the third E. Helleborine that I have found so far this year on Hutton Roof which is showing the pale "Lemon-Petals".  I had thought that this was purely a "atrorubens" thing but there again maybe not!

A lovely large helleborine found today quite close to the variagated specimen

A lovely "Helleborine" found today quite close to variagated (Click over to enlarge)
Another nice helleborine found today west of the bottom copse

A lovely helleborine found today 5th August 2017 check out close up below
A close up of the same helleborine (Click over to enlarge
Another nice helleborine which lies on the NW side of the lower copse.

A nice helleborine (Click over to enlarge) and check next photo below for close up

Showing Black Mite infestation on this poor helleborine with the smaller Meadow Ants as farmers
in most cases you see the much larger black ants taking on this roll
Photo: 5th August 2017

Friday 4th August 2017 - Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1100hrs

Some absolute stunners today, My choices are becoming limited and the idea today is to bring in the purpurea which are now looking quite good and will probably be over within a few days, if we are lucky we might just about get the weekend before they start going.

The first specimen up is the beautiful Helleborine which resides close to the lempets 40 and 40a.  This one is hiding under the hazel canopy. This specimen is on the turn right now so this will be my last photo for 2017 of this specimen.

Here is a beauty "purpurea" which resides behind Spec 40 (Click to enlarge)
Calling in again on what I have nicknamed "Lempethell" (shown below) and its the specimen helleborine which shows signs of yellow petals, I have now noticed this with a further specimen as well so thats a couple which have these fabulous characteristics.

"Lempet-hell" (Click over to enlarge) Photo taken 31st July 2017.
The new plant (shown below) taking this on believe or not is the same plant which was actually the "Chlorantha" only last year (2016).  I had noticed it had taken back some colour but when you look close you can see where the petals have gone "yellow" so again I suppose it does have a weak look of the "lempet situation" but here within helleborine.

"Lempet-hell" on 4th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)
To think this plant is the same one we classified as "Chlorantha" only last year.
Now moving over the fell to check out a beautiful duo which has a lot of flowers still in bud, but just the ones already opening it is looking good:

A lovely pair of helleborines today (near to 17s) Click over to enlarge

Here is a close up from the pair shown above:

A lovely specimen just starting to open up.
Moving on to Purpurea No.3 which has come through like this in most years, this year is no exception and for me is one of the most stunning of the "Purpurea's"

Purpurea 3 on 4th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)
Here are a couple more photos showing close up's of Pupurea 3 which is just slightly under canopy.

Close up of Purpurea 3 on 4th Aug 2017

A further photo of Purpurea 3 on 4th August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

I have managed to get a couple of Purpurea No.1 which lies within 20ft deep within canopy and you can see the amount of purple it takes on.  A beautiful plant.

Purpurea No.1 on 4th Aug 2017 (Click over to enlarge)
Another showing close up of "Purpurea No.1 on 4th Aug 2017

And to finish off today a couple of shots of a beautiful helleborine:

Helleborine between 70 and 69 (Click over to enlarge)
See next photo for close up of flowers
Same flower as above photo

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Its time for Purpurea varieties in our Broad Leaved Helleborines etc

Wednesday 2nd August 2017 - Swift Numbers over the past few days

Difficult to tell whether or not any Swifts have gone back yet but these have been the aerial counts at Burton In Kendal over the past few nights: 

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Wed 2nd August 2017 - 2030hrs

11 birds in total recorded. One entry into front of Royal Cottage when going past on return one leaving Royal Cottage and quickly followed by another entering. A established site already recorded.

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Tues 1st August 2017 2030hrs

28 birds (minimum) hawking the skies between Memorial Hall and Manor House

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Mon 31st July 2017 2015hrs

24 birds hawking the skies mainly over Neddy Hill, Royal and Manor areas

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Sun 30th July 2017 2040hrs

34 birds mainly over Memorial Hall, Neddy Hill, Cocking Yard and Royal.  Also even more birds down above the Manor House

Checking out the Swifts down Main Street - Sat 29th July 2017 2000hrs 

7 birds to count

Tuesday 1st August 2017 - Hutton Roof 1300hrs to 1630hrs

The wind has again been strong with very few butterflies about but still good numbers of Grayling, Meadow Browns and Small Heaths together with a Brimstone back down in Lancelot.

Brimstone on Betony in Lancelot Clark Storth (Click over to enlarge)

I found Great Burnett almost at the top of Vicarage Lane just below the new building on the left. Also lots of Broad Leaved Willowherb showing

Broad Leaved Willowherb
Another plant which is doing extremely well if not too well is the Traveller's Joy or Old Man's Beard (a clematis) - see photo below which is spreading quite dense on some of our local limestone pavements.

Travellers Rest or Old Man's Beard.
Now back to the Orchids

Found a few nice bits today and here are some of the "Dark" or Purpurea specimens of Helleborines and also a nice new "hybrid".

One of the "Dark" or Purpurea specimens on a different area today (Click over to enlarge)
Above is yet another plant back on the regular fell I have been working on. There is no doubt whatsoever in my eyes that this deserves the name "purpurea" its far better than "dark phase" for me today,  but whatever your choice! 

A good "Purpurea" specimen today on 1st August 2017 (Click over to enlarge)

Absolutely incredible to yet find another "atrorubens led hybrid" lurking within some juniper and hazel canopy! reasonably fresh as well.  I keep saying we have seen the last of the atrorubens and then another one just seems to appear from its hiding place.  I was most impressed with this one and you can see again it has the atrorubens flowers yet with a light green stem suggesting E.helleborine and again E.helleborine leaves. Another cracker as they say!!

New Schmalhauseneii found today - Click over to enlarge and check next photo
A beautiful Atrorubens-led "Hybrid" (Click over to enlarge)
I don't think I can ever remember having a atrorubens or atrorubens-led hybrid come through later than July before and this was a lovely find. You would never have found it unless you were prepared to move some of the canopy and vegetation. 

Monday 31st July 2017 - Hutton Roof 1330hrs to 1630hrs

Very windy and struggling to get photos, but we did manage a few.  To start I want to show you this little beauty I found today.  Does it remind you of anything?  Well I had to do a double take on this knowing full well it was a "helleborine" yet for a while I thought it was taking on the "lempet" feature!!

A Helleborine thats jealous of the nearby "Lempets" (Click over to enlarge)

A very light phased and well spaced out helleborine (Click over to enlarge)
See next photo 
A beautiful light phase helleborine which is well spaced between the flowers
found on Hutton Roof today (Click over to enlarge)
Variagated Specimen Helleborine as at 31st July 2017 (Click over to enlarge)
Probably the last photo of the year for this beautiful plant.  It is now starting to go over. 

And here is yet another very light phase plant I found today and is probably about 10" high. Very close to Escarp 11 and 12 (hybrids) and also other normal helleborines close by.

A small 10" helleborine now showing very light phase (Click over to enlarge)
And here again a closer view (Click over to enlarge)
Equally as charming are the "dark phase" or purpurea specimens and here is one on its way which I took today. Within a week or ten days we should have several specimens coming through.

A Purpurea or "Dark" specimen on HRoof today (Click over to enlarge)