Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Snippets of Wealth (August 2018)



If you want to check out the full 32 page programme for the events then please click
here. 

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Now then back to our "Snippets of Wealth"

Dor Beetle

Tuesday and Wednesday mornings August 7th and 8th 2018 - Holme Stinted Pastures and Holme Park Fell. "Red Kite and Willow Warblers" In fairness, I guess I earnt my soaking this morning, it came just as we arrived at the high point on the Holme Park Fell. My purpose was twofold, first I wanted to check out any possible migrants on the move and Holme Stinted Pastures and Holme Park Fell is a very good place especially for small warblers and then any Wheatears or Whinchats passing through. It was not disappointing with a few Willow Warblers present over the last two mornings, some which you struggled to even get a contact call, but one particular bird that was in quiet song mode and repeatedly would do a full line of its song. There is no way of telling whether these are late resident birds, but I would have expected them to be visitors just calling off on their way back South. Never had any chats today but they will come very soon! Yesterday I had a pleasant surprise over the Stints with a Red Kite high above us and heading North West.
My other challenge today was to check out the regular haunts of the Autumn Gentian which usually grow in good numbers along the tracks of Holme Park Fell, but just has I had thought I was about three weeks too early and has yet no evidence of the little beauties showing.
Along the way had a Dor Beetle sort of staggering from side to side as they do whilst negotiating their many hurdles! A single Grayling butterfly and a splash of colour with small clumps of Wild Thyme and also Squinancywort, and Ploughman’s Spikenard

Ploughmans Spikenard

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Monday, 2 July 2018

Snippets Of Wealth (July 2018)


Tuesday 24th July 2018 - Hutton Roof (CWT reserves with Wal and Andrew) 1100hrs to 1400hrs

Angular Solomons Seal (P. Odoratum) with berries (CWT Lancelot Clark Storth 24th July 2017)

Doing a rekki around Lancelot Clark Storth and Burton Fell. Lots of areas burnt out and difficult to find any Birds Foot Sedge (carex ornithopodia) which was still green, all seemed to be frazzled..  Found a few Common Cow wheat hanging on and in the shade of nearby hazel bushes.  Just luck managed to find a couple of half descent helleborines in flower, their plumes were slightly at a angle and never managed to straighten past the 11 oclock, but pretty good taking into consideration the current weather situation. Nice photo of Angular Solomons Seal (Polygonatum odoratum) with its dark berries (see photo above).

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Saturday 7th July 2018 - Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1300hrs Various


Asplenium scolopendrium (Harts Tongue) var: Marginatum (Click over to enlarge)



Last Saturday 7th July 2018 whilst out on Hutton Roof summarising my Orchids, I found a new interesting Scollie which I would probably label var: "Marginatum" and it is very similar to the one we have in lower Dalton Crags.  The new specimen is photographed (see above)


Carline Thistle (Click over to enlarge)
Is in flower now throughout Hutton Roof pavements

A unfortunate Dark Red Helleborine - "Burn" affecting plant
(Click over to enlarge)


This is a small Dark Red Helleborine from the 9s section (9 = very light green stems)
and seems to be surviving because of its shady "nook"
(Click over to enlarge)

If you want to check out the survey work of the orchids "in progress", you can see the outcomes

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Thursday 5th July 2018 - Checking Dalton Crags, Ploverlands for Fragrant Orchids, then back through Lancelot Clark Storth. 0930hrs to 1400hrs.


Small Skipper on Clover (Click over to enlarge)
Called in at Plain Quarry to have a good look around for the Maiden Pink which have not showed this year, in fact all the ground was totally parched (straw colour) and lifeless and other than odd Ox-Eye daisies and thistles and clovers there was not much to be seen - all the Birds Foot Trefoil had gone and obviously so had the Common Blue butterflies which are usually everywhere here.  In the margins some of the flowers and vegetation which was just about holding on, I did manage to see several Small Skippers and got the above photo.

During the morning I saw literally hundreds of butterflies which included: Scores of Small Skippers, Scores of Dark Green Fritillaries, scores of Ringlets, scores of Meadow Browns, a few Small Heaths, a few Grayling, odd couple of Speckled Woods odds Whites. One incredible rare sighting of a (wait for it!!) Small Tortoisehell. Just where are they all this year? also had a single Red Admiral.

I checked Hypericum Way and could not find any St. John's Wort anywhere, probably gone over ever so quickly or not even bothered to come out this year.  Seems strange without seeing it all growing down the margins of the footpath, up to 5 species here and I could not find one.  Even checked out the regular Dalton Crags rare Hypericum Montanum (Pale St. Johns Wort) and they had not even bothered to come through this year, neither had the nearby "White" albino Self Heals. Also checked out the escarpment for Brittle Bladder Fern and Asplenium spleenworts, all had died off prematurely because of this weather suffering from severe dehydration.

Birds were so quite throughout, just one short burst of what I thought could have been the Common Whitethroat, and another part call from a Tree Pipit a few Hou-Whit Willow Warbler contacts, Green Woodpeckers x2.  As you entered the upper Dalton Crags (deforested) there was a handful of Swifts and the same in Swallows hawking at low height and the Swifts almost flying close as though dive bombing (brilliant stuff!!).  I seem to be hearing far more Treecreepers now than I did before!

Checked out the regular spot on Ploverlands to see if I could find any fragrant orchids, but no luck, so moved across the pavements and did a check on our two rare Holly Ferns.  No.2 looks OK and has survived the deer (for now) but even here it's usual partnered cousin the Hard Shield Fern had died back and schrivelled away and left the Holly Fern all on its lonesome, a sight like I had never ever seen before (see photo)

Holly Fern No.2 without its mate the Aculeatum! (Click over to enlarge)
Nearby Odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal) had come through deep down in the regular grike and I did just about notice a small green berry attached! also nearby mass areas of what should have been Common Rock Rose had completely disappeared to severe dehydration and obviously the Northern Brown Argus butterflies were nowhere to be seen. No. 1 Holly Fern has you can see in the photos is only showing four fronds this year where it normally would have about 9 or 10.

Holly Fern No.2 with only four fronds this year (Click over to enlarge)


Showing a close up of the pinnae of the No.1 Holly Fern (Click over to enlarge)
Maybe all the little dots on the pinnae are seed?


A photo showing the back of the plant and the pattern of the "sori"


A nice atrorubens I found on yet another pavement, just has I was heading
towards Schmalhauseneii No.1




This is Lancelot's rare Hypericum Montanum (Click over to enlarge)
You can see the new ones which are only about 1/2 the size of last years,
which you can see last years stems. Again all signs relating to the
dehydration. 




Showing just how the bracken is burning back



Broad Leaved Helleborine (Epipactis Helleborine) Click Over to enlarge

Here is my first one of the year with just the bottom flowers open as yet. I don't recall ever
having one flowering so early in July

Cinnabar Moth

Wednesday 4th July 2018 - Park Wood circular - Recci with Peter S 1100hrs to 1400hrs


Checking out a interesting area with vertical runnels - with Peter Standing (Click over to enlarge)

Enjoyed doing a recci with Peter S in preparation for the Farleton Festival later in the year.

Some lovely views whilst Peter explained the geological paths that gave rise to our topography and here are a few photos:

Lovely Betany just coming into flower (Click over to enlarge)

Small brook below Park Wood which has lots of lovely flowers and sedges which include:
Ragged Robin, Water Mint, Marsh Lousewort, Yellow Sedge etc (Click over to enlarge)
Old Lime Kiln (Click over to enlarge)
Note the Maidenhair Spleenwort seems to have given up the ghost this year and suffering from severe dehydration just
like so many plants are
Stunning Thistle with fabulous heads that remind me so much of bonny Scotland!




This is one of the rare "Field Maples" in Park Wood (Click over to enlarge)
and the following photo shows the leaves.
Leaves of the Field Maple (Click over to enlarge)
Peter's latest GeoTrail Book which is now available.
contact Peter at peterstanding@btinternet.com 


Monday 2nd July 2018 - Hutton Roof checking out orchids with photos etc 0900hrs to 1100hrs

Plenty of nice butterflies on show today whilst on the Fells including lots of the larger Dark Green Fritillaries, Grayling, Ringlets, Meadow Browns, Small Heaths, and Speckled Woods whilst on way up through the Woodland areas.

Again sweltering up there and the heat is bouncing back off the limestone, but did a simple check out of the regulars at 33,55,15, all escarpment specimens etc and here are some of the photos today:

This is yet another of newly found Specimen 55 - A1 (light form)(Click over photo to enlarge)
If you were to take out the red boss colours you would think that
you had yet another rare "Albiflora" with inner transparencies showing.
Maybe it's strange that "albiflora" lives only 8 yards away from this plant
Specimen 55 A (Click over to enlarge)
Yet another beautiful specimen from the 55 family which shows outstanding
contrasting colours on both petal and sepal. Also another unusual feature is
showing the purple fluffy bosses set on a almost white wide epichile.
Specimen duo 40 (Click over to enlarge)
Sadly this is the state of affairs with what should have been the lovely 40 duo
which this is as far as they go and in fact are receding as you see them
they began stunted right from the start, but have obviously given up the
ghost have been like this now for over one week without growth!
reason: severe dehydration. The same is happening with countless specimens

This is Specimen Escarp 12 which is considered a Schmalhauseneii (Click over to enlarge)
This one always seems to do OK its sort of hidden 

Again Specimen 12 close up (Click over photo to enlarge)

Just found this one hiding behind a hazel (Click over to enlarge)
A beautiful little specimen but struggled to get focus.

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Sunday 1st July 2018 - Hutton Roof checking out orchids with Mr and Mrs. Alan S. 1000hrs to 1400hrs


Beautiful 9L
Today showing a lovely dark lower petal and sepals

the Lovely 55a No.2
Recorded for the first time, shows beautiful coloured epichile. It has
arrived from the 55 family which has plenty of Lemon - Petal in its makeup

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Snippets of Wealth (June 2018)




Saturday 30th June 2018 - Hutton Roof checking out and photographing atrorubens etc
(0600hrs to 1000hrs

Some real beauties today:

A lovely contrasting plant from area 9 (Click over to enlarge)

What a beauty! from area 55 (Click over to enlarge)
Lies within 2 metre of Specimen 33 

This is the beautiful 55b which got burnt at the tips a week or so ago and surprisingly
all the burnt tips are making a "sort of" recovery as you can see in this photo
(Click over to enlarge)
(Click over to enlarge)
This is poorly 15c which is well stunted at about 9" tall with very few flowers so
let me now show you what It looked like last year when it had 62 flowers and stood
at about 15 1/2" tall - this sort of thing has happened with quite a few of the bulkier
specimens (eg: hybrids) CAUSE severe heatstroke!!


And this was the same plant 15C last year bearing 62 flowers/buds and standing at about 15 1/2"
Lets hope it goes back to this next year!! (Click over to enlarge)
Two cracking side by siders from area 55 and guess what? both actually looking fresh!
(Click over to enlarge)

Another beauty from the area 55 (Click over to enlarge)
This is a cracker called Escarp 13 and has been took out every year but this year it has been
awarded the best protection cage on the market!! and also it gets the little drink of water
which none of the others get!

This is 17d out of a trio (Click over to enlarge)

The beautiful 70 (Click over to enlarge)
normally a little more cherry red in the flower but all can be forgiven this year!!

Our rare Lutescen No. 1 still doing OK but getting more red on the epichile!
(Click over to enlarge)
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Thursday 28th June 2018 - Hutton Roof and coming back via Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) 0900hrs to 1430hrs

Spent most of the time checking out our wonderful Orchids and everything else.  I had the following beautiful dragonfly in Lancelot.


Beautiful "Dragonflies"


"Lets get it together and create a "schmalhauseneii"

I have several photographs which show similar situations as in this photo of both species Broad Leaved Helleborine (top left) and Dark Red Helleborine (bottom right) and it's no wonder we have so much going on up on Hutton Roof eg: HYBRIDS!


Specimen 69 (Schmalhauseneii) 
showing today on 28th June 2018 - which 2 years ago was at about this similar
 stage of development (a fortnight later) on 13th July 2016, and last year (2017) it was at
this simlar stage of development on 27th July 2017, which makes this plant in 2018
between two to four weeks earlier than the norm

Specimens 17 g and 17h
This is 17 g and h and part of a past trio.  They are very good looking plants and do have
a very light green stem and true atrorubens looking flowers - this sort of build and look
is very familiar with the Numbers 11 population which lies approx 200 yards to the SE
of these particular plants (eg: 11,11a,11b)
One from the Escarpment block. Very light coloured and stands
next to a dark red specimen. Interesting on the Epichile/boss which
always come through light pink to light purple side
A lovely dark atroruben which lies on the escarpment and is already showing lots
of lemon petalled features - should be a stunner when this comes out (a couple of days)
Another splendid "Escarpment" specimen

Our beautiful 55b now showing well, and even the burnt buds at the tips have somehow
miraculously come through in a reasonable state
A specimen which lies directly behind 33
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Wednesday 27th June 2018 - Checking out orchids on Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1130hrs with Martin and Eleanor

Checking out a section of the orchids. Thankfully although 55b (was 66) got burnt on the edge of the plume the plant is coming through OK and here is a photo:

Specimen 55b (was originally 66) is doing well and is yet again coming through
with a creamish epichile and bosses with flecked red. You can also see just a hint of the
apple green showing through on the tip of the epichile.

Here is yet another photo of the rare "Red Ribbed" plant which I refound yesterday.

What I would call "a little beauty"
The plants in general are coming through now thick and fast with quite a lot already in flower, so I would confirm that everything (atrorubens wise) will be at its best over the next few days.  And with this weather how it is (immense heat) I don't expect them to last much longer than a two day period at their best before the flowers start drying up and going over.

Another one of our best "Palans" variety got the chop today having been nipped off by Roe Deer.  Again it had managed to get it through the large openings within the cages.

Specimen 33

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Monday 25th June 2018 - Hutton Roof - Checking out Dark Red Helleborine Orchids 0900hrs to 1100hrs



"Red Ribbed" Atrorubens (Click over to enlarge)

Getting fed up with those nasty "Cleg flies", seem to be getting attacked everytime I come up! On way up was pleasantly surprised to have a family group of Marsh Tits calling from the tree above me. Its a regular place where in most years I hear them. Also Willow Warbler and Blackcaps.

Butterflies included - Ringlets (x2), Speckled Wood (x1) (woodland), Dark Green Fritillary (x3), Meadow Browns (x10), Small Heaths (x2).

Also noticed that the other part of the duo for Specimen 10 has also now been predated - Wouldn't mind but the cheeky rascal somehow managed to take the tops of the orchids through the cage!!
Managed to re-locate my Red Ribbed Orchid which stands out a mile from the rest (see photo)

Saturday 23rd June 2018 - Hutton Roof - Checking out Dark Red Helleborines etc  1000hrs to 1500hrs

On way up had Chiffchaff calling in broken syllable calls.  It is similar at present with the Willow Warblers also with some still in shorter broken full song, but quite a lot now turned to just contact "houtwit" calls. Also heard the lovely soft Goldcrest singing away. Also Willow Warbler, Garden Warbler and Blackcap.

Butterflies included Ringlet (x5), Small Heaths (x1), Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (x2) with one very ragged. Meadow Browns (x3), Dark Green Fritillary (x2)

Recorded two new clumps of Birds Foot Sedge, also new area for Squinancywort.  Spent most of the time checking out our rare orchids which are not fairing well at the moment with this intense weather.


Thursday 21st June 2018 - Hutton Roof - Checking out Atrorubens etc 1000hrs to 1400hrs
First Grayling Butterfly today - also some nice Atrorubens photos etc


Grayling butterfly today on one of the pavements - 1st of the year (Click over to enlarge)
Besides having the Grayling, I also had Ringlet, a couple of Meadow Browns, a couple of very flitty Dark Green Fritillaries, Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary, Small Heath (2) and a Green Veined White and Speckled Woods.

Spent time checking out the Orchids and here are a couple of photos from today. The first is a little beauty and is obviously showing a lot of lemon-petalled.

This is a beautiful plant already showing some flowers

A darker specimen of atrorubens (Click over to enlarge)

I also decided to check out the "Montanums" (Pale St John's Wort) in Lancelot and we are down this year from 10 to 6 flowers, although there are more stalks showing but they dont have any florets as yet. Here is a photo.

Close up of Montanum flowerhead today (Click over to enlarge)

.
Odoratum berries (Angular Solomons Seal)
Rare this - of all the populations of Angular Solomon's Seal we have on Hutton Roof (40 plus), this is the only population were I actually see berries and that's not every year, just ad hoc - I am sure there must be others which show berries but I cant say that I have ever seen any. I do have a photo I took ages ago of berries on this particular plant and they eventually turn black.

The Ringlet butterfly on Hutton Roof today

Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary in Lancelot (CWTrust) today


Peacock Butterfly full grown larvae on stinging nettle - today 21st June 2018
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Tuesday 19th June 2018 - Hutton Roof "Taking and fixing 4 cages around the larger Helleborines and checking out others. 1030hrs to 1300hrs  "More Fly Orchids", First "Ringlet butterfly" of the Year.

I was met by a Curlew!! but really it was a Song Thrush calling out with a mixed array of sounds, but most noticeable had to be the perfection of imitation which we had here.  Some nice butterflies included more Meadow Browns, just the odd Small Heath, a single Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary and my very first of the year Ringlet.

I managed to find some rare Mountain Melick and also found yet another site were I had two "spent" Fly Orchids so the positions have been noted with gps in readiness for next year.  My first Eyebrights of the year and another position for Squinancywort.

Most of my time today was allotted to the many orchids which are coming through with a couple already in flower.  I will go up in a day or two and try and get some good photos.

If you want to check out my diary page for the orchids then please feel free to go on this link which should show you 33f (photo below) a very light specimen which comes up in tandam each year.


Specimen 33f considered a hybrid (click over to enlarge)

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Monday 18th June 2018 - Hutton Roof "Taking and fixing 4 cages around the large Helleborines and inspecting others. 0900hrs to 1100hrs


Our first flowering plant for 2018 (atrorubens)

Another of our first flowering plants today - 18th June 2018


Besides having these lovely plants starting to open up, it has been found some of our leading plants are suffering from a sort of burn situation on their plumes, additionally some of our more high profile plants eg: the bulker/stronger hybrids look like some are rather stunted growth.  To catch up on all this check out the photos in my "orchid diary" pages by clicking here

Today whilst on my way up to see the orchids, I had another Meadow Brown butterfly and a single Small Heath, plus a pair of fighting Speckled Wood.

Robert A (from Kendal) kindly informs me that today whilst on Hutton Roof he had the following: Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Common Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Six spot Burnet Moth.

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Sunday 17th June 2018 - Holme Stints and Holme Park Fell 0900hrs to 1100hrs "Scouring areas in search of CS Orchids x hybrids alternative parentage

Thats what I was up to today amongst other things trying to find any clues or small areas locally that could have held Heath Spotted or Marsh Orchids which in turn could have been responsible for having got with our Common Spotted Orchids to produce such beautiful hybrids like the ones shown below (and more shown in two separate groups, 1 group = 40 and 1 group = 10 approx).  All our surrounding areas are dotted here and there with the regular Common Spotted Orchid which are all patterned and either white or light pink flush as you would expect with this species.  So the dark hybrid forms we have here stand out a mile that they "ARE DIFFERENT" and followed on by a straight duo of Common Spotted Orchids.

Found my first of the year Eyebrights (a little cracker) found on the Fell, also found my first Small Scabious.  Lots in fact multitudes of Squinancywort on both sides of the track - never seen so much.

Yellowhammer singing away, Green Woodpecker yaffling.  Also had Common Blue male and Meadow Brown butterflies.  A little windy with a good rain shower, but can't complain and ground needs it.

A greeting with Song Thrush performing Oyk!
Bombus bombarding Marsh Thistle,
Squint I may but Squinancywort everywhere,
Watching smart the new Eyebright
Lichen Smart!













Common Spotted Orchid - normal

First Eyebright of the year from on the Fell


My first Small Scabious (Scabiosa columbaria) Click over to enlarge





Saturday 16th June 2018 - More photos from yesterday (Holme Stints and Holme Park Fell)

The thistle has almost taken over in parts of Holme Stinted Pastures, and were it has not, the bracken has made up for it.  Here are more photos which I missed out yesterday.


Polystitchum Aculeatum (Hard Shield Fern) Click over to enlarge)

Marsh Thistles have taken over, but will be great for the butterflies and eventually for the goldfinch

Marsh Thistle - Cirsium palustre

Had not realized just how beautiful the Thistle can look! perhaps it is taken for granted. There
again it may remind some people of pain!

Dropwort is really doing well on the fells and showing in good numbers

It seemed a lot closer than that did "A little bit of bread and no cheese"
I think it might be better if you click on it to enlarge!

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Friday 15th June 2018 - Holme Stints and Holme Park Fell 0900hrs to 1100hrs "Checking out some Orchids" also had first of the year "Dark Green Fritillary"


Dark Green Fritillary - First of the Year 2018

The temperatures have cooled down considerably.  I wanted to check out some orchids I found a few days ago up on Holme Stinted Pastures and also to check out a little area I found last year on Holme Park Fell.

On my way up I was a little surprised just to see how much of the open areas had been taken over with Thistle, and what came another surprise was to see my first of the year Dark Green Fritillary (photo of actual butterfly above) and it was obviously feeding on the thistle rosette. Usually the first of the year tend to be flitty, but this one just posed and posed at will.  At first I thought it was rather early and wondered whether or not I had been lucky enough to capture a "High Brown" but once I got home and checked the photos it soon became apparent that it was the Dark Green.  I think also I saw another one which was a fair way off from the first one. Also had Speckled Wood butterfly in the more shadier areas. Also my first of the year Common Blue on the Fell.

A Song Thrush was going for it and did a wonderful copy of a Oyk (Oystercatcher) part call, the Chiffchaff was singing at his regular place just opposite Rowley Copse. Several Willow Warblers, Yellowhammer both in the Stints and again on the Holme Park Fell. Blackcap singing from area behind the Quarry.

Besides all the Thistle, Self Heal had started to get hold on the main footpath, some Limestone Bedstraw. Massive areas of Squinancywort on the fell (gps recorded) also lots and lots of Flea Sedge on the bottom edges of the Fell (all recorded). Also today had my first H. Pulchrum (Slender St. Johns Wort)

Finding and recording lots of Common Spotted Orchids, but not just straight forward CSO but most of them are hybrids with Heath Spotted Orchids and Marsh Orchids.


















Immediately across from this area and all other areas within about 300 yards radius 
will only show the regular CSO which are regular with white to light pink
similar to this particular specimen. However lying approx 400 yards further on that the
area above I have found yet another small area which shows some strange orchids which
I am currently seeking advice on. Here below are photos from that particular area








Polystitchum Aculeatum (Hard Shield Fern) Click over to enlarge)

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Tuesday 12th June 2018 - Below Park Wood Side - Hutton Roof 1100hrs to 1400hrs "Checking out the Common Rock Rose and the beautiful Northern Brown Argus butterflies - rare "White" flowered Ragged Robin etc. and also Marsh Tits



Rare "White" flowers of the Ragged Robin - Hutton Roof today


Always great to visit this area and my main reason today was just to check out the "part sloping banking below Park Wood (Hutton Roof).  It's a area I found last year and the full bank was covered with a mixture of Common Rock Rose, Salad Burnet and Lesser Meadow Rue, and probably the best hi density of Common Rock Rose I had ever seen covering a area of at least 3/4 of a acre if not a little more.  But just has I had thought the ground had become very parched and most of the plants had been burnt out by natural causes!  however thankfully a remnant of the plants have survived although in very scanty measures indeed yet still enough for the butterflies to enjoy.  Whilst there I did manage to see three separate males of the Northern Brown Argus, of which two were fiercely fighting one another. I did just about manage to get a glimpse photo and it shows they are from the race Aricia artaxerxes sub-species salmacis - which confirms that the males would have the black discoidal spot on their forewings, which all 3 today did have these markings which are so difficult to see until you get your photos back home and on the computer and then you quickly recognize the black dash with slight white spots on the edges of the black. Also in these same territories had the Black Chimney Sweeper day flying moths.

Before concluding my visit, I needed to check out a population which lies just above the large stile (which comes from the Rakes side) so I quickly checked this area and sure enough the regular amount of Rock Rose here and also a couple of busy Northern Brown Argus did manage a underside photo (but with obstructions). But it does show you the nice White rings with their black dots in them together with the red submarginal bands. The Rock rose had survived better here but guess that some of this could well have been because the small pocket area is partly covered in with surrounding trees.

On my way up to NB Argus I found some Common Spotted Orchids with a group I first found a couple of years ago, so took a photo.  Also called off at a small water flush area were there was a good colony (20ft diameter) of Ragged Robin which was reasonably dense, but on careful inspection I managed to see that there was a plant with "White flowers" which I must say I have never seen before (photo above).  I also called on a nice watery area were I checked on the Marsh Lousewort, although most seemed to have gone over, but did find a nice plant, although sadly the top had been snapped off. (see photo). A nice early Self Heal, also a single Great Burnet plant, plus my first eyebrights of the year, Meadow Cranesbill.  A massive area of over 100ft diameter showing primula rosettes although now actually covered by bracken, but would be a cracking area probably for trying to re-introduce Duke of Burgundy Fritillary butterflies.

Birds: I had Garden Warblers, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, the rare Marsh Tits, Green Woodpecker etc.

Ragged Robin showing the "White ones as well" Click over to enlarge
Marsh Lousewort (Click over to enlarge)
Self Heal (Click over to enlarge)
Best I could manage for underside of NB Argus, but gives clear markings - Click over to enlarge

Northern Brown Argus butterflies (Click over to enlarge)
Great Burnet (Click over to enlarge)
Salad Burnet (Click over to enlarge)
A group of 9 Common Spotted Orchids (Click over to enlarge)
a beautiful Common Spotted Orchid today (Click over to enlarge)


I do know its a Male Fern but which? maybe a Scaley! (Click over to enlarge)

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Monday 11th June 2018 - Taking up and fixing 3 more cages to rare Orchids - Hutton Roof 0900hrs to 1100hours. "first of the year Meadow Brown butterfly" also first Self Heal flowers.


Specimen 17o


Took up a further 3 cages and besides giving upgrades to 15c,55 and 66, did manage to fix cages to speciments 17n,17o and 17t. Also I switched one about so I could cage in 3 large helleborines which seem to cop it every year with predation, so we will see if this helps.

Sadly I did notice that "variagated" or humbug does not seem to be doing well this year. Also Schmal specimen 74 has not come through this year. Escarp 8 the best of our Pallans is down (probable slug predation - not sure) and Helleborine Purpurea No.3 has not come through this year.

Lots of Small Heaths, my first MEADOW BROWN of the year and 2 Small Pearl Bordered, and lots of Speckled Wood in the shadier parts of the woodland on approach and descent.

First "Self Heal" flowers today

Our regular Common Redstart calling from the same place in the lower woodland. Also had a lovely Blackcap, a couple of Garden Warblers,a couple of Willow Warblers.

Also surprised a Roebuck which went off barking, so that's where I come in and did my impression of a deer barking and it really gets his goat! cos he starts running and barking intermittent which of course I copy.  I hope no one can see me! but I want him to think there is another Roebuck about to try and keep him away from that area, because he his getting closer and closer to our rare orchids! So far I have witnessed neither deer nor brown hare on the pavements and there has been no damage done so far as I can see, but I do feel that thats all about to change very soon. Especially after seeing Mr. Roebuck today!

Saturday 9th June 2018 - Farleton - Newbiggin Crags and Holme Park Fell - Hutton Roof Complex 0930hrs to 1400hrs - "Mountain Everlasting",  "Squinancywort", "Yellowhammers" and "Common Spotted Orchids" etc


Mountain Everlasting today on "Newbiggin Crags" Farleton Fell (Click over to enlarge)


Thanks to friend Barry D (from Fylde) I did manage to find the three populations of the rare Mountain Everlasting (Antennaria dioica) which involved over 230 plants.  This is one of the species I have been looking for ages and finally the day has come. I am also told by Barry that the species is also over on the other side of Hutton Roof. Its more of a Northern species and I think it is at its most southerly point around here.

Wow the Squinancywort is out everywhere, as usual it is clinging to the sides of the well trodden footpaths all the way up on Newbiggin and also I was pleased to see it all the way across the Holme Park Fell and again on Holme Stinted Pastures. It sometimes mingles in with our commoner Limestone Bedstraw, but once you get your eye in you should be able to tell the differences. Squinancywort is far shorter stems and holds closer to the ground, it is far whiter in some cases against the cream colour offered with Limestone bedstraw, but more usually the more mature petals of squinancywort are pink. For me its a beautiful little flower which you don't see the benefit unless close up in a photo like here.

Beautiful "Squinancywort" - Bedstraw family - as seen today along the sides of the footpaths on Newbiggin and Holme Park
Fell.  (Click over to enlarge)
I also recorded Spring Sandwort, in fact my very first for this side of Hutton Roof, plus there were lots of Dropwort starting to come into flower.  I did also manage to record a new site for the Odoratum (Angular Solomons Seal), a new site for Flea Sedge.  Also great to see the following orchids just starting to come into flower.

A lovely surprise to see this plus many others coming out.
Very fine on the leaf markings and more deeper coloured on the flowers than normal




Today's butterflies included: 31 Small Heaths, 7 Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries, 1 Painted Lady, 2 Wall Browns, 1 Dingy Skipper, 1 Cinnabar Moth.

Today's birds included: 1 Wheatear, 1 Tree Pipit, 1 Yellowhammer, Lots of Skylarks, Bullfinch, Meadow Pipits, Linnets

Others sightings: 1 Common Lizard, 1 dead and part left Slow-worm.

Thursday 7th June 2018 - Hutton Roof  with Mike W checking out area No.10 "Fly Orchid" populations and other nearby populations. Also checking out most of our special helleborines 0930hrs to 1430hrs


A beautiful spike of about 12" 

Enjoyed today checking out lots of Fly Orchids and then later crossing over and checking out lots of our main Epipactis.

Had a lovely Painted Lady and scores (60+) Small Heath, and at least four Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary butterflies. Also all the regular warblers were singing away. Had this lovely day flying moth back down in Lancelot. Also a Cinnabar moth earlier. 

Had these fossils from on the common were it was obvious the frost had loosened small areas which showed up the following shell fossils. (see photos)                 

A lovely variety of Fly Orchid found on the same spike (Click over to enlarge)
One of my garden views today

The other of my garden views today
Silver Y Moth
Schmalhauseneii specimen no.33 has grown already to about 12"

Fossils found on The Common today


Wednesday 6th June 2018 - Hutton Roof East - Checking out No 4 "Fly Orchid" population 1000hrs to 1400hrs (Nice Variety - also new population of "Asplenium Viride" etc


A very special Fly Orchid variety

On way I had Garden Warblers (several), Willow Warblers (several), Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Song Thrush, Tree Pipits (at least 3 over the period) Linnets and Common Whitethroats (five in total), also Cuckoo calling from somewhere over near Ploverlands, also Green Woodpecker from the Rakes area.  Also had some nice butterflies which included Small Heath (scores - at least 50), Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary (at least 5), Painted Lady (well worn), Wall Butterfly.

Noticed the heath grasses completely full of white slime (spit) absolutely everywhere. Plenty of Sanicle in all the usual shady areas now going over. All the Common Rock Rose populations are out and attracting plenty of pollinators, BUT NOT yet those little beauties "Northern Brown Argus" which cannot be far away now!  Fairy Flax showing and also had a small well eaten away Common Twayblade. Yarrow now starting to show on the heath. And the find of the day for me was a new population of Green Spleenwort (asplenium viride) which was well down a gryke by at least 2ft on the old area I used to call "Hybrid Hill".  But checking today there was very little evidence to show in the sense that atrorubens were present in any numbers, but still worth a check in another week or two.

Checking out the Hutton Roof East population (No.4) and did manage to find the regular 3 spikes plus a further two at a new but close by area.  I was lucky to be able to find a very special plant shown above which was of a extremely light green stem (pallid) which had the most unusual of flowers, with a very interesting border to the flowers of a brown/red colour.  I was well pleased with this find. Also today checking on two separate populations of our most beautiful Beech Ferns which are doing well. (see photo)

A new area found for the Green Spleenwort bringing our Common populations to four in total - first records for me
from the East of HR. 
Painted Lady - well worn but very flitty with no problem!
Another of the Fly Orchids today
Beech Fern populations doing well and as usual looking brilliante!
A rough walk back clambering over some of the difficult terrain finding this that and tuther!


Tuesday 5th June 2018 - Hutton Roof "Checking out No 6 "Fly Orchid" population 1000hrs to 1300hrs  (Small Heaths - Massive hatch, Marginatum scollie, Fly Orchids, Wall butterflies etc


Fly Orchid from No.6 site on Hutton Roof today (Click over to enlarge)
First call of port whilst ascending the lower crags had to be to check out the "Marginatum" scollie (Harts Tongue Fern variant) which is doing fine (see photo).

On way up through Dalton Crags had a small "Fox and Cub" flower population, also a Painted Lady butterfly, a Wall butterfly and over 100 Small Heaths.  What brilliant numbers there must have been a massive hatch today so it is really great news to be able to report this, because I know for a fact some of the old Lancashire strongholds are losing this species.  Also had Dingy Skipper this morning along with Cinnabar moth and 4 sightings of Small Pearl Bordered butterflies. Robert A from Kendal also reported having had Painted Lady and Walls and a Silver Y moth yesterday and also recently had Large Skipper etc.

Fly Orchid site No.6 had at least 17 spikes last year (2017), but this year takes on a reduction down to 14 spikes with 5 exposed and 9 in shelter under Gorse. So it just goes to show, that although we are doing OK with Fly Orchids this year, it does not confirm that all populations are showing bumper numbers! but the specimens are all belters!

Also had calling Garden Warblers, Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Tree Pipits, Linnets


Asplenium scolopendrium var Marginatum
EPO (Early Purple Orchid) hiding under a gorse bush - Still the odd one about!

Monday 4th June 2018 - Hutton Roof "Fixing several more cages on our rare orchids" 0900hrs to 1100hrs

Now caged 33 and 33c and 33f, also additional 55o, Chlorantha (or viridiflora) No.2, Escarp 7 Schmal duo, Escarp 10 Schmal duo and a new one Escarp 10B (schmal?) If you want to check out any of the young plants or the caging please check out the atrorubens diary pages by clicking here 

On way up had Common Redstart calling both outward and inward journeys, a odd Small Pearl Bordered and several Small Heath butterflies.

Sunday 3rd June 2018 - Hutton Roof "Surveying Fly Orchids" 1100hrs to 1400hrs


One of todays Fly Orchids

A far better day today and a cracking result.  I surveyed the other 50%  part of the area I couldn't manage to fit in yesterday.  We did a rough count of this area a few days ago and managed to scantily record 37 spikes, well today I took it on proper and that number climbed to a colossal 84 spikes (see photos). Also found a new colony of the rare Birds Foot Sedge (carex ornithopodia) and this had 28 clumps, all recorded on gps etc. Good birds as well today with very chatty Blackcaps and Garden Warblers, Tree Pipit, Common Redstart and lots of Willow Warblers, noticed some of the Willow Warblers are already going into their contact "hou-whit" calls, with some of them slowing down on their full song! Bullfinch piping away, Green Woodpecker yaffling, Linnets heard.  Swamped out with scores of Small Heaths and one Small Pearl Bordered Butterfly. Fantastic fragrance coming from the Hawthorn trees, wish I could bottle it!

some of todays Birds Foot Sedge (cared ornithopodia)
Look at the sedge flower and it can resemble a birds claw



Saturday 2nd June 2018 - Hutton Roof  "Surveying Fly Orchids" 0900hrs to 1500hrs and after 1330hrs checking out some of our rare orchids with Dr. Richard Bate and his friend


Common Milkwort - the rare "White plus" variety (Click over to enlarge)

The weather was awful, and one of those days you knew you were going to get soaked through with low misty cloud all throughout. Also had to have the umbrella up which did help a lot to sort out the fine drizzly stuff.

Started surveying for Fly Orchids on one area of Hutton Roof and straightaway found odd small populations, then found a beautiful "white" versions of Common Milkwort (see photo above) Also today was my first showing of Wild Thyme (see photo)

My survey brought even more orchids in to the records with a 50% of the set out area covered increasing the tally on this side to 53 spikes.  Some of these are fabulous patterns on them.

Wild Thyme today
A wet Fly Orchid 

Fly Orchid on 2nd June 2018


Friday 1st June 2018 - Lancelot Clark Storth 1200hrs to 1600hrs


"Flea Sedge

Needed to survey this area for the long lost "Fly Orchids".  I must have done it before a hundred times, but just thought with this year being a really good year that maybe!

It turned out OK because I wanted to try and get a photo of the underwing of the Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary butterfly which I did manage to do, although every photo looks very bright.  But I do need this photo to compile a recognition page of distinguishing marks etc between the rare Pearl Bordered and the far more common Small Pearl Bordered.  There are Small Pearl Bordered all over the place at the moment.  I really love this beautifully marked creature it is so special.  I will put a photo on here later today.

Also managed to record a new spot for the "Flea Sedge" just a clump of 6" diameter and nothing at all elsewhere!

All afternoon I could hear distant rumbles of thunder and eventually it caught up with me with light spotting and the occasional unexpected shower but overhall it was still good.

Peacocks and Large White and Small Heaths plus several of the jewel in the crown Small Pearl Bordereds. Just hovering almost straight in front of my eyes was a "gingerish" large hover fly, close enough to hear there "humming/buzzing" sound, so I whisper to him that I am not here to hurt him and carry on to say "and I hope your not here to hurt me!

Garden and Willow Warblers are in full song, which always bring everything else to life as well. Bullfinch quietly do their "peeu" calls not far away.

Bloody Cranesbill starting to show also the fast spreading Yellow Rattle seems to be taking over, lots of Spring Sandwort, the Limestone Bedstraw really looking a treat, Lesser Meadow Rue, Parsley Piert and my very first sighting on Lancelot of the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Of a more worrying nature for me was to see the Common Rock Rose drying out fast and in places withering away, before the actual Northern Brown Argus appears, lets hope it shows up later!

Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary


Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary - underside

Scarlet Pimpernel - a first for me on Lancelot




Common Milkwort (bluebell blue)




Lesser Meadow Rue