Friday, 30 July 2010

Yealand Hall Allotment - Yealand Storrs - July 30th 2010

Today was a follow on from the 28th... I disturbed a Roe at the "northern end". But long before this I was checking out a limestone outcrop area which almost resembled a quarry edge, and here I had found some fungi (photo here but still to identify). But when I climbed the outcrop edge which was about 2 metres high, it lead upon a rugged limestone pavement, and immediately you where close to some fabulous examples of the Parasol Mushroom (see photos) and here they where about 12" high, with 1 1/4" stems and a mushroom head of say 5" diameter. Quite large, and very fresh, possibly they had only come up in the last few days.

Close to here there was White Stonecrop, Heather, Upright Hedge Parsley and also there where a succulent green leaved Wall Rue.(see photo below).. I guess also its good here for "Deer Ticks" because soon after arriving home I found to my horror three of the little blighters.

Further on and keeping strictly to the footpath it turned to my left and again here I picked up some fabulous specimens of Parasol Mushrooms, there where two which where about 10" in diameter (see phots) and again only a day or two old.

The photos are: top left: Looking out from Yealand Hall Allottment towards Leighton Moss. top right: some unidentified fungi. Middle left: Unidentified succulent flower or liverwort. Middle right: Parasol Mushroom with hooded 5" diameter hooded cap 12" high. 3rd Row left: Parasol with hooded cap in situ near Yew tree. 3rd row middle: Another example of Parasol Mushroom, but this time with flat head of about 10" wide and showing £1 coin in comparison. 3rd row right: Another example in full of the Parasol Mushroom with flat head 10" wide. and finally the bottom photo: is of lichen or mosses. (Please click over photo once to enlarge, and then click over again for full enlargement).

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Grasmere - Alcock Tarn - Grasmere - July 29th 2010

Had a good start with lunch sat on the seat by the side of the "Wordsworth graves", under the canopy of the Yew, planted many years ago by the bard himself.

Then on past "Dove Cottage" eventually heading left and up into "Brackenfell". But before this and shortly after passing Dove Cottage maybe several hundred yards, we passed a large flat boulder stone on the left which was there at the side of this old "coffin route" and the stone was to be the plinth for the coffin when its carriers would take rest whilst bringing it from Ambleside to St. Oswalds Church in Grasmere.

Soon after entering "Brackenfell" we stopped at the old watering hole where packhorses would have stopped many years ago. It was clear to see why the area was named "Brackenfell". At various points here I found some Marsh Woundwort, and also Stonecrops of the Old English and the lovely White varieties.
After a very strenuous ascending walk and passing by Grey Crag (a lovely viewpoint) we where soon at Alcock's Tarn, a lovely little Tarn which had been damned off at its southern point during the late 1800s, to make it larger... It is said that it was owned by a Mr. Alcock whom lived in Grasmere, and he was a keen fisherman and had the Tarn adapted for his pleasures.

To the northend of the Tarn was a lovely marshy boggy area which had lots of Bog Asphodel, although most were almost spent and turning orange. Also here there was Broad Leaved Pondweed.

We now made our descent via Greenhead Gill and came out close to the pub, "The Swan" - now a modernised oldy worldy and owned by McDonalds, but this pub was once William Wordsworth's local, ("Who does not know the famous Swan" - from "The Waggoner")...

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Yealand Hall Allotment - Yealand Storrs - July 28th 2010

Entering Yealand Hall Allotment from the entry at Yealand Storrs, after some 150 yards I took the first pathway/clearing to my right, which had recently undergone some maintainance clearing especially to help the High Brown Fritillary.

After going some 100 yards or so there seemed to be lots of High Brown Fritillaries, with some of the females well worn, they would be seen regularly on various bracken patches and also on the Common Knapweed. Also seen feeding on the Dog Rose was a well worn Ringlet, also local where Comma, Meadow Brown's, Large White's and Green Veined White's where also present.

There were lots of the commoner flora to add to the list including: Ladys Bedstraw, Hogweed, Agrimony, Ragwort, Red Clover, Harebell, Birds Foot Trefoil, Carline Thistle, Wild Thyme, Eyebright, St. Johns Wort (two varieties), Tormentil, Herb Robert, Rock Rose, Wood Sage, Fairy Flax, and a couple I still need to check out their identification.

Probably the highlight for me was when I came across several specimens of "Ploughman's Spikenard (Inula conyzae)which where almost a metre high and in most cases where seen near to small limestone outcrops with ledges.(See photo).

A Green Woodpecker was seen flying just in front and making loud yaffling calls. Also a Raven was honking whilst going overhead, several Bullfinch.

Also a Green Shieldbug Nymph was on one of the leaves of St. John's Wort.

Ferns: Harts Tongue (Asplenium scolopendrium) and Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplehium trichamanes).
Photos: top left: Ploughman's Spikenard (Injula conyzae), top right: Common Green Grasshopper, middle left: Green Shield Bug (nymph). Bottom: Flowerhead of Ploughman's Spikenard - Please click over the photo once to enlarge and then click over again to obtain full enlargement.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Plain Quarry, Dalton - 23rd July 2010.

The sun was shining and I thought I would have a look over Dalton Crags, but never landed, I was that busy checking out the car park verges and the old quarry picnic areas together with the quarry limestone pavement. Most of the flora I had recorded previously and I have listed below, but probably the more notable today was still seeing remnants of the Fairy Foxglove (in the shade) at the bottom of the pavement. Also another species I had not seen here before was the Maiden Pink, of which there where probably a couple of dozen flowers coming off one single plant..

Other flora: Common Knapweed, Ladys Bedstraw, Ragwort, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Lesser Trefoil, Red and White Clovers, Hedge Woundwort, Cowslip (spent), Ox Eye Daisy, Rosebay Willowherb, Great Willowherb, Hedge Bindweed, Meadowsweet, Wild Thyme, Tufted Vetch, Wild Raspberry, Agrimony, St John's Wort, Eyebright, Harebells (both blue and a group of white specimens), Wood Sage, Carline Thistle.

Butterflies: Lots of Meadow Browns, Common Blue (male), Lots of Large Skippers, Lots of Cinnabar larvae on Ragwort.

Photos to follow

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Trowbarrow Old Lime Works Incline - July 21st 2010

Met up with my old mate Charlie (Payne) and decided at first to have a quick look over to Sandside, where earlier in the week I had found four specimens of the rare "Sand Leek" which where on the small rough pasture area straight across the road from the Shoreline Business Park. Sadly when we got there the flower was on its way out, yet still managed a photo (see photo).
Then on to the area accessed from Moss Lane, which leads from the Old Lime Works and up the incline which would eventually lead to Trowbarrow Quarry. Here we took the small pathway which goes up to the left of the old Lime Works. After a short distance we had five Broad Leaved Helliborines, but still a week or so from flower. But further up the pathway we went maybe some 100 yards further on and to the right, there was literally hundreds of spent Common Twayblade. I have never seen so many together, they seemed to be everywhere, but not just that, these must have been superb specimens, with some growing to almost one metre high with massive basal leaves.

Retreating back down the pathway and rejoining the main path, we turned left and headed up the incline, before long we found more Helliborines.

Part way up and just after some boulder rocks on the right hand side, there was two superb small open pasture areas which we felt would be ideally suited to butterflies, and we where soon proved not to be disappointed, we checked out the small area to the left, and there was lots of butterfly friends plants, but also we couldnt help but admire the "Tutsan" plants. The area on the right "was just right" when we got there with the sun breaking through, and lots of Meadow Browns all over, but to our suprise and delight we had a "White-Letter Hairstreak feeding on Thistle.. Also got some nice views of both Comma and Fritillary which seemed to be constantly "tussling" with one another (the Fritillary the aggressor).

(Thanks to Charles Payne for this great photo of our White-Letter Hairstreak at Trowbarrow today)

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Dock Acres - Borwick - Priest Hutton - Burton - 17th July 2010

The morning was similar to yesterday, dark clouds everywhere and now and again the odd heavy shower, but by noon, it started to change and blue skies and sunshine started to show, with just odd dark clouds every now and again. So I managed from 1300 - 1600hrs without getting wet! Had a quick look around Dock Acres and then had the walk across to Borwick, Priest Hutton, and through the Dallam Estate and back to Burton.

It has been very windy all day, but even so there was lots of Ringlets feeding on Dog Rose at Dockacres, and also lots of Green Veined Whites around. Added to my Dockacres flora list: Broadleaved Willowherb, Rosebay Willowherb, Tufted Vetch, Fox and Cubs, Musk Mallow and Ribbed Melilot.

By Coat Green Farm, had two separate superb conditioned "Small Tortoishell Butterflies" and the odd Green Veined. Always get good butterflies here, occasionally see Comma's. But great to see that Small Tortoishells are steadily improving again after the disastrous last couple of years..

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Park Wood at Hutton Roof - July 15th 2010.

I had only been walking for 10 minutes and the heavens opened, but did manage to shelter some 75% under mature woodland. I decided on this area with the main purpose to try and locate the Dark Red Helliborine Orchid.

Had the following flora species: Enchanted Nightshade, Hedge Woundwort, Betony, Meadowsweet, Eyebright, Self Heal, Creeping Buttercup, Changing Forget Me Not, Red Campion, White Clover, Herb Robert, you could still smell the long gone spent "Ramsons" with their familiar garlic smell! also leading up to the woodland there was Groundsel and Scentless Mayweed.

On leaving the woodland and heading towards the scree slopes of Hutton Roof, I also had Harebell, Wild Thyme, Ladys Bedstraw, Lesser Meadow Rue, and several Small Scabious, and for me the star attraction had to be the Dark Red Helliborine of which there was four within a four metre diameter, but then I found another flower some 20 yards away in a north west direction.

Also whilst here it was lovely to hear the crystal clear beautiful call of the Yellowhammer, which was coming from three separate birds in close proximity over about 100 yards, I did presume this could be a family party. There was also Redpoll calling.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Hale West, White Moss and Dockacres North - July 14th 2010

(Photo: Hawthorn Shield Bug on Hemp Agrimony at White Moss today-click over to enlarge)

First call was to Hale West (0930-1000hrs). Although it did forecast rain, it managed to hold off until afternoon. I had a quick look on Hale (west of the A6). The approach margins where really overgrown since last time I visited. There where plenty of nice specimens of Common Spotted Orchids and also St. John's Wort was present along with Agrimony, Betony, Ragwort, Yellow Rattle, Meadowsweet, Self Heal, various Thistles, spent Cowslips, Ox Eye Daisy.

Scores of Meadow Brown Butterflies, along with some Small Skippers.

I cut short my visit rather abruptly when I noticed some young bullock cattle in the not far vicinity and as a rule they can be very intimidating, by charging up to you, only to be inquisitive, yet still can be scary....

The next call was to White Moss (1000hrs-1100hrs). Another site now well grown on its margins with Creeping Buttercup, lots of Hedge Woundwort, Meadowsweet, Slender Thistle, Tufted Vetch, Enchanters Nightshade and lots of Hemp Agrimony bordering the dyke etc.

Had a Hawthorn Shield Bug (photo) feeding on the Hemp Agrimony.

Next stop was down to Dockacres (north) 1100-1200hrs
Again nice to marvel the masses of Orchids, besides these there was Lesser Trefoil, Eyebright, Mouse-Eared Hawkweed, Scarlet Pimpernel, Redshank, Sun Spurge, Dotted Loosestrife, Common Field Speedwell.

There was also calling Bullfinch, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff.

(Hemp Agrimony at White Moss today - click over to enlarge)

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Lords Lot Woodland nr Capernwray - 13th July 2010

I heard several Redpoll calling and flying above the Woods. Its a very regular thing here and I am sure they must have bred here. Also calling was Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs plus Blackcaps. There was plenty of Meadow Brown Butterflies, and also Large Skippers and Green Veined Whites.

Flowers included: Hedge Woundworth (everywhere on the rides), large coppiced areas within Lords Lot had incredible amounts of Foxglove which made a fantastic sight.

Located four large cast iron covers in the middle of Lords Lot Wood, which where inspection manholes for the four large 5ft diameter pipes, belonging to the Manchester Corporation Water Works (well thats what they used to be called - many moons ago!) and which carry drinking water from further up in the Lakes at Thirlemere Water, going via here (Lords Lot), Trough of Bowland, Rossendale and finally to destinations within the Manchester areas.. I was specially interested, because I actually worked on the 3rd pipeline (from Newton in the Trough, Great Harwood Golf Club to Martholme Grange (which is near Clayton-le-Moors, Accrington). It must have been about 1967....

Photos: top left: Enchanted Nightshade. top right: Self Heal. bottom left: Manchester Waterworks Manholes bottom right: Honeysuckle. (click over phots to enlarge and then click again for full size).

Monday, 12 July 2010

Marsh Helliborine Orchids & Common Blue Butterfly - 12th July 2010

Earlier today (0930hrs-1130hrs) I went along to Trowbarrow Quarry. I had the following Flora species: Eyebright, St. John's Wort (perforated), Common Twayblade (spent), Lots of Common Spotted Orchid (50 plus), Self Heal - throughout, Wild Strawberry, Ragwort, Cinequil, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Wild Thyme, Carline Thistle, Crosswort, Ladys Mantle, Rosebay Willowherb, and Agrimony.

Butterflies & Moths: Meadow Brown & Cinnabar Moth
Birds: Chiffchaff, Jackdaws..

Met a party of ladys from the Arnside Naturalist Society (W.I. Section), who where having a morning out and were very interested in Orchids and all other areas of Natural History, but today it was a "Geology" day.

Having changed venue for later in the day (1430hrs - 1630hrs), I went out taking photos of "Marsh Helliborine Orchids" and counted a grand total of 626 flowerheads. I took some photos, because they are at about there best now. Also found a Bee Orchid (just a single specimen), and Common Blue Butterfly (photo), plus Skippers, Meadow Browns etc....

Friday, 9 July 2010

Holme Park Quarry Reserve, Clawthorpe Fell & Hutton Roof.

Had a look round Holme Park Quarry Reserve at Clawthorpe. Very noisy Ravens could be heard overhead. Also Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.

High Brown Fratillary (1), lots of Meadow Browns, and odd Speckled Woods and Small Heath Butterflies.

Ragworth is starting to come through and most plants today had lots of Cinnabar caterpillars on them. Found a individual plant of Biting Stonecrop. Also Carline Thistle starting to come through.

On to Clawthorpe Fell, here there were lots of Grayling Butterflies (must have seen at least 20), lots of Meadow Browns.

also St. John's Wort (its either perforate or inperforate - not sure!).

Finished off with a short walk on Hutton Roof, where a Dark Green Fritillary allowed me to photograph it (see photos above).

Thursday, 8 July 2010

More Orchids in and around the Carnforth Area - 8th July 2010.

Photos: top) Pyramidal Orchid 2nd) Southern Marsh Orchid, 3rd) Hundreds of Common Spotted Orchids, 4th) White Common Spotted Orchid bottom) Bee Orchid. PLEASE CLICK OVER PHOTO ONCE TO ENLARGE AND THEN CLICK OVER AGAIN FOR EVEN LARGER.