Saturday, 12 May 2012

Hairy Rockcress and recent Catch-ups.

Wednesday 9th May 2012 (0545hrs-0700hrs) Chiffs Lee, Storm and Claw singing away this morning.

Found yet another two dead bumblebees which where not road casualties.

0900hrs -1100hrs Plain Quarry to Dalton East Side and return to West side near to Nineteen Trees and return.

Early Purple Orchids found at the top of the old Plain Quarry. Also first clump of Tormentil. Blackcaps singing away along with "Chiff Craggy" which today is on the East side and singing very much like "Miss A Note". Barren Strawberry seems to be everywhere.

Another Sloworm, this time on the East side not long after going over the stile at the Car Park - Only about 12" long very sandy colour, pure dorment and getting the sun. Not for moving off. I just couldnt help thinking of how if situation was like this but in India, the serpant eagles would have it straight away.

Another couple of beautiful Garden Warblers in full songs within Dalton Crags and yet another couple of Blackcaps. A Peacock butterfly.

Thursday 10th May 2012. Heavy rain continually throughout the day.

Friday 11th May 2012. Reliably told earlier that day that two Wheatears were present in Dalton Upper, made my mind up to go and check them out late which I did.

(1400hrs-1600hrs) Plain to Common boundary and return. Very quiet on the bird scene at this time of the day with very little singing, perhaps throughout only the odd couple of Willow Warblers.
By 1430 found the two Wheatear which I am sure would have been from the Greenland race (leuchorrhoa), but what was so clear to me on these two birds, was that they did not have the overhall brownish colour you tend to associate with the female, but more of a "olive greenish type" of plumage to their backs and primaries, but certainly not the usual slate grey colour of the regular males you tend to see.

Noticed just looking over the boundary wall to the SSE (Crag House side) that there were several large clusters of "Early Purple Orchids" which I will try and make time in the next few days to go and do a full count of them.

Saturday 12th May 2012. Plain Quarry to Trig and return.
First job was to check out the rare "Hairy Rockcress" (see photo above) which I found last year in Dalton Crags. There were two separate colonies last year, but this is now down to one and it contained approx 23 separate flowers. Brilliant but always vunerable as it is straight in the middle of the footpath. Garden Warblers, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers singing away, including both Chiffchaffs Craig and Craggy. Even the little Dunnocks sounded off so special this morning with the most beautiful serenading songs. Another Bullfinch party "piping" away in Dalton lower crags.
The Tree Pipits in upper Dalton where singing and displaying and both "line of trees" and "most upper".
I did also find another couple of Wheatears, they could well have been the ones from yesterday, but if so, one of them had well separated its territory from the other, one very dusky bird being seen quite low down in Dalton upper at the "line of trees", whilst the other was at the far top end right hand corner, similar to where they were seen yesterday.

Cuckoo was again calling today in the usual places, and I watched it flying across upper Dalton, and clearly seen calling "Cuckoo" whilst also in mid flight.