Wednesday 20th June 2012. 0900hrs-1330hrs
It was a beautiful warm sunny day, and straight away on my way to the Plain Quarry, two Roe deer ran across the road at Nineteen Trees, perhaps some 50 yards in front of the car.
Today was a preparation walk, through Dalton up to the Trig and then down through Lancelot, Burton, Lancelot, and back up to Storth and into Dalton. Just to prepare for tomorrows guided walk.
If only the weather tomorrow can be like it is today, then we've cracked it!!
Just after leaving Plain Quarry and going through Dalton, I had Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, and a couple of Green Woodpeckers, Speckled Wood Butterflies, and was to see ten Small Heath Butterflies throughout my walk. Wild Strawberries are everywhere and fully ripe and tempting!
Especially whilst going up through Dalton deforested, I got several sudden shocks!!
and it turned out to be "bluebottles" on a freshly laid "cowpat"..... (My notes read as follows:-
"As you approach and walk past the fresh "cowpat", there is such a din, a immediate sudden thunderous large drone which seems instant. The bluebottles have been busy or where busy until I disturbed them. "The sound was like a instant gush of wind with echo", here and gone within that split second. Reminding me of a synchronized action like "swarms of fish on the turn", or Starlings at their murmurations.
"Sky" the lark is calling from above and at his best, and he's mimicking the missing Tree Pipits! which are here and quiet, too busy feeding their Cuckoo chicks!
Passing yet many more "pats" and its the same sudden "noise" like the virgin passing train passing through Carnforth Station, but not the steel, just the "hum" not unlike the first rev from that motorbike. It all starts and stops with instant and equal halt!
No winds to spoil, that sound today"
Also it was good to see Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries flying here and there, and I recorded several during my walk. Germander Speedwells and Common and Heath Milkworts here and there. Another Roe deer, and a possible Redstart.
Soon reached the BAP seat and went below to the large pavement complex. Found and recorded more Dark Red Helliborines and marked these off in my book, hopefully to show the members tomorrow, some of them were fairly advanced with just a fortnight before bloom, also there where areas with Angular Solomons Seal and Lily Of The Valley, but both these are now past their best. Records made of the Limestone Polypody and the Hard Shield Ferns. Went past "The Old Mans Face" and then the "Spring", down to the "super douper area", with lots of stuff to check out here.
All of a sudden I head this "Bryan" shouted but could not see anyone, but thought I know the voice, a little further and into view was Wal (the CWT Warden) doing his butterfly transect. We had a chat and he told me he had just had, what I presume to be the first hatches of the "Northern Brown Argus". This year looks really good for the "Common Rock Rose" the favourite food plant for the NBA.
Onward through Pickles Wood, where "Miss A Note", was singing but by now only a sample offering compared to her past "jingles". Yet another singing Chiff "Storm" was calling whilst I went through Storth Woods. Also the beautiful "Scarlet Pimpernel" was now in flower. Not long now and I was back up to Dalton and Plain Quarry.
With reasonable slowish walking and checking out pavements etc it took around the 4 1/2hours mark. So I wonder if this would be OK for tomorrows guest.... Some of my pavement photos above.