Monday 25th June 2012.
0600hrs: It was nice to hear Chiffchaff "Mo" calling from somewhere around Hordley House Gardens.
0900hrs: Craggy is singing at Dalton. And I have been getting the odd "Curlew" calls coming over, whilst on Hutton Roof, they are probably birds returning from their breeding grounds to the Coast.
Well its been a fornight now since I last heard any of the "Cuckoos" on Hutton Roof. I have it booked down in my diaries and the last calls I heared where on 10th June. So I think it might be safe to say that those birds are well gone and probably left our shores by now. In fact I suppose thats a good late date anyway, because the majority of "Cuckoos" have done their business and left our shores before the beginning of June. Another week or two and it might be worth looking around for young Cuckoos being cared for by their foster parents the Tree Pipits.
Spent lots of time this morning surveying "little known about to me" crags and fragmented pavements on Hutton Roof complex. I singled out one pavement in particular today, and did managed to find 75 Dark Red Helliborines (obviously only 75% in growth - not yet flowering), along with other nice finds like 5 separate colonies of "Limestone Polypody Fern" 4 separate colonies of the beautiful "Hard Shield Fern", along with new finds of Hairy Rockcress etc.
It got late and impossible for me to complete the work today, there is still so much area to cover, so I have also decided to come here again tomorrow and try and get a even more comprehensive survey count of the adjoining areas.
0600hrs: Two Chiffs calling this morning - Vicar and Woody.
0900hrs: Dalton and Craggy was calling from East of the Plain Quarry Car Park. On my return at about 1300hrs he was calling again, but with a far more fragmented call which went something like: "ti-chu-ti" and then chu-chiff, then back to "ti-chu-ti". Most of the Chiffchaffs at this time (after their initial breeding and midway through their brooding) develop this sort of "miss" syllabic part call, and weaker calls in general, Its quite obvious their need to protect their territory is perhaps not just as important and very probably unlikely that there would be any competitive intrusions. Not really thought about it until now but can't say I have ever heard a young "Chiffchaff" calling on its first outgoing birthyear..... (interesting!)
Continued up and up to the Pavement area close to where I was yesterday. Found some nice Black Spleenwort Fern. Also on the fragmented craggy pavement area found more and more Helliborines in fact another 95 bring now the total with yesterdays count to a whopping 178, just in this area alone.
It got better and even better, by also finding a new area with just a single flower of the "Fly Orchid", though past its best, but still holding a good flower. And a little further on and found 6 clumps of the rarest "Birds Foot Sedge" (Carex Ornithopoda), another record for the area.
Now then where was that most "beautiful of hidden secret limestone pavement" I found it last year by accident, it is hidden amongst a multitude of trees which you entered in full darkness, of the shadowing, mossy covered crags surrounding it. I have found it again, in fact its a continuation of the place where I have been working over the past couple of mornings. And what a wonder it is, Its got to be one of the very best natural sculptured pavements around here. Its so beautiful and I guess because of where it is could well be missed and probably is hardly visited!. Again I ran out of time and would have to return over the next few days to complete my surveying. Did also find more Polypody, and a absolute superb place for large and small specimens of the "Hard Shield Ferns".
Wednesday 27th June 2012. 0600hrs: Had Chiffs: Archie, Mo and Lee singing this morning. By 0900hrs terrential rain.