Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Some of my Pen and Ink drawings from the 1980's

Pen and Ink drawing of Cartmel I did from the 80s -
If you would like to check out my other pen and ink drawings from the 80s, just go further down this blog. 

Monday 5th August 2013
(Example of a Broad leaved Helliborine and Dark Red Helliborine - "Literally Burnt Out" before reaching maturity)

Below is a photograph I took last week of a Broad Leaved Helliborine, alongside a Dark Red Helliborine which have both been literally "Burnt Out" before reaching maturity.  This was a result of over exposure to sunlight which happened about three weeks ago on Pavement 9 "Hybrid Hill.  It is the only example I have experienced of this situation this year whilst surveying, although there were lots of examples of "early maturing" and going over very quickly this year, compared to past years.

A example of being burnt out before reaching maturity - result of recent "heatwave" conditions (please click over photo to enlarge)

Saturday 3rd August 2013
0900hrs to 1230hrs (Checking out "Purpurea" and Hypericum"

It was time I checked out the lovely "Purpurea" which I had last year on Pavement 4.  And the full colony this year there is 14 Helliborine plants of which to press 13 have survived, some of these will turn out "purpurea" but probably not all.  One has already had its spike removed by Roe Deer.  Some of the specimens are canopied by a tree and remain in the shade.  The really nice one which I photographed last year has only just straightened up and none of its buds are open yet.  It will probably be about two to three weeks before this plant will be fully mature.  On checking my records, it was actually August 23rd last year.  However there are two plants just to the back (approx 2 metre to the back of the main purpurea) which are now starting to show some colour (see photo below) and these should be nice specimens by next weekend (10th August). I will be checking them out hopefully on Tuesday.

Also checked out the "gone over" Hypericum Perforatum Montanum" which thankfully this year have survived along with their flowerheads so hopefully there will be a chance of some seed dispersal this year.
"Purpurea well on its way" 3rd August 2013
Thursday 1st August 2013
0900hrs to 1200hrs (Surveying Epipactis and Carex Ornithopoda)

I needed to get some sort of confirmations to the possible Broad Leaved Variants, so today I checked out all the areas which we thought were possibly going to support the rare green variant (known as "viriiflora" and also the one area which is supporting the deep red variant "purpurea" (see photo below).  Sadly all the expected viriiflora's turned out to be standard helliborines with a more green influence..  Even the confirmed and established (from last year) viriiflora was not showing either, because it had already been poached by the roe deer which had bitten the spike off.

So the only thing was left to check out the new deep red (not the purples which we will check out later) variant "purpurea" which is showing well on Pavement 10 (viewpoint pavement).  Two photos are shown below of this rare variant.

Also found another twelve clumps of the rare Birds Foot Sedge (carex ornithopoda) on Pavement 9 (Hybrid Hill). 

On the way back down stopped off along the footpath to take photos of the many Dark Green Fritillaries which were present on a large knapweed plant.  As many as six at a time were literally only one foot away and did not mind my presence in the least and allowed me to get some really good close ups.

Also forgot to mention the other day whilst up on pavement 5 I found lots of the main primary feathers and also party of the wing of what had been a juvenile green woodpecker.  Can only presume it had fallen victim of the Peregrine Falcon.

(0845hrs-0945hrs) - Swifts In The Community Project (Burton In Kendal represented by: Reg Hesketh, Jayne Phillips and myself)

We did manage to count at least 30 birds flying high above the Memorial Hall and there could well have been more in other parts of Burton which we where not aware of.

We did yet again establish a further nesting site, alongside the one mentioned last week on the low cottage buildings which adjoin the Post Office in Main Street. Four parent birds where seen to enter the sites within seconds of one another to the nest sites which where only some five feet away from one another.

We don't expect there to be many birds around by this time next week. But who knows for sure, because this year the birds were actually late in arriving by some ten days, so it could well be that this time needs to be made up or because of the superb "swift feeding weather" we have had, would this mean that they have already made up the delayed time.  We will take each day by its merits and if possible try and count the quantity of birds along with the possible exit date if this information can be gathered. Reg is currently summarizing the nesting site observations ready to had over to Peter who is the Area Organiser of the "Swifts In the Community Project.  I obviously will report back on this blog as soon as I have further information on the current status.
A "Purpurea" variant of the Broad Leaved Helliborine. Pavement 10 on Hutton Roof

Another photo of the rare "purpurea" variant of the Broad Leaved Helliborine
Showing on The Common, Hutton Roof.

Tuesday 30th July 2013
0930hrs to 1600hrs (Surveying orchids with Alan Gendle)

We checked out Pavement 12 (Mossy Stones), then straight on to Pavement 9 (Hybrid Hill), Here we did find it very difficult with the Dark Red Helliborines having more or less all gone over, but we did find some suspect hybrids which we have now noted hopefully ready for next year.

We found even more of the Broad leaved Helliborines. It is now becoming clear that there could well be several of the rare green variant "viridiflora" on the Hutton Roof pavements.  I did find one last year which seems to be doing well, but we also found another couple today and also there is possibility of more when the flowers open and can be checked more thoroughly.

Also another rare coloured variant of the purply/bluish are coming through on a couple of the plants we saw today and obviously have been noted to be checked out again in the next seven days.  There are plenty of the standard colourizations as well. 

We checked out Pavement 11 (Bracken Bed), and straightaway I noticed that the Rock Rose was hardly present with just a small amount.  This seems to be the situation throughout this year with this species everywhere I look with hardly any showing anywhere.  I wonder how the rare "Northern Brown Argus" butterfly which depends on this species is going to go on.  

Afterwards we moved over to fragmented pavements above the escarpment which links the main cairns with Burton Fell and we found lots and lots of Dark Red Helliborines and Broad Leaved but sadly the Dark Reds had gone well over. 

On leaving the escarpment to come back to Clawthorpe we passed a large "Burdock" flower and this was filled with at least ten plus Dark Green Fritillaries and also one or more Meadow Browns.

Monday 29th July 2013 (1500hrs - 1830hrs Surveying Pavement 6 at top of Lancelot Clark Storth)

Enchanters Nightshade now showing in tree cutting, I think this maybe the upland species because of the different colouration and markings of the leaf.  Also checked out six Broad leaved Helliborine's now showing very well. All the Dark Reds have now gone over. Still got to be one of the best pavements for the Hard Shield Ferns with specimens reaching almost 3ft in length.

Sunday 28th July 2013 - Entering the final days of this years Swifts........
Survey result for Swifts In The Community last night 28th July 2013. Click over to enlarge and get a far better resolution.
2115hrs - 2215hrs "Swifts In the Community Project" (Burton: Reg Hesketh, Jane Phillips and myself)
We've never been disappointed with our surveying over the past few weeks and seem to always be surprised by the numbers of nesting sites, and last night we were again very fortunate to find yet a further two nesting sites on the Manor House. We were helped with this by the owner Mrs. Ellis who pointed out a site which we where all unaware of.   Reg had found another site earlier in the week which is on the small cottages which adjoin the Post Office on Main Street.  Pipistrelle Bats were also noted close to the Manor House.  It was difficult to count the flying Swifts and although we recorded 38 last week, this week we perhaps only managed to count at best 25 so obviously we were missing some of them.  Its more than probable that the remaining chicks will all be leaving their nest over the coming few days and so we do expect some large numbers by the time of our next survey on Thursday next.

The survey now credits a total of 17 sites eg: (7 on the Manor, 7 on the Royal, 2 in Cocking Yard and 1 in the Cottages adjoining the Post Office. Just to think if each site did average at least 3 successful birds we could have as many as 50 birds in our skies by the end of next week.... (Wow!)

Over the years both here and down in East Lancs, with regular monitoring of Swifts, it has always been that the majority have usually left our towns or villages on or around the 4th of August, but I noticed last year in Burton my records show a group of 15 in the skies and last seen on the 5th August with a further single bird noted as late as the 18th August (probably a single passing through bird).  So it will be of great interest to note if possible this year's exit and just as important to try and establish just how many birds represent our village. 

Friday 26th July 2013
(0900hrs to 1200hrs - Surveying Pavement 12 - Mossy Stones and its wider area.

On way up I found a single Common Twayblade right at the side of the footpath, wonder why we have not seen this before!  
Soon reached Mossy Stones from the Clawthorpe Road, checked out more details on the Polypody fern and also found a Lady Fern down in the grykes.  Searched the extended sections and found 3 Broad Leaved Helliborine, 37 Dark Red Helliborines, and 4 suspect hybrids (still being investigated).

It was also so fruitful for I found another two small areas which has Birds Foot Sedge (Carex Ornithopoda) one had 22 clumps and the other has 15 clumps making a grand total of a minimum of 37 clumps.

Also recorded some Angular Solomons Seal, Common Rock Rose, Lily Of The Valley, Flea Sedge, Mountain Melick, Slender Hypericum. Also plenty of Dark Green Fritillaries, Ringlets, Meadow Browns etc. Two Willow Warblers again with the light "contact calls", the dull sounding Bullfinch and nearby Redpoll.  

Thursday 25th July 2013
(0900hrs to 1100hrs - Surveying Pavement 12 - Mossy Stones - Hutton Roof)

The day started off really well with confirmation from Fern expert Alec Greening that I had found a Black Spleenwort the other week whilst in Lancelot and he went on to say that he had never received any previous records of this species on Hutton Roof.

Off to check out Mossy Stones pavement number 12 on my map.  I had last year surveyed this particular pavement and it did then show a single specimen of one of the rare E. Schmalhausenii and again it had come through has a fine specimen this year (see photo below). Also of special interest was a further four probables which certainly meet most of the diagnosis requirement, but still I need to ponder on these and for the time being reserve my judgement until I have consulted with a leading expert. On my way up to this pavement I passed quite a large spread of the rarish! "Squinancywort" which bordered both sides of the footpath for a small section of the route.  This is so far only my second record of this plant on Hutton Roof, the specimens today are more of the white variety, rather than the most beautiful "pink veined variety" offered to the scree banks to the East of the Trig Point.

I recorded 25 Dark Red Helliborine and only one Broad Leaved Helliborine, together with several patches of the rare Limestone Polypody Fern, also a 3 metre section of Angular Solomon's Seal and a similar size patch of Lily Of The Valley. Also Mountain Melick Grass, Rigid Buckler Fern, Hard Shield Fern, Wall Rue.

Birds were represented by a local Willow Warbler doing the old "hou whit" contact call and also there were some nearby Redpoll's calling.  On the way up the dull piping of Bullfinch.

A very interesting "Polypody" fern was seen growing out of the grykes which definately looked very interesting. 
                                                                    Black Spleenwort

                                                                  E. Schmalhausenii
                                                           (Click over photos to enlarge)

Wednesday 24th July 2013
(Surveying annexed fragmented pavements attached to No.9)

Just returned from spending most of the morning on the annexed pavements to Number 9 (Hybrid Hill). Quite a few Dark Red Helliborines to report, and a couple of Broad Leaved, but certainly no special Schmalhausenii about.  Didn't get long but at least I am keep adding to the jigsaw and getting them mapped out!
On my way up there disturbed a Roebuck and a doe which quickly ran off through the bracken and out of sight.  There were lots of Dark Green Fritillaries, Meadow Browns and Ringlets, but also had that small little black day flying moth which they call the Chimney Sweeper.

The Avocet

The Barn Owl
The Main Street in Gatehouse of Fleet - Holiday Retreat in the 80s

Beebie - Our best friend

Knutsford Gaskell Memorial Tower

Panda with young

The Windmill, Thornton In Cleveleys