Monday, 26 August 2013

Holly Fern - Polystichum Lonchitis

                               I searched out that “revered of ferns” year in year out.
                                A record in 1957, with frond preserved in herbarium,
                         Since then it’s remained a mystery, or thought to be extinct!
                                Until now in 2013 when “Holly” was “ferned” again.…
                                                                                                                                            9th September 2013
Holly Fern (Polystichum Lonchitis) found on Hutton Roof since its last record of 57 years ago If you want to check out all my Holly Fern photos please click here and then click in right bottom corner to enlarge. 

Tuesday 17th September 2013 1100hrs - 1600hrs - (With Wal, Charles and Ann and Steve. Checking out rare Ferns and sculptured pavements.

It was great showing my party the Holly Fern, the Spleenworts and the beautiful limestone pavement.

Just could not believe it!  found another Holly Fern on Hutton Roof.  It was sort of being disguised by a "Hard Shield Fern" yet when you looked very close you could clearly see the beautiful Holly Fern fronds in the centre of it! it was sort of intermingled with its Polystichum cousin. Eight fronds on show, perhaps a little darker in colour than the Holly Fern found a week or so ago.  Also this one was facing West and being shadowed from the East with a Hazel.

It was nice to see a returning brown coloured Wheatear on Hutton Roof. Was it a female or was it a juvenile?  Wonder why at this time of year all returning Wheatear seem to be brown birds. Never ever see a Blue coloured or male Wheatear on the return their always "brown" ones.......
Also a "struggling" party of about twenty Mipits trying to battle with the wind and having to regularly go to ground.

"Its made my day,
No! its made my week,
In fact it's made my year!
Holly fern here, and holly fern there.
I can't give up now, the search is on,
To find that holly fern everywhere".

 With new found Holly Fern (photo kindly taken by Andrew Walter - Cumbria Wildlife Trust)

Monday 16th September 2013 Checking out Shore Road, Carnforth and also near Curwen Wood, Burton. Wind speed: 20 mph W. 0830-0930hrs.

Its now the start of the visible bird migration time and I decided to do some preliminary checks for sampling "hirundine" passage through both Carnforth and our village of Burton. Although there did seem to be a minimal passage of birds heading South this morning, it definitely did not represent any peak or near peak passage, which I would now expect to happen any day now, as long as the weather improves.

Saturday 14th September 2013 Hutton Roof Common via Dalton Crags 0900hrs-1100hrs

A beautiful bright sunny morning with little wind, but certainly very little movement in regards to vismig. The only thing on the move seemed to be a small party of 6 Chaffinch which were heading South East. The party of Mistle Thrush (17 plus) which I saw on Thursday were seen again today enjoying the "rowan berries" in lower Dalton Crags and were seen again later in Dalton Crags (upper). There were at least 30 Goldfinches enjoying the Thistle tops. The Kestrel was seen chasing a carrion crow.  Its usually the other way around but not the case today.

Checking out more limestone pavement today and finding two sites for Angular Solomon's Seal, one site for Lily of The Valley, but the best was a small colony of six largish clumps of "Green Spleenwort". The clumps consisted of a 30 frond, 10 frond, 50 frond, 60 frond, 20 frond.  they were all in a close vicinity of about 15ft radius some near the top of grikes, whilst a couple of the clumps were some 3ft down the grike.

I looked for it for years - Asplenium viride,
for years I found  - Asplenium trichomanes,
but at last I've found viride's motherland,
with dangling "dreadlocks" all around,

Thursday 12th September 2013 Hutton Roof Common 1400-1630hrs

Two parties of Swallows heading South West, one with 12 birds and the other one with 3 birds. Also flushed a Woodcock on the common (so close I nearly stood on him) I guess he frightened me more than I him.  Also when coming back down Dalton Crags lower had a party of 17 Mistle Thrush crossing over to the West.

Checking over pavement 6A near the Trig Point and found more of the rare Green Spleenwort (see photo) - this one the best ever with at least 100 fronds. Also some new to me Angular Solomon's Seal, Common Rock Rose, Black Spleenwort, a good spent Broad Leaved Helliborine.

Decided to check on a Rigid Buckler Fern which I noticed a couple of months ago at the top of Lancelot Clark Storth.  It certainly looks far different to the "norm" one next to it, so I took a few photos which I would love to share with you. Please click over the photos if you wish to enlarge.

“The green spleenwort dangles like dreadlocks,
It’s home, a dark wet nook, crevice or cleft,
Or fissure, crack, cranny or slit or split.
Half expecting reggae – but settle for it’s rock”

"Green Spleenwort dangles like dreadlocks"

Rigid Buckler Fern - looks different to the usual.

Again the odd looking Rigid Buckler Fern alongside a normal one.

The Rigid Buckler Fern Fronds - The abnormal one to the left and the normal one to the right.

Another of the Green Spleenwort showing another colony to the left of the main.
Tuesday 10th September 2013 Lancelot Clark Storth 0930hrs-1230hrs

I checked the "Spring" and the Palmate's were not about today. I also thought I would check out a tip off for the Rusty Back Fern, but it is still eludes me. It seemed to me that I had checked every boulder on the site but could only find the Maidenhair Spleenwort, Hart's Tongue and Broad Buckler Fern. However just on leaving the general area I found more boulders to the southern end of which one of the boulders had lots of fronds of the rare "Southern Polypody" (Polypodium cambricum) growing on the top of it. Have now consulted with Alec Greening who confirms my diagnosis!

I took several photos of the rare " Southern polypody" and another photo of a boulder been leant up against a ash tree and the tree has sort of grown around the "cutting in" boulder!

Also below is a couple of photos showing the "Gallent Soldier" which is growing in a field near Dalton directly under the current maize crop. Can only think that the seed came in when the maize was planted. I believe this is a flower which has colonized us from the North America's and is far more familiar with the Southern Counties of the UK.

"Hey Mate, hey pal,
Newt in Spring today,
Onward South for Ceterach,
Summer gone,
And back
To Rusty Autumn".

The boulder well attached to the tree

A young polypodium cambricum (Southern Polypody)

Another photo of the polypodium cambricum (Souther Polypody) - the ovalness of the frond

Showing the huge colony of "Gallent Soldier" beneath the maize

A close up of the "Gallent Soldier"

Monday 9th September 2013 Heysham Nature Reserve 0900hrs-1130hrs

Paid a visit to my old friend Pete Marsh down at Heysham where as usual he was busy with "tis, tat and tuther".  He was doing a bit of vis whilst at the same time monitoring his nets and checking birds for ringing. He had some good "stuff" while I was there including a "Sedge Warbler and a Whitethroat". Also there were the other "sylvias" flirting about the site which included a female Blackcap which brushed straight past us.

For me it was good to see a good number of Mipits on their way through South or more to the point "South East" (at Heysham).  They averaged about 40 to the hour which I suppose is pretty good for so early on. Also there were several Swallows on the move.

(1300hrs - Back home to pen my ditty)

To find the raging sea with swirls and black holes and all,
Then leave the rig, and head norwest, you must look to your right.
And follow below those "White Clints",
And soon you pass that bouy upon your left,
Soon after, its left and follow the rugged contour,
Clear the headland and on the swing around - you enter,
That secret sea of raging grey with sinking black - holes everywhere.

9th September 2013.

That Raging Sea with swirls and Black Holes everywhere (click over to enlarge)

Saturday 7th September 2013 Hutton Roof - 0900hrs-1300hrs

On my way up to Hutton Roof from Nineteen Trees in Dalton, I recorded some Square Stalked St. John's-wort (Hypericum tetrapterum) directly in the middle of the main forestry track. Then I recorded a couple of patches of the rare Juncus compressus just at the bottom of Dalton Crags, these were shown to me on Thursday last. I was pleasantly surprised to hear a party of Crossbill overhead which landing nearby on the tall trees.

Today I had set my sights on checking out a couple of records given to me during the past couple of days. It involved Hypericum montanum and the other one was the Limestone Oak Fern, but sadly after spending some time looking for them without success I have temporarily given up because the heavens opened up and the rains came down.  On the common west of the Trig Point I had a party of five "Tree Pipits" which were trying to get through on Southerly routing, but constantly brought down with the strong winds.

Thursday 5th September 2013 Hutton Roof - 0930hrs-1200hrs

It was a great pleasure today to be able to show Dr. Halliday, the rare Holly Fern, the locally rare Green Spleenwort Fern and the most magnificent limestone pavement I discovered only yesterday. I really don't know which is the Jewel in the Crown between Polystichum Lonchitis or the "Runnel holed turbulent wavy sea which that pavement could well have been" - There is certainly no contest here! they both share the Jewel.

We took measurements of that fern, distances, directions, noting other close by species which occupied that same area.  It was all necessary information required for future inclusion of the updated record which will be shown within the "BSBI Rare Plants Register" (Cumbria - now in preparation - Mike Porter/Dr Geoffrey Halliday).

I just could not resist taking yet another photograph of that "Runelled holed turbulent wavy Sea"

This is but one example, there are many more
Wednesday 4th September 2013 - Mapping out and searching for rare ferns on Hutton Roof (0900hrs-1300hrs)

Very busy this morning pacing out limestone areas and trying to get access to pavements which in places were well overgrown with low and high vegetation and took lots of negotiating.  Did find some really nice Brittle Bladder Fern and a large Black Spleenwort colony.

So striking was the beautiful pavement I had never seen before and it would easily be missed because of the vegetation on its borders to all sides.  But this place was so special I have never seen anything like it, there were deep holes within the "up and down sloping pavement" and at the top of the holes were sort of channels down into the holes were obviously water had made its mark over the many years.  There may have been about 20 of these holes, some had vegetation growing out of them.  But what a wonderful sight.  Here some photos for sample, but if you click on this link you can see all my photos. Click here and then select your preferred photo and click over it, if you want it enlarging go to right corner and click.

Tuesday 3rd September 2013 - Mapping out and searching for rare ferns on Hutton Roof.  (0930hrs-1230hrs)

A few blogging Meadow Pipits in Dalton.
Spent most of the morning mapping out and re-locating the "Green Spleenwort".  Got a better photo of the Trio of spleenworts. Also found another colony of "Green Spleenwort" with 50 frond within about 30 ft of the one found yesterday. (see photos)
Green Spleenwort found today with at least 50 frond - in open area on very slanting limestone pavement, close to woodland in damp cleft within gryke - click over to enlarge.

Sunday 1st September 2013 - Searching for rare ferns on Hutton Roof.
0900hrs to 1230hrs
Another fern I have been trying to find for over a year or two is the Green Spleenwort and today I managed to find a plant with at least 11 fronds.  It was in a shallow gryke with mossy limestone all around and completely canopied by large vegetation.

On my way back down to Dalton I checked out the Pale St. John's Wort (var: perforatum) and noted that yet again this year the deer had taken the tops of the 6 colony.  Although they had not bothered the others.  Also found yet another specimen within 6 foot of another.  Can't believe I could have missed this one.

Also checked out the variant Epipactis colony and although most of the plants had by now gone over. Plants 7,8,9 and 20 which are showing with drooping heads in the sketch, are still looking the same although have aborted their buds like many of the others. This has certainly been a interesting situation this year and for me as yet cannot understand why so many of the plants have been affected this way.

On way back and going past fields full of maze I noticed lots of "Gallant-soldier" just beneath on the edges of the maze, can only presume this stuff came in with the maize seed. Was introduced from South America initially and now established mainly in the South and South East of England.

Green Spleenwort

Green Spleenwort underside showing plenty of sori

Saturday 31st August 2013 - Searching for rare ferns on Hutton Roof.
0900hrs to 1200hrs
On way up through Dalton Crags (upper) there were at least 40 Goldfinch feeding on the spent ragwort. Also a 18 Meadow Pipit party blogging. Also a Tree Pipit going overhead South, also another two Tree Pipits over towards the Cairns area.
Found lots of Lily Of The Valley remnants and Limestone Polypody.

Friday 30th August 2013 - Searching for rare ferns on Hutton Roof.
1000hrs to 1300hrs
Checked a good area, some of the areas where hard to access owing to growing and thickening vegetation, but did manage to find plenty of new area.
Thursday 29th August 2013 - Searching for rare ferns.
1400hrs to 1800hrs
Covered a good area with lots and lots of Hard Shield Ferns found.  Also found some more small pockets containing the odd clumps of carex ornithopoda (Birds Foot Sedge). Areas now generally noted and now included in the carex ornithopoda map.

Monday 26th August 2013 - Looking for rare Ferns on Hutton Roof.

I have spent some considerable time over the last three years looking for this rare species on Hutton Roof and today all the searching finally paid off.  That's no "Hard Shield Fern" it's the special one! the one I've been looking out for, its Polystichum Lonchitis, the one lots of people thought might have become extinct on Hutton Roof.  On the way home I called off to let Alec the fern expert share in the good news and check out the photographs.

I searched out that “revered of ferns” year in year out.
A record in 1957, with frond preserved in herbatorium,
Since then it’s remained a mystery, or thought to be extinct!
Until now in 2013 when “Holly” was “ferned” again.…

9th September 2013

Showing it appearing from under a cleft along with Maidenhair Spleenwort (click over to enlarge)

A closer photo of the fronds (click over to enlarge)

A nice photo of the underside showing the "Sori" (Click over to enlarge)

Showing the fern from a distance to show the general "in situ" (Click over to enlarge)
I also found another closeby "fern" which at the moment has left me puzzled, and yet it has been suggested that it could well be a "early" forming "Black Spleenwort".  Here are some of the photos:
Please click over to enlarge

Please click over to enlarge

Showing underside (please click over to enlarge)

Please click over to enlarge

Please click over to enlarge

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

E. Helliborine var: "Purpurea" on Hutton Roof.

This is the latest progress with the e.helliborine var purpurea as at 9th August 2013 - please click over to enlarge
Saturday 24th August 2013
1400hrs to 1600hrs - Gone back to check out more samples of the mystery fern. Here are a selection of more close up photos.  It is so interesting and the judges are currently debating and analyzing the situation. As usual I am most indebted to Alec Greening for all his personal support on this. 

The normal Maidenhair Spleenwort from above
The normal Maidenhair Spleenwort showing the underside and sori. 

Another of the Maidenhair Spleenwort variant or possible hybrid showing the upperside

The Maidenhair Spleenwort variant or possible hybrid
A larger new colony found in situ within a disused lime kiln

Friday 23rd August 2013

0900hrs to 1300hrs - Trig Point areas (pavements 6A2) - Searching out rare Ferns.
Did find several locations showing some nice specimens of the Black Spleenwort, which I have now marked off on my charts, but in the main everything else was straightforward Maidenhair Spleenwort or Harts Tongue. 
Did manage to locate up to seven excellent Broad Leaved Helliborine of which some showed much of the "purpurea" colourings (see photo).  Two new spots to record for Woodruff. 

The odd Willow Warbler could be heard just beyond the ridge towards the direction of the "Cairns" making its familiar low contact call "hou-whit".  Also I noticed that Meadow Pipits are now on the move, I could hear them earlier going overhead whilst at Dalton Hamlet, also whilst here on the top a party of seven went over heading South, and also odds and sods where heard from time to time.

Close up of the Black Spleenwort Frond
More close up of BL fronds
Showing a group of Black Spleenwort Fronds

E. Helliborine specimen 

Another "purpurea" e.helliborine specimen with bunched head (click over to enlarge)

Thursday 22nd August 2013
1000hrs to 1400hrs - Clawthorpe Lower Fell - Is it simply a Maidenhair Spleenwort?

Decided to have another check over on the Clawthorpe Lower Fell, noticed on the way up Slape Lane, that the overweighted "crab apple" tree had in part collapsed and was strewed over the footpath almost blocking the way. 

On Clawthorpe Fell did manage to record a few additionals for my listings which were my very first Broad Leaved Helliborine, Several Juniper trees, Fairy Flax, Lesser Meadow Rue, Grayling Butterfly, Small Scabious, Goldenrod.  Also found a small area which had over twenty St. John's Perforate colony. 

Overhead were at least thirty low hawking and chattering Swallows feeding up, also the deep crying "buteo" and Nuthatches on the perimeters of Curwen Wood.

According to a "old Cumbria Gazetter" the area was once called "Curwenwood-kins" or the "Claythrop Clints".

I found a fern which I have not been able to explain as yet and sent photographs off to Alec Greening who is always kind enough to try and help in "fern" matters.  I do think it is a sort of "oddball" but may have connections with the Maidenhair Spleenwort.  (photos below)
Crab apple tree on Slape Lane collapses under the fruit yield

Please click over photo to enlarge further

Tuesday 20th August 2013
(1148hours) Just added a link to the Arnside and District Natural History Society "Programme of Events". This can be seen by clicking here or alternatively it will be on a more permanent display in the upper part of the blog within the left hand pane.

1200hrs - 1530hrs Plain Quarry, Dalton Crags to Trig Point and Slightly beyond.

Bird life has gone really quiet with just the odd Willow Warbler giving its occasional "hoo whit" contact call. Also Robins, Dunnocks, various Tits, Ravens and Jays, and the giveaway calling, bobbing flight of the Green Woodpecker.  About eight swallows were hawking over the spent Ragworts as you ascend through the deforested Dalton Crags.

Got as far as Squinnyscree to check out the "Squinancywort" and the "Autumn Gentians. Still some evidence of Squinancywort but again this year much reduced than on previous years.  I also went around all the usual "Gentianella" spots, but could only find the one specimen (photo below). Usually I will find at least half a dozen plants, but I must say that this year I could not see any evidence of rabbit predation as seen in previous years.  I can only gather the opinion its probably not been the best of years for this particular species as far as Hutton Roof is concerned. 

Lots of Large Whites, Peacocks, Speckled Woods and Meadow Brown butterflies on the air, but especially nice to see the Comma just on the lower slope to Plain Quarry.  

Autumn Gentian - The only one this year seen on Squinnyscree on Hutton Roof. Click over photo to enlarge

The Comma Butterfly at Dalton near Plain Quarry. Click over photo to enlarge

The Comma (underwing) at Dalton near Plain Quarry. Click over photo to enlarge
Friday 16th August 2013
(1030hrs - 1220hrs) Checking out Hypericum Montana with Dr. Geoffrey Halliday

We set off across pavements 3 and 4. Calling off at 4 to show Dr. Geoffrey the beautiful epipactis helliborine variants before making our way across to the main attraction the "Hypericum perforatum Montanum". Here we checked the small group (5 flowerheads), together with the single plant and again the area with the double plant.  It was clear that at two of the sites we quickly diagnosed the "perforated" or transluscent spots on the leaves.  But the closeby individual which without doubt has been the best specimen this year, strong and sturdy and taller than the rest, did not show any signs of "perforated" or translucent spots on the leaves.

I was suprised to find that the flowerheads etc (although gone over) were still intack and that the local deer had not found the bounty!

Thursday 15th August 2013.
(0900hrs - 1230hrs) Checking out Ferns etc on the Farleton side.

It was not the best of days with a visibility down to about 100 ft and with light drizzle. 
Started out by checking the Rusty Back Fern which lies close to the main footpath on the West Side of Whinn Yeates Farm. The fern is strong and in two separate patches.  I also was also able to find a new record (for me) of a good growth of Black Spleenwort coming out of the crevices nearby to the position of the Rusty Back. Carry on a while and you have the fabulous "Turtle Stone".

Whilst over here I had to check on the rare "Alpine Enchanters Nightshade" which is growing on the scree embankment has you climb your way over towards Holme Park Fell.

Went over into the Holme Park Fell (845ft) and found lots of Limestone Polypody which I noted and also large populations of Small Scabious, and also odd areas with the Burnet Saxifrage.  

Soon coming off the top and down the West/South West side parallel to the Holme Park Quarry. 

On leaving the fell and following the bridleway to make the final approach towards Clawthorpe Lane I was checking the verges and clearer open spaces on the way and was anticipating that I might find some asperula, and was very pleased to be able to confirm my suspicions with even more squinancywort (Asperula cynanchica) to be found amongst the numerous eyebright patches.  The morning was finished off with a very nice surprise to both of us when a Dunlin took off closeby from the boggy edges of the small "reedy" fenced off pond, whilst immediately ziz zagging (like a snipe) and calling its beautiful feeble "pree-ip" call as it set its way to the West.

Alpine Enchanters Nightshade

Rusty Back Fern

The Turtle Stone

Tuesday 13th August 2014
30 Swallows sat on the telegraph wires near to Oakwood Farm, Clawthorpe. 

(0900hrs - 1300hrs) Dalton and Lancelot Clark Storth. 
Checking out Juniper in Dalton Crags and then over to the variants to take a few photos (a selection shown below).  Also a Lesser Whitethroat singing away in upper Dalton (deforested). 
Specimen 1 and 2

Spike of Specimen 3

Full flower of Specimen 3
Friday 9th August 2014
(1400-1730hrs) (Checking out variants on Pavement 10 and again on Pavement 4

First stop to go over Potslacks to the "Viewpoint" Pavement 10 to check on the reddish stained flower I found a week or so ago. I have photographed below.  Also to my suprise I found a Dark Red Helliborine only yards away from the BLH variant, it was very rich, the full plant had the top of its spike missing but to say the DRH finished about 10 days ago this one was still looking good (see photo).

Then it was straight over to pavement 4, I did a update of the above sketch showing another four BLH specimens and a odd photo showing the general colour so far this year. Also photos showing No.15 (this year aborted buds) etc. That beautiful specimen from last year never did look right this year. You will see that the spikes on these aborted do not comply to the norm.  Usually there is good distance in the spike length (eg up to 12" plus) whereby this year straight from the start looked barely congested with bracts and the spike has only reached about 4 inches and this has been just full of large opposite sided bracts and very little in the way of actual buds (see photo showing buds which are just drying up and dropping off). This is the position with all the "aborted" specimens this year (eg: five)

This is the variant from Pavement 10 showing a strong red colouring.

Could not believe seeing this so late after all the others have gone over (Fri Oct 9th 2013)
A "purpurea" specimen from the colony at Pavement 4 (Plant No.3) as of today 9th August 2013.

This years specimen 15 the beautiful "purpurea" showing last year (photo in yesterdays blog) and this year it has aborted its buds.

A Close up some buds ready to abort yet leaving the bracts intact.  Yet the length of the spike never got over  4" or 5" inches whereby the normal on this plant has you can see in previous photos would be of at least 12" or more.
A standard helliborine with its pollinators.

Thursday 8th August 2014

(0700hrs) Clawthorpe.
There were no less than 18 Swallows on the telegraph wires close to Oakwood Farm.

1600hrs to 1900hrs (Checking out E. Helliborine (variant: Purpurea) on Hutton Roof)

I was out with the "Epipactis Gang" which some had come all the way from North Wales, South Manchester, Preston and other local areas. We crossed the lower part of Burton Fell and into Lancelot.  In Lancelot we checked the Spring and it was great news to record at least three with probably more "Palmate Newts" present and lots of "surface beetles".

We checked out several pavements, 3,3a,4 and 5 and was not disappointed with some of the most beautiful helliborine variants on view. More Broad Leaved Helliborines where found on pavement 3, but on pavement 3a we checked a very special "insipid weak light small plant" which looks very interesting (photos below).

On reaching the "special variants", all seemed very elated with the results, yet it was at the same time a little disappointing to note that at least 3 of the 20 colony had actually already "aborted" their buds and obviously will now become non fertile.  About one week ago I did suspect something could be wrong with these plants, because although the stem and leaf structure had formed well and so strong, however the actual buds where tiny and looked empty capsules at the time and these have now just shrivelled and dropped off leaving healthy long bracts making the plant "spike" look more like a "heavy television aerial".  It is a shame because one of these plants (No.15) was the very plant which gave us such a beautiful "purpurea" specimen last year (see photos below).  

We then crossed over onto Pavement 5 to check out the already well "gone over" but rare Hypericum Perforatum Montanum and we checked out the 6 group together with the single and the 2 group.  Although I had thought I had already checked out a sampling of the leaves and could not find any signs of "perforatum". It was great to see that one of our party (Marion) had actually managed to find a sampling of the "perforatum" which could be very difficult to actually make out and without the aid of a "magnifier" would probably been impossible. But at least now its yet again confirmed that these are of the "rarest of hybrids". Now I suppose I should have also checked out the single and the paired plant areas to see if they could have been the "Pale St. John's parent".  I would have imagined the cross will have come from either "perforatum or slender".

This is the beautiful "purpurea" No.15 from last year (August 23rd 2012)

E. Helliborine var: Purpurea - showing the same plant - Epichile, boss etc
Weak "insipid" BLH plant on pavement 3a

Epichile, boss features etc of that same insipid looking weak small plant.

2045hrs to 2200hrs (Monitoring the Swifts for the "Swifts In The Community" Project)

(The Burton Team: Reg Hesketh, Jane Phillips, Myself, and tonight joined by the Project Co-ordinator Peter Moreton). We went around all the nest sites to show Peter.  Whilst we were going around we actually saw three Swifts enter their respective nest sites, although no sounds of "juvenile" birds were heard from these nest sites.  We only managed at best to establish a "five" count of Swifts airborne.  Probably a indication that many of the Burton swifts have already left us to make their journey South.  We do intend to meet next week to see if there are any still about.

We also noted several "Pipistrelle Bats" flying around the Main Street area. 

Tuesday 6th August 2014
(0900hrs to 1100hrs) Checking "purpurea variants" and taking photos.

The variants are doing well, there is on counting 16 plants in the colony, not all are turning "purpurea" and there is also some standard helliborine lying between two sets of "purpurea". I have included a couple of photos below but if you wish to check out all the photos then please go: To check out the latest photos please click here. If you want to enlarge anything up to the original size you can do.

One of the "purpurea" specimens - which has a well packed spike - soon the sepals will also take on the petal colourization.

Another "Purpurea" coming through which still has some buds to open at the top