Friday, 20 June 2014

Orchid wonders from a Sunny Lancashire.....Also below Some Bryophyte, Lichen and other Dalton Crag/Hutton Roof records

The last of the Northern Marsh Orchids

Thursday 19th June 2014

Pyramidal Orchid
A friend of mine called Clitheroe Paul came up for a visit and wanted to do some orchid photography, so I took him first of all to the Dockacres to check out the Marsh Orchids (both Northern and Southern and rare hybrids at this site), together with some nice Pyramidals and Common Spotted Orchids.

It was more a question of just getting there on time to see the remnants of this year's Marsh Orchids with the majority already going well over.  It was nice to enjoy the beautiful "magenta" marvels of the few that were still on offer. 

The status of the Pyramidals had changed a little and out of the three previously recorded populations, one population had disappeared completely, whilst another population which only had one flower previous had grown up to five flowers, and the last population towards the A6070 had 7 well spaced flowers whereby previously they had always been closely bunched. 

Early Meadow Brown Butterfly 
Couldn't find any Bee Orchids here, but there were lots of Common Twayblades and Common Spotted Orchids.  

A Lesser Whitethroat and Chiffchaff could be heard calling. Also had my first Ringlet and Meadow Brown Butterflies. Also Large Skippers were present.  

Other species noted were Ragged Robin and lots of Imperforate St John's Wort, Scarlet Pimpernel, Teasel, Forget Me Knots, Thistles and patches of Spring Cinquefoil. 
Self Heal adding much colour.

Carnforth's Bee Orchids
We left there and went on to another well known orchid site in Carnforth and here we saw some of its lovely Bee Orchids and a few Common Spotted Orchids of which here you always seem to get the added bonus of the "white flowered variety as well".  

I checked out the main area for the Marsh Helliborines, which has expected still have drooping heads and will be another three weeks before they are at their best, but still good populations to show. 

Still looking out for the Blue Fleabane and the Common Broomrape, but they do seem to have dissapeared from the site. 

Nice to be serenaded throughout by the Lesser Whitethroat.

Feeling peckish by 1300hrs we decided to have lunch at the "Waters Edge" near to the Dockacres just to fuel up a little before we drove off to the Plain Quarry Car Park to then commence our long trek up onto the Hutton Roof Complex to discover lots more wild and wonderful beauties on offer. 

"Another cracking day"........

A Common Spotted Orchid
A Report of some of Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof's - Bryophytes, Lichens, Plants and Insects etc.

"Normandina pulchella lichen found in Dalton Crags" photo: Mike Gosling
I mentioned only last week that I was in the good company of Mike Gosling and Jeremy Steeden from the Fylde who joined me in a short walk whilst they surveyed of some of the Mosses, Liverworts, Lichens, Sedges, Ferns, Grasses, Flowering Plants, Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and lots lots more, which they were able to find in just a seven hour period within Dalton Crags and the Hutton Roof Common. 

The three of us had a fabulous day, although now I wish I had taken along my "Latin Dictionary", but they have been so kind as to forward a "great list" of the varied species we saw on the day of which some are extremely rare, some rare and some more common, and each habitat had its varied contributions. They do intend to visit again in the next couple of weeks to check out the rare Epipactis Schmalhauseneii and other Epipactis specimens, and maybe they will add even more species to the list.

So for anyone interested here is the brilliant report of species found so far:

Location: Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof Crags - Date: 11 June 2014
Recorders: Mike Gosling and Jeremy Steeden
Habitat: Limestone pavement and crags, grassland, trees and walls, and some acid (loess) pockets. 

Atrichum undulatum. On shaded mossy limestone under tree.
Brachythecium rutabulum
Bryum sp. Green-red species with abundant red-brown tomentum. In damp hollow on clint surface.
Bryum capillare.
Calliergonella cuspidata
Campylopus introflexus. On old lock.
Ctenidium molluscum
Dicranum scoparium. Porose cells.
Didymodon insulanus.
Encalypta streptocarpa
Fissidens dubius
Homalothecium sericeum.
Hypnum andoi. On tree trunks, very common.
Hypnum cupressiforme var. lacunosum. On ground & on mossy rocks
Hypnum cupressiforme. On trees, banks and walls.
Kindbergia praelonga. On tree bases
Neckera complanata
Neckera crispum
Orthotrichum cupulatum. On limestone clint surface
Orthotrichum affine.  On one tree
Plagiomnium undulatum
Pleurozium schreberi.On ground.
Polytrichum formosum, Small amounts in acid ground
Polytrichum juniperinum On old log
Racomitrium lanuginosum. Normally in acid habitats but here found over limestone.
Rhytidiadelphus triquetrus
Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus. Amongst grass.
Scleropodium purum. Amongst grass.
Thamnobryum alopecurum
Thuidium tamariscinum
Tortella tortuosa Very common acrocarp on limestone
Trichostomum crispulum
Ulota  crispa/bruchii

Frullania dilitata
Lophocolea bidentata. On old logs
Preissia quadrata. In grike, hexagonal patterning and pores obvious.
Radula complanata. Seen on one tree.
Scapania aspera. Common Scapania on limestone areas. 

Agonimia tristicula
Arthonia radiata. On twigs.
Aspicilia calcarea
Caloplaca citrina
Caloplaca flavescens
Cladonia coniocraea
Cladonia conoidea
Cladonia rangiformis
Collema auriforme
Dermatocarpon miniatum
Lecanora polytropa. On BVG erratic
Lepraria incana. In usual shaded sites on trees, banks, trees.
Melanelixia glabratula. On tree trunk.
Normandina pulchella. On 2 trees overgrowing mosses.
Pertusaria corallina BVG erratic
Physcia aipolia
Placynthium nigrum
Placynthium subradiatum. Not common or perhaps under-recorded
Porpidea tuberculosa. BVG boulder.
Protoblastenia rupestris.
Romjularia lurida Crevice in limestone (Was in Psora)
Rhizocarpon geographicum. On BVG erratic.
Solenopsora candicans
Squamarina cartilaginea. Small amounts on limestone
Toninia sedifolia
Verrucaria dufourii. On limestone outcrop
Verrucaria nigrescens
Xanthoria parietina. On twigs of trees.

Carex caryophyllea
Carex flacca
Carex panicea
Carex pulicaris. In the relatively dry heathy area. Note: Jermy quotes the habitat for C.pulicaris as '...silty soils with impeded drainage or on wet slopes where drainage water comes from calcareous rocks' but does also say 'in Northern England more often found in species-rich Nardus grassland'   
Carex pilulifera
Carex sylvatica

Juncus bufonius
Juncus tenuis

Asplenium adiantum-nigrum
Asplenium ruta-muraria
Asplenium viride In sheltered margins and within grikes
Athyrium filix-femina
Cystopteris fragilis
Dryopteris dilatata
Dryopteris filix-mas
Dryopteris submontana Frequent in grikes
Gymnocarpium robertianum
Polypodium sp.
Polystichum aculeatum. In grikes, some plants with huge (1m.) fronds.
Polystichum lochnitis
Pteridium aquilinum

Briza media
Deschampsia caespitosa
Helictotrichon pubescens
Meilca nutans
Sesleria caerulea

Alchemilla xanthochlora
Anemone nemorosa
Arabis hirsuta
Arenaria serpyllifolia
Bellis perennis
Calluna vulgaris
Cercaea lutetiana
Convallaria majalis
Conopodium majus
Epipactis atrorubens
Epipactis helleborine
Eupatorium cannabinum
Euphrasia sp.
Gallium saxatile
Gallium sterneri
Helianthemum nummularium
Hypericum pulchrum
Lathyrus linifolius
Leontodon hispidus
Linum catharticum
Mercuralis perennis
Mycelis muralis
Odonites vernus
Pilosella officinarum
Polygala vulgaris
Polygonatum odoratum
Potentilla erecta
Saxifraga tridactylites
Sanicula europaea
Teucrium scorodonia
Thalictrum minus
Trifolium  medium
Thymus polytrichus
Vaccinium myrtillus
Veronica officinalis
Viburnum opulus 

Aceria thomasi . Round hairy gall on Wild thyme
Psyllopsis fraxini . Leaf margin rolled on Fraxinus, containing distinctive psyllid nymphs

Altica sp (not collected)
Amara sp (not collected)
Crepidodera ferruginea/transversa on thistle head (not collected)
Dascillus cervinus (larger yellow beetle,,photographed)
Notiophilus biguttatus
Oedemera lurida (slender dark greenish beetle, photographed) 

Brown Silver-line moth (disturbed from Bracken)
Celypha lacunana (tortrix moth)
Dingy Skipper
Large Skipper
Speckled Yellow

Tetrix undulata (groundhopper)

Tingis cardui (lace bug on thistle head)

Mosses 33
Liverworts 5
Lichens 28
Sedges 6
Rushes 2
Ferns 13
Grasses 5
Flowering Plants 36
Plant Galls 2
Insects 13 

The lichen Normandina pulchella is an old woodland indicator and is an interesting find. It appears to be spreading into urban areas on trees unconnected with old woodland.

This list is very incomplete, many more species in all groups would be found if surveyed properly.
There are no records here for Lancelot Clark Storth Reserve.