Monday, 15 June 2015

Fly Orchids, Beech Ferns and "Braithewaite the Blacksmith" Inscription

A Fly Orchid here which took me by surprise on the side of the well trodden footpath

Get ready for a invasion of "Painted Lady" Butterflies - Check out this link:

Click over this link to check out their progress

Sunday 14th June 2015 - Hutton Roof (from Clawthawpe side and over to Burton Fell boundary and then across to The Rakes and back.  approx 1330hrs to 1700hrs

The very first thing I recorded was a couple of Fly Orchids which were at the side of the main track. I was suprised to find them there because of the longish vegetation.  I also suppose it was a case that if you took your eye off for one second, you would struggle to find them again!  that's the usual story with this species I have found. After this I did find another one close to the boundary with Burton Fell, but could not find anymore even after extensive searching.  Did find a couple of Common Twayblade on my way up which were well tatty because they were situated right in the middle of the well trodden path, to be honest I am surprised there was anything of them left! Also now finding plenty of Broad Leaved Helliborines at the early stages of about 4" in height, I wonder just how many of these will survive or will most of them become deer fodder?

Small area of the large expanse of Beech Fern
The Bedstraws were coming through fast and I managed to check out plenty of Heath and even more of the Limestone Bedstraw.  Checking with the glass the samples to see if the bristle at the end of the small leaves went forward or backward, with most going backwards indicating Limestone.  To be honest I have found in 80% of cases you can tell the Limestone just by the look with its more straggly appearance and bolder plant, but its still nice to be able to get that clear confirmation by checking the "backward" bristle.

Along the way I have been booking down all the species I have had and its become quite a list so I will put them on at the end of the blog.

The next major event for me today was finding two new "Beech Fern" sites, one of which was quite extensive and covering a area of about 27 square metres.  What a beautiful site this was and to think I must have walked past it a hundred times before and never realised it was there! I took a couple of photos and show one here.  Later I found another sites on the Kelker side but this time only about 2 metres diameter.

I managed to find several more Sanicle sites over on the East Side of Hutton Roof and whilst following what I call the "Bracken Bed" path.  Also going along this path I noticed how good this year the Common Rock Rose were at this site, without doubt has to be the best population on the whole of Hutton Roof covering a area of about 50 metres diameter.  But too dull today for any Northern Brown Argus activity or for that matter any butterfly activity at all.

Just having turned the corner here and before I come up in front of the Rakes I noticed carved into the large rock the name of "John Braithewaite" - Blacksmith - 1836 and "horseshoe insignia", and well inscribed with the neatness you have come to to expect on burial memorials.  I have taken a photo and will post on this blog, because only a few weeks ago someone asked me if I had ever seen the "inscription" and I could not tell them anything about it and it was only by chance today I found it.

Here is a full list of the birds and flowers I have had today:

Birds: Lots of Willow Warblers throughout, Cuckoo calling from over Dalton/Lancelot, Tree Pipits and one Common Redstart near to the Rakes, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Woodpigeon, Kestrel, Buzzard, Skylark carrying food, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Bullfinch, Jay.

Flowers: Greater Stitchwort, Stinging Nettle, Crosswort, Buttercup, Gorse, Tufted Vetch, Cow Parsley, Herb Robert, Welsh Poppy, Germander Speedwell, Thyme Leaved Speedwell, Common Milkwort, Bluebells (looked large and maybe Spanish?) Tormentil, Cleavers, Biting Vetch, Wood Sorrell, Early Purple Orchids (finishing off), Fly Orchids (3), Broad Leaved Helliborine (early growth), Daisy, Cowslips (finish), Birds Foot Trefoil, Common Twayblade, Heath Bedstraw, Limestone Bedstraw, Harts Tongue Fern, Beech Fern, Rigid Buckler Fern, Maidenhair Spleenwort, Wild Strawberry, Lily Of The Valley, Juniper, Rue Leaved Saxifrage, Fairy Flax, Early Wild Thyme, Catoneaster, Wall Rue Fern, Spring Sandwort, Eyebright (first of year), Common Rock Rose (excellent year!), Sanicle, Dog Violet, Woodruff, Ladys Mantle, Ramsons, Ox-eye Daisy.

Large limestone boulder showing the inscription of "John Braithewaite - Blacksmith 1836" (Click over to enlarge)