Thursday, 9 July 2015

Fylde Naturalist Walk on Hutton Roof Complex

Here are members of the Fylde Naturalist Society starting of on their walk of Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof
Wednesday 8th July 2015 - Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof Complex - Fylde Naturalist Society 1030hrs to 1615hrs.

The day started very dull and threatening rain and it was remarked that maybe today it would be a struggle for insects (with Butterflies in mind), but has the morning went on we got a light shower around the 1300hrs mark, and then the rest of the afternoon picked up with occasional sunshine getting through and guess what! this aroused all the butterflies.

Starting off we had Garden Warbler and Blackcap singing whilst we were at the Plain Quarry Car Park, on the way through Dalton and up on to Hutton Roof we did not have that much in birdlife although we did have the local Kestrel and lovely to see a couple of post breeding parties of Willow Warblers (up to a dozen or so flitting about) on Uberash Roughs. Also the opening part yaffle from a Green Woodpecker.

We checked out the Green Spleenwort which have all done well this time with a slight increase to the number of clumps within the "Viride Motherland".  Also checked the two Holly Ferns. It was also noted on Holly Fern 2 that there was a small immature frond growing from the centre.  This has become regular whereby one immature comes one year and you see it in full frond the followng year. Sadly (reported earlier) this Fern has this year lost its glory having already been nibbled in part by the local Roe Dear.  We also had a good array of other Ferns as well with: Hard Fern, Brittle Bladder Fern, Harts Tongue Fern, The Limestone Fern, Rigid Buckler Fern, Maidenhair Spleenwort and Bracken.  We did also check out a known area for the rare Southern Polypody within Lancelot, but sadly this year the plant has not come through and seems to have died off!  It was our best example on Hutton Roof, but there you go that's nature for you! Good job I got some excellent photos of it last year

First showing of Epipactis atrorubens
in flower - this was the only one as yet
(Click over to enlarge)
Flora we had a reasonable selection today with: Parsley Piert, Eyebright, Red Campion, Bulbous Buttercup (thanks Michael!), Thyme Leaved Speedwell, Germander Speedwell, Enchanters Nightshade, Ox-eye Daisy, Daisy, Birds Foot Trefoil, Pignut, Herb Robert, Fairy Flax, Heath Bedstraw, Limestone Bedstraw, Ladys Bedstraw, Squinancywort, Self Heal, Bittersweet, Dandelion, Hawkweeds, Common Rock Rose, Wild Strawberry, Lesser Meadow Rue, Travellors Joy, Wal Lettuce, Biting Stonecrop, Common Cow Wheat, Dark Red Helliborine, Epipactis Schmalhauseneii, Broad Leaved Helliborine, Bramble, Dog Rose, Dropwort, Ladys Mantle, Silverweed, Zig Zag Clover (not in flower), Common Milkwort, Angular Solomans Seal (gone over), Dogs Mercury, Pale St Johns Wort, Dogs Violet (remnants), Sanicle (gone over), Cowslips (gone over), Yellow Pimpernel (almost gone), Wood Sage, Hedge Woundwort, Wild Thyme, Fairy Foxglove (remnants), Bartsia (pre), Harebells, Tufted Vetch, Ploughmans Spikenard, Burdock, Creeping Thistle, Carline Thistle, Common Spotted Orchid, plus.

Without doubt the sensation of the day had to be when I found a new location for the rare Pale St. Johns Wort (Hypericum Montanum). This is now the third local on the complex.

Butterflies: Dark Green Fritillary (20 ish) Ringlet (50 ish), Meadow Brown (10 ish) Common Blue (20 ish), Speckled Wood (10 ish), Small Heath (20 ish) Small Tortoiseshell (1), Red Admiral (1), also party had Large Skipper (1) - Sadly did not have Northern Brown Argus or Grayling which are about in good numbers, but did have a lovely Chimney Sweeper Moth close to Pignut.

On some of the pavements a grand array of Epipactis especially the Dark Red Helliborine, its obviously a cracking year with lots and lots, but the party was too early and sadly 99% of the flowers were still showing their drooping heads and only one plant was showing mature (see photo above).

We covered approx 4.3 miles and as usual some of the terrain was hard going but thankfully dry limestone today (for a change!). I got the immpression Fylde Nat party enjoyed it.