Tuesday, 23 May 2017

It's time for Angular Solomon's Seal and more

This is how our Polygonatum Odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal) looks today (Click over to enlarge)
Monday 22nd May 2017 - Dalton Crags, Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) Most of the afternoon

Garden Warbler bubbling away shortly after leaving Plain Quarry, Also had a new in Lesser Whitethroat arrive and singing away half way up "Hypericum Way" in lower Dalton Crags, also the Common Redstart was heard.  Heading up into Dalton deforested (upper section) a couple of Tree Pipits were seen and heard, and also our regular Cuckoo was calling from near the Lancelot boundary. But new today for me was the recent arrival of a Whitethroat which was singing away near the top close to the boundary wall with the Common. Spending over 30 minutes observing the bird good views were made.

First I thought I would check out the Cystopteris fragilis (Brittle Bladder Fern) which is on the first escarpment shortly after leaving Plain Quarry.  It's a lovely little fern and does well here in the near company of Scollies (Asplenium scolopendrium)  Here is a photo of todays little beauties.

Cystoperis fragilis (Brittle Bladder Fern)
Found a Peacock Butterfly on the track whilst going up Hypericum Way and it looked like it was on its last legs, so I moved him of the track into the closeby vegetation.

I though I would check out some of our special "Odoratums" - Angular Solomon's Seal and a good job I did because its quickly coming up to their very best.  I checked some local populations at various spots in Lancelot Clark Storth (Cumbria Wildlife Trust) and the plants and flowers were looking really good and here are photos showing how well one particular plant is looking this year.

Both photos are of Polygonatum Odoratum (Angular Solomon's Seal)
seen today within Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT). I think this plant is probably the
best I have ever seen for flower bearing!

Birdsfoot Trefoil and Mouse Ear Hawkweek is getting going everywhere. I also managed to find some new to me "Common Rock Rose" (obviously not in flower yet), but another nice piece to enter into the records. 

The Milkwort was absolutely stunning and it had turned the hillside patchy blue, not quite as good as a lavender field but still a lovely sight.  There are several different colour variations with our Milkwort ranging from a pinkish colour to the very dark blue colours shown below. This hillside seems to be a magnet not only for Milkwort yet also for Tormentil and later in the year the same area opens itself up to multitudes of beautiful orange and yellow coloured fungi's like waxcaps and staghorns.  I think currently that hillside would be better named "Torment Hill on the Milky Way" and that's what I will start to call it on my next drawing.

Both of the above photos are Common Milkwort (Click over to enlarge) - Just within yards of one another you can get variations ranging from a pinkish colour to all shades of blue - the dark blue (like this bottom photo) are thriving this year on Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT)
I noticed also today that our beautiful "Woodruff" or as some say "Sweet Woodruff" was doing well and showing many in flower.  They reckon where this grows is a indicator to ancient woodland. Not today but in the past I would always grab a leaf or two of the "first flowers" to chew the leaf which tasted very much like Vanilla.  I am told not to chew too many or you might end up with major liver problems!

Woodruff - always in the shade - Another member of our beautiful Bedstraws

I checked out one of the sites for our special "Montanums" and yes right on cue they are coming through and look good, they are only at about 4" at the moment.  Last year we lost the main small population which had a bunch of five flowers in it!  guess what I checked the spot out today and it does look like they may re-appear this year or at least I can see three of them coming through, so its fingers crossed.  Here is a photo showing their progress today:

This shows a couple of early Montanums starting to come through
(Click over to enlarge)
Today I also decided to check out the quickly fading "White Early Purple Orchid" which is now obviously showing signs of tiring, but what a stunning plant it turned out to be again this year.  Also whilst there I did some searching around for the special "Fly Orchids" and did manage to find a couple blowing in the wind, but so small at the moment and difficult to get a photo shot with this wind blowing at about 20 mph.

Our White "Early Purple" Orchid (Click over to enlarge)
Photo: Kindly shared by Robert Ashworth of Kendal (photo taken approx 10 days ago)
Mountain Melick in Lancelot (CWT) (Click over to enlarge)
difficult to photograph today because of the strong winds.
This is a place I call "Garlic Wood" because it smells good, it taste good and by sure it does your good!
Ramsons as far as the eye can see, so you get the whiff of garlic from along way away before you actually reach the wood!

And above are two more photos from today showing the beautiful pavement with such deeply shaped grykes - some filled with Angular Solomon's Seal and others filled with Rigid Buckler Fern and between them that is what made "Hutton Roof" a SSSI site (Originally Rothchild's Reserve No.193)

Monday 22nd May 2017 - "Middleton" Nr. Heysham - Lancs - Mid morning

Had a stroll around one of my favourite places "Middleton".  It is a fantastic place to brush up on my "warbler" calls.  And as usual I was inundated with WHITETHROATS, LESSER WHITETHROATS AND SEDGE WARBLERS - I guess I counted over ten Lesser Whitethroats and thats without even trying!  I probably covered about one tenth of the territory

Monday 22nd May 2017 - Other great news!

Alec over at Dalton hamlet has had a male Pied Flycatcher in his garden today.  Its a great record for the area.

Robert has recorded a further Dinghy Skipper and two Small Heath Butterflies on Hutton Roof today