Friday, 2 June 2017

Lesser Meadow Rue, Schmal No.1, Ferns and bits and pieces (1st June 2017)

Lesser Meadow Rue - but far different from the norm - Dalton Crags (Click over to enlarge)

Thursday 1st June 2017 - Dalton No.1 Pavement (low section), Lancelot Clark Storth 0930hrs to 1400hrs

Started off today leaving "Nineteen Trees" and heading up through Storth Wood, Dalton noting a large colony of Hirsutum (Hairy St. John's Wort) on the way up.  Then spotting a largish fern I just can't recognise near to the old Summer House.  I have called on my ferny learned friend Alec who is currently looking into it. Now heard back from Alec who confirms it has a "Lady Fern" (next but one down photo)  Some photos here below:

Hypericum Hirsutum (Hairy St. John's Wort) - Click over to enlarge
The largest in the colony of over 30 plants is already at about 16" high
Quite large fern with two dangling pinnae at the bottom, it is a Lady Fern
It was nice to hear two separate Garden Warblers calling whilst going up this forestry track and both sites were duly recorded, also short sharp burst from a Blackcap could be heard.

I had now reached Dalton's Pavement No.1 (low level) and this today was my main study area, I wanted in particular to just check out the Angular Solomon's Seal to make sure I had not missed any off the list.  I did find one new colony for the records.

Dalton first main pavement - Low Level (Click over to enlarge)
This has always been one of my favourite pavements to work, although a small amount of quarrying has obviously taken place in the past the majority of the original pavement is intact.  There are plenty of nice features including several " roundish black holes" which can be seen mainly to the South side of the pavement.  The pavement is especially good and probably the very best on the whole of Hutton Roof for both Aculeatum (Hard Shield Fern) and Robertianum (Limestone Fern or Limestone Polypody). I have especially noted the increase in Limestone Fern over the past 8 years. The pavement has lots of smaller holes with Rigid Buckler Fern (submontana) and Harts Tongue Ferns (scolopendriums) popping through and in turn making lovely natural frames for photos:

The lovely Scollie (Harts Tongue Fern) - Click over to enlarge

I wonder what sort of insect is living here?

The beautiful Robertianum (Limestone Fern) - Click over to enlarge
Nationally Rare but locally common Sub-Montana (Rigid Buckler Fern) Click over to enlarge
My strawberries are nearly ready perhaps two weeks away to get them at their best, the only problem is that you would need to gather a few hundred of them to get a pound!

Showing Red oxide in the limestone (Click over to enlarge)

Wild Strawberries (Click over to enlarge)
We have both sorts of Wild Strawberry on Hutton Roof, the common Wild Strawberry and the Barren Strawberry.  You can tell the difference by the leaf patterns.

Moving on and taking a good forestry walk shortcut over into Lancelot I was amazed to note just how much forestry clearing has taken place and now giving good views to the fantastic escarpment.

Recent forestry clearing is now exposing a beautiful escarpment (Click over to enlarge)
Just further on I found lots and lots of scollies to check out and as you would expect theres always one or two peculiarities to check out, but one thing that did readily take my eye was a beautiful striking little bush of the Lesser Meadow Rue.  I have seen lots of LMR on these pavements over the years and I took photos earlier of some I found on Dalton No.1, but this one is strikingly different. For one it is a far lighter green than you would expect and for two the leaves are heavily congested whereby you would expect to see more space between the leaves.  It is certainly far different to any I have ever seen before.  Here is a photo to show you.

"Kinked top Scollies" (Click over to enlarge)
I will have to get Alec to check them out!

A Unusual Lesser Meadow Rue (Click over to enlarge)

A nobbly tree (click over to enlarge)

Now over into Lancelot (CWT) and checking out bits and pieces here and there including the Montanums (Pale St. John's Wort) which seem to be doing really well in fact one of the larger ones is already at a colossal 14" tall, but what always takes my eye in particular with Montanum's is how some of them can have that special red tinted leaves which to me looks great.  Here is a photo in part showing the leaf colours:

Montanum upper leaves - note red tinting (Click over to enlarge)
I also checked out Schmalhauseneii No.1 which seems to be doing fine although I had noticed that both the Basal and secondary basal leaves had been nibbled which makes me suspect there could well be a slug on the prowl!  I checked all around the plant hoping to find the culprit but to no avail.  I will keep checking the plant whenever I am around this area.

"Schmalhauseneii" No.1 (Click over to enlarge)
Note: lower basal leaves have been partly predated.  See next photo for flowerhead
Schmal No.1 flowerhead (Click over to enlarge)
I have recently noted that the Wild Thyme is coming through and can't wait for it to populate the anthills and then soon we will have the Dark Green Fritillary butterflies taking advantage.  But for today I settled for the anthills being covered with Thyme Leaved Sandwort and Lesser Trefoil

Thyme Leaved Sandwort (Click over to enlarge)
Managed also to add a couple of Garden Warbler sites to the records, the Dalton Redstart had been calling earlier. A new Chiffchaff site was recorded. Lots of Small Heath Butterflies throughout, odd Red Admirals.

Some fabulous records from Robert Ashworth (Kendal) of his visit to-day on Hutton Roof

Stonechat - pair seen with at least two young birds in Dalton (brilliant news!), Cuckoo gone quiet and not heard for the last couple of days.  At least 15 Painted Lady butterflies seen heading NW and obviously moving through on migration - seen from "Hypericum Way", Dalton deforested and both Lancelot and Burton Fell. Also two Red Admirals tagging on with them.  A couple of Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries seen at the top of Burton Fell suggest recent emerging. Purple and Gold moths seen in Dalton and also Cinnabar. Two new Fly Orchids found and several sprouting Dark Red Helliborines starting to show.  (Thank you Robert).

Thursday 1st June 2017 - Swift Watch - Burton Main Street - 1900hrs to 2030hrs

Quiet in a sense with a maximum count of 11 birds, Does not seem to be any activity this year on the Post Office Buildings (as yet), two sites being used in Cocking Yard, We actually did see two of the old established sites at the Royal being used (on the rear elevation) and that was the only confirmed reports we can give.  The Starling was yet again being sentinel and on guard at the Manor House protecting what had been a Swift stronghold site in the past.