Saturday, 10 September 2016

2016 Autumn Visible Bird Migration has started and here are my records to press!

Two of Andy Holden's photos from yesterday (Click over to enlarge)


It was great to hear from Andy Holden yesterday especially letting us know that thousands of Thrushes were held up feeding near to Austwick, Clapham and Settle. I have in the past witnessed this sort of sighting myself but up in the Lyth Valley.  Its a regular thing up at Crook and only on Sunday last I also witnessed this near to Croswaite -  I wonder if these are the main two feeding areas in the North West or are there more?  Would love to hear from anyone who knows of more One thousand or more congregation areas!

Fieldfare start work at 1000hrs

Why pack up counting birds at 0900 thinking everything has finished?
Well I reckon I am as guilty as anyone else with that one!
Confabbed with other birders every year on this, saying hang on a while,
The Fieldfare sometimes only start to move at 1000hrs.
Yes I must say I agree with that whole heartedly.........

They are a bird who may like a good lie in! "naht wrong theer"..
They did this only last week on both the 20th and 22nd!
And the dates turned out to be our peak dates this year for Fieldfare.

Sometimes you might just be lucky enough to be near a roosting site!
And check your clock because you might just see the great "lift off" just befooer ten,
When plumes of feathers will mix a peppered sky, just like it does "nah and again"
Here on Hutton Roof and scores of other places as well!

(27th October 2016).

Thursday 27th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane - Interjunction with Slape SD5383276988 - Burton In Kendal 0800hrs to 0930hrs.
Wind: 10 to 15 WSW, 12c, 100% Cloud, 14800 vis, 1027mb pressure. Very quiet today, it was quite dark until well after 0800hrs. Very few thrushes in HR to clear out. All movement SE unless stated otherwise.

Chaffinch: 126 (best parties obviously ex roost and progressing: 57,30 but mainly singles and pairs.
Alba Wagtail: 2 - a pair
Redwing: 117 W (3,8,25,30,40,4,7)
Pink Footed Goose: 94 (14SE at 0830, 80 eventually SE at 0840 (circling unsure for a while)

Whoopers today over Dalton (Click over to enlarge)

Wednesday 26th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane - Interjunction with Slape SD5383276988 - Burton In Kendal 0750hrs to 1000hrs
Wind: 8mph SW, 10c, 95% Cloud down to us 50%, 15400m, Humity 1%, Rain 1.6mm, 1021.9mb pressure.  All movement SE unless specified.  Todays special was 8 Whoopers came in from the North and then circuled above me and eventually made off to the South East.

Chaffinch: 237 (best: 15,14,13,10)
Goldfinch: 11
Greenfinch: 3
Alba Wagtail: 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1W
Skylark: 1
Fieldfare: 190 N/NW (best: 80,50)
Redwing: 360 N/NW/W (best: 50,2x40)
Starling: 148 W (best:60) also 350 x roost to East
Whooper Swan: 8 SE (one party)

Tuesday 25th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane - On Top of Bonk SD53729376704 - Burton In Kendal 0750hrs to 0930hrs
Wind: East 5mph, 8c, 20% cloud, 19600m vis, 1022mb. Movement to the SE unless specified.

Chaffinch: 126
Alba Wagtail: 2
Redwing: 267 N/NW (8 parties) (Best 100,50,40)
Fieldfare: 242 (7 parties) (Best: 100,70,60)
Starling: 20 (1 party) also 400 plus ex roost to E.
Greylag Goose: 35 (two parties 5,30) Circling local territory then off South

Monday 24th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane - On Top of Bonk SD53729376704 - Burton In Kendal 0750hrs to 1000hrs
Wind: 8mph NE 4c, 37% Cloud, 19700m vis, 1016mb pressure.  All movement South East unless specified. Today showed first frost taking ice of windscreen, a very cold start, and little wind. The birds were very few and far between throughout.

Chaffinch: 95
Fieldfare: 564 N/NW (11 parties) (Best parties: 1x120,1x100,1x70)
Redwing: 116 N/NW (8 parties) (Best parties: 2x20,3x15)
Blackbird: 2W lots in hedgerows obvious new arrivals score or so
Starling: 155W (9 parties) (Best parties: 1x40,1x30,2x20)
Alba Wagtail: 1
Goldfinch: 3 (one party)
Goldfinch: 11 (5,6),
Woodpigeon: 155W (6 parties) Best parties: 1x50,2x30)
Cormorant: 3SE

Sunday 23rd October 2016 - Vicarage Lane - (On hill off lane) SD54157659 Burton In Kendal
0738 to 1300hrs

Wind: ENE 14mph, 6c, 8% Cloud, 17500 vis, 1017mb pressure. First birds through at 0738. Still quite a number of Thrushes heading mainly North to North West.

Chaffinch: 180 SE (best parties: 1x20,1x18,1x12,1x11,
Goldfinch: 23 (8,15)
Redpoll: 1
Alba Wagtail: 2 (1,1)
Fieldfare: 1707 N/NW (46 parties) Best Parties: 1x130,3x100,1x90,2x80
Redwing: 517 (22 parties) 196S and 321N/NW Best Parties: 1x50,5x40,1x30
Starling: 236W
Pink Footed Goose: 80 (50N and 30SE)
Lapwing: 4S
LBBG: 310 SE
BHG: 246 SE

Also: Sunday afternoon checked out Lyth Valley and there where fieldfare movements in a couple of places and lots of activity around the Croswaite Areas.

Saturday 22nd October 2016 - Vicarage Lane - On Top of Bonk and then after one hour moved over 200 yards to (on hill off Lane) SD53729376704 then SD54157659 Burton In Kendal 0730hrs to 1500hrs

Wind: ENE 8-10mph, 5c, 50% cloud, 17900m, 1020mb pressure. First birds through at 0734 Pinks
Another great day with the Thrushes.  Counts dropped by 0900hrs but kicked off again from 1000hrs. Eventually died off at 1300 with occasional trickles from then on.  Also interesting was to note that small parties of Redwing and one party of Fieldfare where to be seen going back in a South/South East direction (thought to be bounce backs). Vast numbers of Gulls (probably up to 1000, mainly Lesser Black/Herring plus some BHG were on the move as well this morning. All birds South East unless stated otherwise.

Chaffinch: 294 (best parties: 1,40,1x20,1x16,2x12)
Linnet: 1
Goldfinch: 11 (5,6)
Redpoll: 5 (3,2)
Greenfinch: 1
Siskin: 2
Alba Wagtail: 3
Meadow Pipit: 1
Fieldfare: 3007 N/NW (31 parties best:1x370,1x350,1x350,1x250,1x240,1x160,4x120,4x100)
Redwing: 454 (349 N/NW105S)
Mistle Thrush: 5W
Blackbird: 1W
Starling: 256W (best 50,2x40)
Woodpigeon: 40W
Pink Footed Goose: 16 SE
Lesser Black Backs/Herring/Black Headed over 1000 all South

Friday 21st October 2016 - Vicarage Lane (on hill off Lane and later from "Top of Bonk" SD54157659 and later SD53729376704 - Burton In Kendal 0715 to 1115hrs and then 1230hrs to 1400hrs.
Wind: ENE 3 mph, 5c, 86% vis 18800m cloud, 1022mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated otherwise.  It started really well especially with the Fieldfare but then dropped off by 0845 with only very occasional flocks after this. Obviously it was a Starling peak arrival day. Also Pink Feet were on the move and everytime I looked up to the North West I could see outlines of yet another skein from well up in the Lakes making there way South/South West into Morecambe Bay. I records 11 skein but there will have been lots more. And I guess there would have been over 600 birds involved. Chaffinch numbers dropping by the day.

Chaffinch: 193 (Best: 15,14,11)
Goldfinch: 20 (7,4,6,3)
Fieldfare: 1529N/NW (29 parties - best parties: 1x250,1x150,1x120,1x100,2x90)
Redwing: 298N/NW (12 parties - best parties: 1x40,5x30,
Starling: 422W(15 parties - best parties: 1x140,1x40,4x30
Skylark: 3 (one party)
Alba Wagtail: 5 (1,1,1,2)
Whooper Swan: 4W
Pink Footed Goose: 600+ Seen in far distance coming down from the Lakes and heading towards Morecambe Bay - Just occasional glances produced 11 Skeins.
Greylag Goose: 15, eventually SE.
Woodpigeon: 249 North/NW

Thursday 20th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane (on hill of Lane) SD54157659
Burton In Kendal 0730 to 1200hrs
Wind: North 10mph, 6c, 85% Cloud, 18000m vis, 1025mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated otherwise.  A obvious Thrush peak day. Which although I got a good start this soon petered out by 0830hrs, but then by about 1000hrs Fieldfare and to a far lesser degree Redwing starting coming through on a regular basis.  And by my finish at 1200hrs I had over 3000 Fieldfare. And I was to later find that the passage must have been busy all afternoon, because birds were still going through at 1700hrs when I had to further parties of 30 and 47 Fieldfares. Earlier in the morning the passage had all been to the NW but when the move restarted around the 1000hrs the movement was all to the North. The birds had been seen coming from further back over Dalton Hall. Also a nice surprise with a late Swallow.  I expect tomorrow to be a super day!!

Chaffinch: 385 (best: 15,2x14,2x10)
Goldfinch: 33 (best: 13,6,)
Skylark: 35 (best: 15,9)
Alba Wagtail: 1
Fieldfare: 3165 NW or N (58 parties - best parties: 3x150,2x120,5x100,1x90,3x80.
Redwing: 457 NW or N (17 parties - best parties: 1x50,1xc40,2x30
Blackbird: 3 (one party)
Starling: 100W (best party 60)
Swallow: 1 NW Strange going the o
Greylag Goose: 33 W to E

Wednesday 19th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane (on hill of Lane)) SD541576959 Burton In Kendal 0735 to 1015hrs
Wind: NNW 6mph, 6c, 15% Cloud, 19000m vis, 1022mb pressure.  All movement SE unless specified. Very few Chaffinch to norm, more Thrushes all going North West. Also more Starlings and also a few parties of Woodpigeon.

Chaffinch: 159 (140 SE, 19W)
Goldfinch: 4
Alba Wagtail: 1
Fieldfare: 878 all NW (18 parties) 30,10,40,50,100,20,10,40,80,15,60,40,6,25,100,50,22,80.
Redwing: 666 all NW (17 parties) best parties: 120,100,80
Blackbird: 1
Starling: 90S (one party)
Woodpigeon: 220 (10 parties: best 40,30,20)
Pink Footed Goose 18E

Tuesday 18th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane to Slape Interjunction SD5383276988 Burton In Kendal. 0740hrs to 1045hrs
Wind: WNW 10mph, 8c, 58% Cloud, 13700m vis, 1014mb pressure. Change after all this time to North Westerly sort of created a block and Chaffinch party numbers dropped and were well down in size, and other than one party of 24 thought to be ex roosting parties progressing. More in the way of Thrush passage today with more in the way of Fieldfare numbers. Nasty early heavy showers then OK after about 0800hrs.

Chaffinch: 325 (266SE and 59 either W or S) Best: presumed earlier ex roost 24, then 10,3x8
Goldfinch: 55 (5,3,5,20,4,10,8)
Redpoll: 1
Alba Wagtail: 12
Lesser Redpoll: 1
Fieldfare: 361W (11 parties 20,30,50,60,10,70,30,14,35,30,8)
Redwing: 298W (10 parties 21,30,30,15,10,27,25,80,10,50)
Starling: 1E
Common Snipe: 1
Pintail: 1W
Pink Footed Goose: 150 One Skein NW to South

Monday 17th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane to Slape Interj SD5383276988, Burton In Kendal 0915 to 1130hrs.
Wind: South 12-16mph 10c, 91% Cloud, 16600m vis, 1009mb pressure.  All movement SE unless specified. Off and on regular heavy rain showers which did clear up from about 1030hrs. Sadly missed first two hours because of other comittments. Chaffinch still a good count for time of day. Yet another good count with Goldfinch which so far best year on record.

Chaffinch: 297 (245SE and 52W)
Goldfinch: 98 (9 parties: best 30,3x12,3x8)
Alba Wagtail: 21 (best: 7,4,2x2 all rest singles)
Skylark: 1
Redwing: 20 (NW-S) one party
Fieldfare: 57 all SE (30,8,12,7)
Starling: 1W

Sunday 16th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD541576959 - 0730hrs to 1000hrs
Wind:ESE 15 - 25mph, 7c, 85% Cloud 19500m vis, 1009mb pressure. Odd light rain specking and showers from 0900hrs.  All movement South East unless specified.  I get the impression with today and yesterday that the Chaffinch are now into their final build and could peak very soon. At least this year does look like we are getting back to the numbers of 2014 after the atrocious counts recorded from 2015.

Chaffinch: 683 (643SE,40W) (Best parties: 2x21,20,2x16,2x14,13,12,4x10)
Goldfinch: 132 (Best parties: 20,15,14,2x10)
Greenfinch: 1
Alba Wagtail: 17 (1,8,8)
Fieldfare: 148 (Best: 70S,40NW,30S)
Redwing: 285S (Best: 4x20)
Starling: 30

Saturday 15th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD541576959 0730hrs to 0930hrs
Wind: East 7-12mph, 6c, 95% Cloud cover, 18500m, 1004mb pressure.  All movement SE unless specified. Good move with finches up until about 0845hrs with both Chaffinch and large numbers of Goldfinch then trickling through from then on. Thrushes again very thin just odd parties which went through and these could well have been clear outs from roosting in Hutton Roof.

Chaffinch: 698 (26W all others SE) best: 70,22,4x20,16,15,14,2x12,2x11,6x10
Goldfinch: 136 (Best: 50,40, 3x8)
Linnet: 20 (one party)
Redpoll: 2
Alba Wagtail: 5 (all singles)
Fieldfare: 68 S/SW (40,28)
Redwing: 365 S/SW (60,50,40 3x30)
Starling: 88 SE Presumed local ex roost.

Friday 14th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD538447701  0730hrs to 0830hrs
Wind: East 7-12mph, 6c, 5% Cloud, 15400m vis, 1009mb pressure. All movement to the SE unless specified.

Chaffinch: 100 (9W all others SE) Best parties: 3x6, 1x5.
Goldfinch: 7 (one party)
Alba Wagtail: 1
Blackbird: 1
Redwing: 30 (20S,10S/SE)

Thursday 13th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD5384477017 0720 to 0800hrs and 0830hrs to 1000hrs (130mins)
Wind 9-25mph ENE, 7c, 50% Cloud, 16600m vis, 1020mb pressure.  All movement SE unless stated. Broken count and away at peak period. Although going quieter there were still parties coming through on leaving.

Chaffinch: 264 (15W all others SE) parties mainly 4 to 6 with occasional larger
Goldfinch: 39 (20,7,5,7)
Alba Wagtail: 17 (5,7 all others singles)
Fieldfare: 294 W/NW (best: 2x50,2x40)
Redwing: 946 W/NW (up to 40 ish going South West)
Starling: 20E (presumed ex roost to feeding grounds)

Wednesday 12th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD541576959 0715hrs - 0900hrs
Wind: 9-25mph ENE, 7c, 20% Cloud cover, 16900m vis, 1020mb. All movement SE unless specified. Today the thrushes decided to go mainly to the South with just odd parties West/North West.

Chaffinch: 245 (13W all others SE)
Linnet: 3 (1,3)
Meadow Pipit: 2
Alba Wagtail: 5 (3,1,1,)
Redwing: 887 (516 South, 371 West/North West)
Fieldfare: 65S (15.50)
Starling: 15E (one party thought to be ex roost to East)

Tuesday 11th October 2016 - Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal SD541576959 0715-1000hrs
Wind: ENE 9-22mph, 7c, 20% cloud cover, 18900m vis, 1027mb pressure.  All movement SE unless specified. Good early move of Redwing which went off the boil from 0900hrs onwards.  Some birds went South and the majority went West or North West.  Not sure what was going on, but most birds did go straight through with only a small amount who could not resist the offerings of Hutton Roof. The birds like the past two days have clung to the west flanks of HR but some also were far more noticeable further West as though giving the impression they had come in from the South.

Chaffinch: 332 (10W all others SE) best: 15,2x10 several 9s and 8s majority 2 or 3s.
Goldfinch: 10 (6,4)
Lesser Redpoll: 1
Alba Wagtail: 2 (1,1)
Redwing: 1602 (1252 W or NW and 340 S)
Starling: 33E (presumed from local roost)
Pink Footed Goose: 14 (3S at 0800hrs and 11W at 1000hrs)


Lots of beautiful shaped clouds this morning over Dalton Crags

Monday 10th October 2016 - Plain Quarry, Dalton Lane, Burton In Kendal - SD5528176225 0715-1030hrs
Wind: NNE 5-8mph, 4c, 10% Cloud cover, 19100m vis, 1029mb pressure.  Movement to West unless stated otherwise. Decided to try area this morning.  It is superb for checking out Thrushes heading along the West flank of Hutton Roof, and it does have a few passerine passage.  Today just a small quantity ambling through at sporodic intervals.

Chaffinch: 42 all SE (Best 4, then singles and pairs)
Goldfinch: 56 (10,8,6,12,20)
Redwing: 588 (337W and 251S)
Mistle Thrush: 12W(3,2,2,2,1,2)
Common Snipe: 1W
Red Admiral Butterfly: 1

Sunday 9th October 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln (SD541576959 Burton In Kendal 0715 to 1030hrs
Wind NE 7mph, 6c, 40% Cloud, 19100m vis, 1031mb pressure.  Movement to SE unless specifed. Definately far more Redwing today and once settled down went over to the West or North West. Early on lots again were brought down into Hutton Roof but at about 1000hrs all resting birds took off in one long continuous line exit to the West, a spectacular sight and obviously for someone would see a party of some maybe seven hundred birds together! First small Fieldfare party.

Chaffinch: 295 (30W all others SE) Best: 12,9,8 a few 5s.
Siskin: Two overhead parties heard but not seen.
Linnet: 1
Goldfinch: 15W (one party)
Redwing: 2586 W or NW (81 parties) Appeared to come in from over the Dalton Crags direction and followed tight to the west flank of Hutton Roof and some continued following the Farleton Flank NW and some veered out to the North West. Best parties: One large party of 160, a few between 50-70 but in the main 20s,30s,40s
Fieldfare: 9 NW (one party) First and only party so far this year.
Blackbird: 1 S
Lapwing: 4 very high N to S
Chiffchaff: 1 in Ash tree alongside singing away full song!

Never noticed a cloud formation like this before! (Click over to enlarge)

Saturday 8th October 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln (SD541576959 Burton In Kendal 0715 to 0930hrs
Wind NE 6-7mph, 7c, 80% mottled cloud (photo below) 19400m, 1028mb pressure

The movement never really got going.  Again the Thrushes were not interested and you could see them on passing over Hutton Roof being sucked down as though with a magnet.  Although some did get through in both directions, there did seem to be a lazy day feel to any migration including the passerines.  Nice to get 4 Swallows.

Chaffinch: 205 (13W all others SE) best: 9,2x8 and majority pairs
Greenfinch: 2
Goldfinch: 8 (5,3)
Swallow: 4 (one party)
Redwing: 464 (some South some West) 90% passing over Hutton Roof and lots dropped in and later seen to carry on their journey (best: 5x40 then lots of 10 to 20s)
Fieldfare: 1
Starling: 2x15

Friday 7th October 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln (SD5410576959 Burton In Kendal 0715 - 1000hrs
Wind East 10-25mph, 10c, 50% Cloud cover, 15400m vis, 1025mb pressure. All movement SE unless specified. More Albas going through today. Dark early start or slow start. Patchy drizzle towards end

Chaffinch: 322 (30W all rest SE) Best: 1x12,3x10
Redpoll: 8 (one party)
Linnet: 2 (1,1)
Goldfinch: 4
Meadow Pipit: 2
Alba Wagtail: 35 (2,11,2,5,1,10,1,1,2)
Redwing: 389 (50% NW 50% S) difficult to say whether or not they where the same birds, both times crossing Hutton Roof - West Side. Birds seem tumbling at times. No solid movement just patchy stuff!
Fieldfare: 4
Mistle Thrush: 1
Starling: 46E (probably ex LM roost)
Long Tailed Tit: 15 (3,8,3,1)
Blue Tit: 1,2,1,)

Thursday 6th October 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln (SD5410576859 Burton In Kendal 0715 - 0900hrs
Wind: 12-25 ENE (freshing to strong at times), 7c felt a lot cooler as well this morning. 10% Cloud cover, 20000m visability, 1032mb pressure.  All movement unless specied SE. Today the numbers dropped even more, there seems little going on with this prolonged Easterly high pressure at the moment! A few going through from what appeared to be to the South or South East. They did give the appearance many (but not all) of the birds had actually come of Hutton Roof where I think they had been roosting during the past day or two. I noticed also yesterday as well scores of Blue Tits and some Great Tits all going South East whilst "hedgehopping".

Chaffinch: 239 (16W all others SE) Best: 12,10, a few at 8
Greenfinch: 2
Goldfinch: 40 (one party)
Song Thrush: 2
Starling: 4W
Redwing: 313 S/SE  (best: 2x40s several 30,20,25)
Mistle Thrush: 1S
Skylark: 1W
Common Snipe: 12 (one party W to E)
Heron: 1 SE to NW (0830hrs)
Blue Tits: Scores moving SE - hedge hopping

Wednesday 5th October 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln (SD5410576859) Burton In Kendal 0715hrs to 0930hrs
Wind: 12-30mph (freshning to 15mph by 0930hrs) Most birds finished by 0900hrs then trickling through. 10c, 40% Cloud cover, 18700m vis, 1033mb pressure. All movement South East unless specified. Pressure seems to have set in and the worst counting day so far this month. A trickling of Chaffinch with small party numbers. A few Redwing passing through all more or less going South/South East following the line of Hutton Roof (west side) and leaving to the South.

Chaffinch: 238 (10W,12S all others SE) Best: 13,9 but mainly 2s and 3s.
Goldfinch: 14 (7,7)
Meadow Pipit: 2
Blackbird: 1
Redwing: 289 (1N,14E, all others either South or South East
Starling: 25W (one party)
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1 NW

Tuesday 4th October 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln (SD5410576859) Burton In Kendal 0715hrs to 1045hrs
Wind: 12-28 ESE, 11c, 60% Cloud cover, 12900m vis, 1031mb pressure.  All movement SE unless specified. No Meadow Pipits, Finch numbers much reduced though still going through on my depart. Party numbers dropping instead of build, but think this will be purely down to local conditions. Redwings nominal early morning stuff with small (12 ish) parties heading S/SE and a few parties heading NW which like yesterday could not resist the temptation to drop down into Hutton Roof, just like a magnet pulling them out of the sky.  This in itself is always a sign that there will be no migration today! Majority of movement had dropped at 0900hrs with odds and sods after.  Although the Chaffinch are still going through at about 1 per minute on my leaving.

Chaffinch: 365 (27W all the rest to the SE) Best: 1x11,1x9,2x6
Goldfinch: 21 (8,7,6)
Siskin: 1
Greenfinch: 1
Starling: 5W (2,3)
Alba Wagtail: 3 (2,1)
Swallow: 5 (1,4)
Mistle Thrush: 1
Song Thrush: 6 (5,1)
Redwing: 297 (146 S/SE and the remainder W/NW) best: 3x30 most parties 12 to 20
Skylark: 12 (one party)
Common Snipe: 4SE (one party)
Greylag Goose: 7 (one party considered local)
Brent Goose: 1S

Also Yellow Browed Warbler seen yesterday in Lancelot (Hutton Roof) by Robert Ashworth

Monday 3rd October 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln (SD5410576859) Burton In Kendal 0715hrs to 1115hrs.
Wind: 7-12 ESE 6c, 68% Cloud cover, 20000m vis, 1027mb pressure.  All movement SE unless specified. Quick blast with many birds at first light which died off after some 20 minutes and returned to something normality. First descent Redwing parties, a single calling Fieldfare. Majority of the Redwing came in from the Dalton side and crossing over Hutton Roof which most were tempted down and into the ~Dalton Crags areas and Lancelot/Burton Fell areas. Some went straight through to NW then later to the West.

Chaffinch: 713 (44W then all SE) Best: 20,16,2x12,2x11,3x10
Meadow Pipit: 88 (Best: 15,12,9)
Alba Wagtail: 5 (3,1,1)
Goldfinch: 20 (1,7,5,6,1)
Swallow: 2 (1,1)
Redpoll: 2
Song Thrush: 10 SW (one party)
Blackbird: 2
Redwing: 640 to NW or W (28 parties) best: 3x50,
Fieldfare: 1 SE
Starling 23 E
Common Snipe: 4SE (one party)
Pink Footed Goose: 50 (one skein NW to SE at 0900hrs)
Red Admiral Butterfly: 3 (1,1,1)

Went up to Whin Yeates (Top of Hutton Roof between Farleton) at 1230hrs and there was a blogging Meadow Pipit party of 70 plus and also lots of Redwing on Hutton Roof itself.

Sunday 2nd October 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln (SD5410576859) Burton In Kendal 0715hrs to 1100hrs.
Wind: 6-8mph NNE, 5c, 1% Cloud, 19600m vis, 1016mb pressure. All movement SE unless specified. 0800hrs severe drop in movement then small but regular after 0930hrs until close. Birds still trickling through on leaving. Informed large Redwing arrivals with 50 parties approx coming through over Bradford very high to WNW but could not get on these.

Chaffinch: 528 (23W all others SE) Best parties: 60,35,12,11
Goldfinch: 22 (7,5,5,5)
Swallow: 24 (1,25,3,1,2,4,2,1,1,2)
Linnet: 4 (2,2)
Redpoll: 2 (1,1)
Redwing: 9 SE (one party 0730hrs)
Mistle Thrush: 2
Song Thrush: 2W
Lapwing: 15 (one party)
Red Admiral: 3 (1,1,1,)

No Meadow Pipits, but the strange thing is if I was only half a mile away on the East side of Hutton Roof example Whinn Yeates then I would probably have a hundred or two.  Check yesterday afternoon late posting below.

Saturday 1st October 2016 - Whinn Yeates, Clawthorpe Road, Apex of road just before Whinn Yeats (GPS: SD5507678996) 1400hrs to 1530hrs

Wind East 6-8mph

Meadow Pipit: 112 all SE as though coming out of Lakes and heading towards Ingleborough direction, still trickling through on leaving. Best parties: 7,2x6,2x5
Chaffinch: 2W
Skylark: 2S
Swallow: 4 SE
Red Admiral: 1

Saturday 1st October 2016 - Off Vicarage Lane, (SD5410576859) Burton In Kendal 0715hrs to 1000hrs
Wind: East 6-8mph, 6c, 58% Cloud, 12600m vis, 1006mb pressure. All movement SE unless specified. Good early passage of Chaffinch up until 0745hrs then just steady from then with big drop at 0945hrs. Goldfinch doing OK, Redwing calls yesterday and again today with birds in the large Ash trees which are obviously dropping in overnight.  Also lots of Blackbirds.

Chaffinch: 621 (41W all others SE) Best parties: 1x16,1x13,2x10
Goldfinch: 66 (6,12,6,10,16,12,6)
Linnett: 2 (1.1)
Greenfinch: 2
Alba Wagtail: 2
Reed Bunting: 2
Meadow Pipit: 15
Swallow: 6 (1,2,2,1)
House Martin: 13 (one party)
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1
Skylark: 2
Mistle Thrush: 4 (2,2)
Song Thrush: 2
Blackbird: 8 (2,6 to SE) but lots of birds in large trees and hedgerows.
Redwing: present in large Ash trees.
Greylag Goose: 6 N-S at 0750hrs.

Friday 30th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Lane, (SD5410576859) Burton In Kendal 0715hrs to 1130hrs
Wind: SW 8-10mph, 8c, 85% reducing to 60% Cloud cover, 18700m visability, 1008mb pressure.
Heavy showers with occasional long dry spells and then showers repetitive. Obviously a few Pink Feet on the move. Suspect Song Thrush or Redwing party of 6 E-W.Goldfinch and Albas on the move. Nice mixed party of 30 plus both Swallow and House Martin feeding up on the way through

Chaffinch: 355 (32W all others SE)
Goldfinch: 58 (30,10,12,6)
Alba Wagtail: 3
Swallow: 7 (4,1,1,1,) plus the large mixed feeding party of 15 plus)
House Martin: 4 (at least 4 and probably more from the mixed feeding party)
Small Turdus 6 (2S and party of 6 W) presumed to be either Song Thrush or Redwing.
Starling: 2 East (probably roost to feeding grounds)
Pink Footed Goose: 228 (3 skeins: 1@80 plus NW to SW at 0840hrs, 1@48 South at 0942, 1@100 approx NW to South at 0950hrs
Pintail: 7 (one party East to West at 0751hrs)
Red Admiral: 2 (surprised! not by the date but with the weather and little sun)

Thursday 29th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, (Tram) Burton In Kendal (Checked out at 0715hrs and went home.  Then did a 15minute check out at 0845hrs to 0900hrs, also did a 30 minute stint at 1300hrs to 1330hrs
Wind: WSW 21 to 31mph and later increasing to West 24-36mph, 12 to 13c, 73% Cloud cover down to 18% Cloud cover, 18300m vis down to 16600m, 1008mb pressure.

15 minute count only:
Chaffinch: 36
later 30 minute count only:
Chaffinch: 11
Swallow: 2
Pink Footed Goose: 8 NW- South (1315hrs)

Wednesday 28th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, (Tram) Burton In Kendal 0715hrs to 1000hrs.
Wind: 12-20mph WSW, 13c, 99%cloud, 17800m vis, 1019mb pressure. Movement mainly to the SE unless stated otherwise. With catching wind today creating arcing and a biased flight more SSE and S. First birds at 0726 remained darkish at first. Movement very slow today with low mist forming at 0900hrs followed by drizzle and then heavy showers.  Odd birds still going through. Came away at 1000hrs.

Chaffinch: 256 (20W 2S) Best: 17,9,8, lots of 5s
Swallow: 1
Meadow Pipit: 8 (6,2)
Common Snipe 1W
Alba Wagtail: 3
Goldfinch: 6 (one party)
Starling: 7E (0834hrs)

Tuesday 27th September 2016 - Main Street, Burton In Kendal - approx 1900hrs
Had 3 Redwing calling to-night as they left a local garden with tall trees. FIRST OF THE YEAR FOR ME

Tuesday 27th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, (Tram), Burton In Kendal 0700 to 0930hrs
Wind: 16-31mph, 13c, 99% Cloud cover, 14000m vis, 1015mb pressure. All movement South East unless specified. At times blow back and arcing and at times birds going through with side of compensation. Drop at 0750 with at times freshning winds and drizzle again at 0915hrs. Never really got going.

Chaffinch: 205 (14W all others SE), best: a few x8, a few x6 and several x5
Swallow: 8 (3,4,1)
Goldfinch: 12 (6,6)
Song Thrush: 2 (SW to NE)
Common Snipe: 1 (NW to S)

Monday 26th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Lane, (Tram) Burton In Kendal 0700 to 1130hrs
Wind: SSE 8-14ph, 8c 98% Cloud, 15900vis, 1018mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated. Some birds flying very high at first and then later to normal levels. Dropped at 0745hrs, was about to give up at 0845hrs, but then movement went really well from 0900hrs onwards.  Slight drop at 1115hrs, movement still strong parties (5 to 6 on leaving). Chaffinch parties building now with several parties at 16s and 12s.

Chaffinch: 841 (24W,4S all rest SE) Best: 1x22,3x16,1x15,5x12,3x10
Swallow: 23 (Best 2x6)
Alba Wagtail:14 (Best 2x3)
Linnet: 1
Meadow Pipit: 16 (2,6,8)
Reed Bunting: 3 (one party)
Pink Footed Goose: 97 (one party of 60 NW to SE 0715hrs - and one party 37 E-SW at 0740hrs)

also further count from 1400hrs to 1430hrs.
Chaffinch: 50 (best: 5,4) (bringing day total to 891)

Sunday 25th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0700hrs to 0945hrs
Wind SW 12-23mph, 12c, 75% Cloud, 14200m vis, 1005mb pressure. Regular rain showers throughout but mainly 0745hrs to 0800hrs. Movement did have a slight bias to SSE when birds coming over Tram. Movement more or less dropped at 0900hrs.  All movement SE unless stated otherwises.

Chaffinch: 263 (21W, 20S all others SE) best: 2x10,9,8,3x7,4x6,
Meadow Pipit: 1
Swallow: 14 (5,4,3,1,1)
Goldfinch: 26 (2x10,6)
Alba Wagtail: 1
Small Turdus: 1SE
Starling: 8E
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1SE
Cormorant: 1 NW to SE
Wigeon: 3 E-W
Greylag Goose: 5 (0720hrs NW-S)

Saturday 24th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0700hrs to 1030hrs
Wind: South 18-32mph, (Strong Southerlies are without doubt blocking winds!) 12c, 89% Cloud, 18500m vis, 1012mb pressure. Movement South East unless specified. Wind far too strong, very few birds getting through, most being continually blown back in "arc". 0915 wind strengthening. Site: GPS is SD5394276908 (Gate to Tram)

Chaffinch: 101 (9W all others SE) (best: 3x6, 2x5
Goldfinch: 35 (20,7,8)
Alba Wagtail: 2
Swallow: 16 (5,4,3,1,1,1,1)
Song Thrush: 1W
Mistle Thrush: 1E

Friday 23rd September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0700hrs to 1030hrs
Wind: SW 5-7mph, 8c, 65% Cloud, 18900m vis, 1021mb pressure. All movement SE unless stated otherwise. Quiet with best movement from 0900hrs onwards.  Still reasonable passage on leaving.

Chaffinch: 273 (33W, 10S all rest SE) Best: 15,11,8,7,4x6.
Meadow Pipit: 12 (best 5,3)
Starling: 26 (5 to the W)
Small Turdus: 1W
Greylag Goose: 40 South to NW
Swallow: 13
Alba Wagtail: 3
Mistle Thrush: 1
Goldfinch: 5 (one party)

Thursday 22nd September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0700hrs - 0900hrs
Wind: 8-16 mph South West, 12c, 62% Cloud, 8900m vis, 1015mb pressure. Location GPS: SD5390376792 - All movement South East unless stated otherwise.  Movement dropped at 0800hrs.

Chaffinch: 143 (25W, 16S all the rest SE) Best: 1x9,2x6,3x5)
Linnet: 3 group
Greenfinch: 1
Goldfinch: 9 (one party)
Reed Bunting: 1
Swallow: 3
Starling: 30 E (presumed from Leighton Moss Bird Reserve) Numbers definately growing!
Kestrel: 1
Alba Wagtail: 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1W
Pink Footed Goose: 24 SE at 0840hrs

Roe Deer: 3

Wednesday 21st September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln Burton In Kendal (Two Sessions)
Wind: 8-16mph SSE, 11c, 80% Cloud, 18400m vis with at times deteriation, 1017m.
All movement to the SE unless stated otherwise.

First Session: 0700hrs to 0820hrs

Meadow Pipit: 37 (best 14)
Chaffinch: 155 (7W, 12S all rest SE) Best: 3x7,1x6, several at 5)
Swallow: 7
Starling: 34E (best 30)
Linnet: 7 (3,2,2)
Goldfinch: 25 (10,6,5,4,)
Redpoll: 2S
Alba Wagtail: 4 (3,1,)
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1E

Jackdaw numbers swelling into hundreds.

Second Session: 0930hrs to 1115hrs

Chaffinch: 159 (19W, 1S all others SE)
Starling: 14W
Swallow: 40 (1W all others SE) best 14
Linnet: 1
Goldfinch: 32 (21,10,1)
House Martin: 2
Great Spotted Woodpecker:1

Combined totals:

Meadow Pipit: 37
Chaffinch: 314
Swallow: 47
Starling 48
Linnet: 8
Goldfinch: 57
Redpoll: 2
Alba Wagtail: 4
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 2

Other interesting records to report (Possible Vismig)

1015 and 1020hrs Tuesday 20th September 2016 - Whilst driving from the Morecambe Prom in line with Happy Mount Park

Two seperate skeins of Pink Footed Goose one of 22 at 1015hrs and one of 30 at 1017hrs approx coming from over the West of me which would have ended up approx by the Happy Mount Park

Monday 19th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, Burton in Kendal 0700hrs to 0830hrs

6-8mph North, 9-12c, 27% Cloud, 124000-18900m vis, 1023mb pressure.
All movement SE unless given different.

Chaffinch: 117 (15S, 38W all the rest SE) best: 14,12)
Swallow: 33 (21W)
Starling: 18E (presumed local from roost)
House Martin: 4
Pink Footed Goose: 50S - (0718hrs)
Linnet: 1
Meadow Pipit: 2
Most probable HOBBY

Other interesting records to report (Not Vismig):

1810hours Sun 18th Sept 2016: Whilst walking along Canal from Station Road.

at least 40/50 Alba Wagtail coming in from the West and heading in the direction of Burton Motorway Services.  I presumed going to roost.  Also noticed another spot just before Tarn Lane with scores of Chaffinch heading towards the maize, presumed a regular roost.

Sunday 18th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0730 to 0915hrs
Wind: 3-6mph South,60% Cloud, patches of low cloud, 20000m vis, 1021mb pressure.
All movement SE unless given different.

Chaffinch: 109 (32W,8S) Best: 1x6, 2x5
Meadow Pipit: 5 (4,1)
Blackbird: 1
Starling: 6 NE (probably local from Leighton Moss)
Swallow: 6W (maybe local)
Common Snipe: 1
Greenfinch: 1

Saturday 17th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0800hrs to 0930hrs
A lot cooler 5-7mph, 39% Cloud, 1023mb pressure.
All movement SE unless given different.

Alba Wagtail: 1
Chaffinch: 48 (90% SE, 10% W or S) best: 1x5, 2x4
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1W
Meadow Pipit: 6
Goldfinch: 1
Swallow: 6 (4,1,1)
Mistle Thrush: 4W
Pink Footed Goose: 11 E to W (0940)

Thursday 15th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0930hrs to 1100hrs
Wind: 3-5mph SSW to SSE 14c-20c, 80% hazy low cloud, 17700 to 15300m vis, 1012mb pressure.
All movement SE unless given different

Chaffinch: 120 (best: 9,8,6,6)
Meadow Pipit: 23 (best 6,5)
Goldfinch: 6 (one party)
Alba Wagtail: 2
Swallow: 84 (best: 52,8,7)
House Martin: 4 (2,2)
Greenfinch: 2
Linnet: 1
Kestrel: 1S
Great Spotted Woodpecker 1 SW

Wednesday 14th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Ln, Burton In Kendal 0715-0945hrs
Wind 9-20mph NE, 15c, 5% Cloud, 15000m vis, 1013mb pressure. GPS: SD534477017
All movement SE unless given different.

Chaffinch: 186 (75% SE 25% W/SW) (best: 16,10,)
Meadow Pipit: 19 (best:5)
Swallow: 36 (best 16,6) missing most with being too high but did see glimpses
Goldfinch: 25 (one party 2-0 E to W) plus 2,2,1.
Linnet: 3 (one party)
Greenfinch: 3 (one party)
Reed Bunting: 1
Great Spotted Woodpecker: 1 to NW
Kestrel: 1S
Red Admiral Butterfly: 4 singles South
also Small Tortoishell: 1

Tuesday 13th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal 0730hrs to 1100hrs
Wind: 6-8mph ESE, 14c, 1% Cloud, 19500m vis, 1010mb pressure. GPS: SD5384477017
All movement SE unless given different

Chaffinch: 240 (maybe 30 to West (Best: 2x10,2x8,3x7)
Meadow Pipit: 95 (best: 12,11, several 8)
Goldfinch: 18 (6,5,6,1)
Redpoll: 3
Swallow: 162 (best: 30,10,9)
House Martin: 4
Starling: 2W
Pink Footed Goose: 40 West (early report given to me a skein at 0700hrs)
Blackbird: 1
Red Admiral: 10 South

Monday 12th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal 0900hrs-0915hrs
Wind: 20-31mph South, 16c, 73% cloud, 18300m vis, 1008mb pressure.
All movement SE unless given different

Chaffinch: 16 (best 9)
Reed Bunting: 2 (1 pair)
Swallow: 2
Mistle Thrush: 1

Sunday 11th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal 0700hrs-0900hrs
Wind: 7-14 in gust SSW, 10c, 63% Cloud, 20000m vis, 1014mb
All movement SE unless given different

Swallow: 39 (best 10,6,5)
Meadow Pipit: 15 (best 4x3)
Chaffinch: 55 (a third to SW) best 2x6,2x5 several 4s mainly singles/pairs
Starling: 7E (4E,3E) probably local
BHG: 9 (best 7)
Pink Footed Goose: 40 (12 W to E at 0740hrs, 28 E-W 0838hrs
Alba Wagtail: 1
Jay 2 (probably local)

Saturday 10th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal 0830hrs to 1100hrs
Wind: 2 to 3mph WNW,7c, 79% Cloud cover, 17700m vis, 10-1100mb pressure.
All movement SE unless given different

Swallow: 74 Majority SE but 10W
Chaffinch: 61 Majority SE several SW
Pink Footed Goose: 1 skein of 21 E-W at 0855hrs
Goldfinch: 3
Osprey 1 SE at 0953hrs
Linnet: 1W
Bullfinch: 1W
Meadow Pipit: 13 (one at 4 all others singles and one pair)

Friday 9th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal 1020hrs to 1120hrs
All SE unless stated otherwise

Swallow: 12 (2,4,6)
House Martin: 2 (paired)
Goldfinch: 1
Chaffinch: 32 (singles, pairs odd 5,4) - Some birds to SW
Meadow Pipit: 1
Woodpigeon: 1
HERON at least 200ft high going East to West.

Thursday 8th September 2016 - Off Vicarage Lane, Burton In Kendal  1330hrs to 1415hrs

Swallow: 39 (all SE) (9,17,12,1)
Meadow Pipit: 4 (SE)

Thursday, 8 September 2016

What floral beauties line the margins of Burton's crop fields - Whilst SWALLOWS wave ta-ta!

Unusual 15 petalled "Creeping Buttercup"  (Click over to enlarge)

Over the past few weeks I have been passing crop fields just off Vicarage Lane in Burton In Kendal. Some fields will have Maize whilst others have Fodder Beet and it always surprises me just what flora gems are lurking in the margins.

I had to take a photo of the strange Creeping Buttercup (photo shown above).  I have never seen one like this before, and it has 15 petals formed in 3 layers of 5.

Another one on show every year is the Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum). I can only think its called that because of the black berry which should start to appear very soon now.  Because other than that there is no black present.  The flower is white and yellow with green leaves and dark green stems. I am told that not only its rare cousin the Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade is extremely poisonous but also the Black Nightshade's unripened fruit or its leaves contain Solanine and even more dangerous Antropine.  So let's leave that one alone and just enjoy the photograph "nuff said" !!!

Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) - Click over to enlarge
Another plant that seems to frequent the crop margins is the Galinsoga quadriradiata which looks very similar to the Gallant Soldier (G. Parviflora).

Galinsoga quadriradiata (Click over to enlarge)

(Click over photo to enlarge)

Top Left: Knotgrass (Polygonum) Top Right: Plaintain (Plantago)
Bottom Left: Groundsel (Senecio) Bottom Right: Redshank (Persicaria)

(Click over photo to enlarge)

Top Left: A mixture Top Right: Fat Hen (Chenopodium)
Bottom Left: Groundsel (Senecio), Sow Thistle (Sonchus asper)

THERE ARE EVEN MORE FLORAL PHOTOS WHICH I WILL ADD WHEN I GET CHANCE TO SORT THEM........ Soon heading off up thi'hill to a "birding experience" vismigging starts anyday soon with lots and lots of SWALLOWS!!  SO PLEASE COME BACK AND CHECK OUT WHAT BIRDIES HAVE BEEN WAVING TA-TA!!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

A Hedgehog fungi and Montanum Day (23rd August 2016)

Well I have lots of stuff to blog about as soon as I can and will share with you soon.  I have recorded but not yet put into blog a piece on “Flowers I have found on the edges of Maize or Fodder Beet fields in Dalton near Burton in Kendal” you may be surprised just to see what variety we get take for instance: Solanum nigrum or maybe better known as the Black Nightshade and what about Galinsoga quadriradiata which isn’t but just looks very similar to it’s relation the Gallant Soldier.  But that’s all for another day because today I want to talk about what went on Tuesday last when I decided to make it a Hedgehog and Montanum day.

Hypericum Montanum No.3 - Click to enlarge
It started whilst going through Dalton Crags and looking out for just anything available and worthy of note.  It was even worth (to me) to make gps notes to where all the Hypericum Perforatum was and subsequently recorded, because this information could be very beneficial to just where the species was on the Hutton Roof complex and its association (perhaps) to another rare hypericum species which I have been fortunate to recently find.  I didn’t mean going out of my way, but to record all I could see from the forestry track on my way up from Nineteen Trees and onward through the Crag. 

Climbing up through the lower crags and stopping off talking with folk and making notes and stopping to take the odd photo I eventually arrived at the little beauties which were my first intended destination of the beautiful day to check out the near hypericum montanums (population no.3) or known as the Pale St. John's Wort. So out with the camera to capture the plant (see left). I also found another nearby (20ft at least) and up to seven seedlings which hopefully will mature and prosper and be on view in future years.  Its always worth checking the leaves of our specimens on HR because so far every one I have checked have shown perforatum within the leaf and according to all the text books at my avail, this should not be happening.  So you can see why I am noting even common species such as "Perforated" because I wonder if some hybrid meddling has taken place here somewhere along the line.  Another "perforatum" species I regular encounter up here on Hutton Roof is Hypericum Pulchrum (or Slender St. John's Wort) and maybe that species could well have also played its part in this strange phenomena.  Time will tell.

No sooner had I left the little beauties than I was to bump into this fabulous chap which I can only
Dung Beetle - Click over to enlarge
imagine maybe he was some sort of dung beetle, he was large and had large folded brown transparentish wings which now and again he would display in a sort of threatening posture as though perhaps I was too close and he was showing me he was ready to take to the wing should I go one step further. I enjoyed watching him for another ten minutes or so whilst he took on his mountainous terrain and at times wobbling on the "tipping point" similar to how you see the land-rover on a assault course.  The amount of times I find these larger beetles on their back with legs waving about and helpless.
This chap today seem to be doing fine.

Climbing even further through Dalton and again noting all "perforatum" on the way up and just before the "Line of Trees" I glanced across to the butterfly bush (buddlea). All the times I go up here and have never noticed it before.  It looked well out of place up here amongst all the natural stuff but I guess it would be playing its part in bringing in lots of the more abundant butterflies like the Torts, Red Admirals and Peacocks which I were seeing plenty of today

Its quickly becoming that time of year again "Visible Bird Migration".  Good job I had my binoculars with me and checking out the far wall was not to be disappointing with a fabulous Wheatear with the most upright posture I have ever seen, a proper standing to attention bird! and only perhaps a few metres to its left a lovely Stonechat which later made off to the ground and quickly back up onto some shrub high point where it could have its temporary "watchpoint". I was wondering if this would be the pair already come back to their regular wintering territory or would it be just a solitary bird passing through!  I guess the wheatears are on the move and will have come in overnight and dropped in to feed up before setting off again later that night onward towards their final destination of South Africa. I was to also see another Wheatear as I got further around and coming down through Lancelot Clark Storth.

"Ramosum " A. Scollopendrium Click to enlarge
Onward and upward through the boundary and on to the Common stopping briefly at the Trig Point to take in the magnificient views. Soon I was looking for "Ramosum" and sure enough he gave me a quick wave with his many tentacle fingers. He doesn't change much from year to year its a very strong looking plant and always worthy of yet another photograph.

Descending the Crags and then ascending the next set of Crags in search of the small hedgehog fungi better known as the Spiny Puffball fungi.  Back in 2014 I had seven of them but last year this was down to one and this year I just drew a blank with none at all showing. I checked out all the surrounding areas without success.

Its not long before I am fighting my way through lots of undergrowth barely penetrable but hiding yet another beautiful pavement, and this is were Montanum No.2 lives, just a singular plant which seems to survive in the most precarious of places on the side of a well fractured gryke.  I have now watched this plant over three years and as yet there have been no additions, neither have I noticed any set seedlings in the immediate areas.  Its lies about one mile away from No.1 and some one and a half miles away from No.3 yet here again we have another rare specimen with the unique "perforatum" leaves!

During my adventures today I was fortunate to see quite a few butterflies which were mainly Small Tortoiseshells, Red Admirals and at one point whilst entering Lancelot Clark Storth (A Cumbria Wildlife Reserve) I had the pleasure to see a Wall Brown Butterfly on Ragwort.

Soon I arrived at the home of Hypericum Montanum No.1, and this was the very first specimen of this particular species which I located back in 2013 and it has done well every year since.  Or should I say that is up to this year.  For some reason the main group of eight plants has just not appeared this year although the surrounding plants are all doing fine.

Finished off the day checking out Angular Solomon's Seal, lots of gone over Epipactis "orchids" and also the rare Southern Polypody Ferns.

Monday, 15 August 2016

More Helleborine Purpurea plus other stuff (15th August 2016)

Grayling Butterfly (Click over to enlarge)

It seems to me to have been a cracking year with the Grayling butterflies which have been everywhere this year on Hutton Roof, probably the best year yet! Also this very morning (15th Aug 2016) I had a very washed out large Fritillary (Dark Green or maybe High Brown!) which seems very late, it was enjoying the sun and feeding on hawkweeds and ragwort.  Lots of Large Skippers about as well, also Meadow Browns, Peacocks and the occasional Red Admiral and several whites.

Up to yesterday we still had 19 Swifts (am) and a count of 11 by 2000hrs so they are still about, can only think they must be late brooders because most of our Swifts had left by 5th August which you would consider to be the norm.

Hypericum Montanum - Dalton Crags today (Click over to enlarge)

Guess what?  I have managed to relocate the rare Pale St. John's Wort (Hypericum Montanum) in Dalton Crags, but not only that the really good news is that there are seven (new) seedlings with paired leaves or more all quite close to the parent plant, so hopefully in the next year or two we might just find more!

I keep checking out the scollies in hopes of finding another Crispum!  now then that really is asking a lot but you never know.  Yesterday whilst checking out some fabulous orchids I just had to call off and check how the Southern Polypody (Polypodium cambricum) are doing. Here below are a couple of photos of the state of play yesterday.

Southern Polypody (Polypodium cambricum) Click over to enlarge
Some baby "Cambricums" (Click over to enlarge)
And here are a few more of the orchid beauties I have had in the last few days.  I thought best to track down Specimen Purpurea 15 to see how he is going on in his fourth year as I know.  So here is a photo from yesterday.

Specimen Purpurea No.15 (Click over to enlarge)

So thats Specimen No.15 which I have now been monitoring since 2012 and although in most years it will take on purple, just occasionally things start to go wrong like back in 2013 when you did not get any flowers at all, you just got a sort of television aerial made up of bracts with dried out buds which just dropped off.

Specimen 15 from 2013 (Click over to enlarge)
Here is a little sketch back in 2013 I did which shows all the beautiful helliborines snuggled under this one particular tree, some turn out with purple, others are just like any other standard helliborines, although some also take on a reddish look.  But in 2013 for some reason five of the plants "aborted" before flowering. The last three years all has been OK.

Sketch showing 2013 Aborted plants marked with "X" (Click over to enlarge)
I got a nice surprise yesterday morning when I went to check out Specimen 15 and the rest to find a love trio of plants facing the South West which have come through with Purpurea but the colours with strong leanings to Purply red.  Here is a photograph showing these little beauties:

The new trio which has appeared behind Spec 15 (Click over to enlarge)

I had this beautiful Antler Moth yesterday whilst coming through Lancelot Clark Storth, I was actually making a long detour to try and avoid those nasty little (or larger) ticks.  All full grown adults of both sexes trying to get through and I managed to fight them all off (well I think so!) but I'll bet I had no less than 50 on me "yuk!!" I soon realised they could run almost as fast as spiders other than that it was all "Ticketyboo".

           Antler Moth on Ragwort in Lancelot Clark Storth yesterday (Click over to enlarge)
I nearly forgot the other day whilst dropping down through Burton Fell I came out into the open fields and saw about ten large checkered dragonflies circling around and coming very close to me. I dont know what sort they where but really nice to see.  At first when I saw so many I thought they were on migration (like I have seen them over in India), but no they must just have been locals and perhaps just hatched or something.

The birdlife seems to have gone pretty quiet although I am still hearing plenty of Willow Warblers doing their "hou whit" contact calls, also occasional broken song Chiffchaffs.  Dont know whether there still local birds or whether they are birds passing through because migration has definately started. Also seeing Nuthatches (lots), Ravens, Jays, Long Tailed Tits, and quite a few Marsh Tits this year. You hear them more than you see them with their fabulous unique "Pishoo" call.

I guess thats it for me folks please enjoy....

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Epipactis Helleborine var Purpurea (10th August 2016)

Purpurea No.3 is stunning!  (Click over to enlarge)

All the photographs included here were taken this morning unless otherwise stated. They were took on one particular local area on the Hutton Roof Crags (A Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserve)

To-day I have been checking out the Broad Leaved Helleborine (Epipactis Helleborine)  "Purpurea" variants and on to-days pavement alone I have five separate plants at various locations.  I also have a few more scattered about on other pavements which I have not had chance to check out this year.

The photo above is from a plant (Purpurea specimen No.3)  which lies about one metre under thick canopy and its purple colouring goes in fine contrast to its unusual light green ovaries, bracts and stem. The inner Hyperchile on these plants is usually a darker red or a dark purple colour. As a rule the purple takes over the main colouring within the flowers which as always the sepal takes on the darker in relation to the slightly lighter petals. Of further interest here is that very close by to this plant (about 5 yards), but in far less canopy with just a little shade is another plant (Purpurea specimen No.4) which also has very pale green ovaries, bracts and stem so again we are treated to such a beautiful contrasting coloured specimen.  I am sure that these two plants will be related! I am now putting on here a photograph which I took yesterday evening together with a close up photo of the flower, epichile and hyperchile which I took this morning and you can get some idea of the actual "purple colouring". The photo below was taken about 2000hrs just has the sun had started to go down.

Purpurea No.4 - A lovely plant (Click over photo to enlarge)
And to follow on whilst covering notes of Purpurea No.4 (above), I can show you the close up photo which shows the flower including the Epichile and Hyperchile. This photo was taken this morning at approx 0930hrs whilst a little sunny.

Close up of the flower on Specimen Purpurea No.4 (Click over to enlarge)

I first noticed odd plants going into "Purpurea" colouring some four years ago and did at first think that this phenomena was maybe down to some mineral reaction within the soil base. That was my early thoughts, because where you found one you could then sometimes find two or even more.  Also another theory I have which I stick to even today is that canopy has something to do with it and subsequently allowing a sort of photo synthesis reaction to take place.  The reason I say this is that I usually find that the deeper the plant is to or within canopy, more often than not the purple colouring goes stronger. So intermediate stages of purple colouring are taking place.

Another interesting observation into these strange "purpurea" specimens is that they do not come up like this every year.  The last time the "purpurea phenomena" took place was in 2014 and of course its happening yet again this year.  Last year during 2015 the same plants were just as you would expect a almost normal (perhaps slightly darker) helleborine to be.  So this helped me further in regard to it being unlikely to be caused through ground mineral interference because if this was the sole reason then I would have expected the same result to occur on a regular annual basis. Although I do have to add that I would never rule out completely the "ground mineral interference idea" because this could be causing a reaction when other factors are combined together.

Purpurea No.1 which I found back in 2014 is the plant which does seem to go to the deepest purple in colour.  Below are the flowers as I recorded them back in 2014.

Purpurea No.1 which is probably the darkest one we have (Click over to enlarge)
You can see from the above photo just how dark it can get and this morning I decided to check on the plant and take a photograph which you can see that the plant is taking on that deep "purpurea" colouring again.

The same plant two years on and photographed this morning - Purpurea No.1 (Click over to enlarge)

And now for a lovely photograph of how Purpurea Specimen No 2 looks today:

Purpurea Specimen No.2 (Click over to enlarge)
Purpurea specimen No.2 will be noted to have a very dark green stem which is in total contract to its close neighbours which are only yards apart being Purpurea 3 and 4. This plant is slightly more exposed to a direct sunlight with little canopy protection although for most of the day it will be shaded to its West side.

And finally moving across the pavement some 300 yards I come to the last specimen (as far as I know) on this particular pavement which is Specimen Purpurea No.5

Specimen Purpurea No.5 (Click over to enlarge)
No.5 is very interesting and lies some 300 yards away from its nearest relations! it is growing under canopy and close to a juniper bush and within a yard at one side and a yard at the other side are three fine specimens of very tall Epipactis Helleborine (Broad Leaved) which show no signs of purpurea in their make up, just the regular colourings you would expect with Helleborine.  Also of special interest here is that within four yard distance is a Helliborine var: chlorantha which has only white and green in the flower with a total absence of any of the regular colouring.

Friday, 5 August 2016

Epipactis Helleborine Specials on Hutton Roof (5th Aug 2016)

A helleborine specimen from 2014 "full blown purpurea" found 15ft under canopy (Click over to enlarge)
I enjoyed this morning on Hutton Roof Crags (Cumbria Wildlife Reserve), I was actually collecting more evidence on the mystery plant which is without doubt just starting to go over now. Though I did manage to get a photo together with more close up photo of the leaf margins for examination and this will go a long way to identification. I guess its just like a "fingerprint" but I just want another day or two on this before a more clear picture starts to develop.

Todays inspection of some of the helleborines, showed they are just starting to look their best and odd individuals are already showing some traces of "purpurea" in the petals and sepals etc.  The usual story the closer to canopy the deeper the purple becomes.  I have one plant on the West side which is really turning fast now and would expect it to produce the darkest of wine colours if it goes like it did back in 2014 (see above photo).

Another stunning plant today showed it had three ants on parade rummaging about in the petals and crawling along the ovaries.  They certainly did not like my presence and showed their anger as though standing on their back legs and waving their arms at me with a sort of "clenched fist", I guess if I could have only heard them they would have been shouting and probably squirting me as well, but still I did manage to get a photo or two (see photo below)

A beautiful helleborine with ants probably propagating (Click over to enlarge)
I regular see ants farming black aphids on the Dark Red Helleborines (E. Atrorubens) but thankfully this year we have not had the aphids, can only put this down to the wet weather perhaps, but by the left when they come they soon devastate the plant and suck all the life from it!

The photo below just shows you the Ant in "attack preparation mode"

Ant in centre of photo in "attack mode" (Click over to enlarge)
Another bonny plant I found in canopy and almost hiding within a Juniper bush along with it's other compatriots was this one below and I managed to photograph from behind which is showing the petals and sepals already turning to nice "purpurea" colour.

A beautiful "very open" purpurea specimen of Helleborine (Click over to enlarge)
And how do you work this one out?  Only one metre away from the above plant and yet within even thicker canopy we have the following very pale plant.

A  lovely light Helleborine sharing the same canopy as the plant in the photo above it
(Click over to enlarge)

We have several "Helleborine" plants on Hutton Roof which only flower on one to two sides of the stem! does that remind you of something? Well just look at these photos, the first photo I took this morning.

Flowers coming from just two side of the stem "Helleborine" (Click over to enlarge)
Another E. Helleborine I took back in 2013 and again it only flowers to two sides (Click over to enlarge)

And finally for today I could not resist this little beauty who clings within the side of her hazel bush and although surrounded by many lighter forms of helleborine, she still stands out a mile for her beautiful contrasting colours.


Also last night (4th August 2016) it was our Burton Swift Bird Study Group meet for the last of the season and here is the report:

We met at Burton Memorial Hall at 2000hrs and it turned out to be a fantastic night with lots of Swifts flying. We just stayed on the Car Park from where we got the best overhall observations.

We thought at first it was going to be a very quiet night and it took a while to build the numbers to around the 8 mark, then within a further twenty minutes or so the numbers had swelled up to a minimum of 30 birds which to us all seemed happy chasing one another whilst feeding on the wing and screaming in unison.

We all had that feeling it could well be their big finale night and what a superb performance.

Tonights observers included: David Craig, Bryan Yorke, Hugh and Sue and Pete Miles together with our special visitors young naturalist Ella and Ben who really enjoyed watching the Burton Swifts and it made a nice change for them having been used to seeing Swifts down in Bath were they live.

We have not yet called a meeting for next week and decided we will monitor the situation on a day by day basis, so please check out the Swift site if you want daily reports.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Is it a "Pendula" or does it deserve a title like "Westmorlandii"

Epipactis Phyllanthes (Green-Flowered Helleborine)  (Click over to enlarge) (Photo: R. Bate)

This one is probably taking centre stage at the moment. Especially with all its special individual characteristics and that beautiful coloured heart shaped epichile. Perhaps here nothing is running to form with so many differences cropping up throughout its description which cannot for one minute be compromised! You get 75% matching up with historic descriptive variant notes, yet you have 25% which is no where near the colours or ratios or other formula you would have expected. For me I would love it to be called the "Westmorlandii" variety.

Here below is another photo of the full plant

Epipactis Phyllanthes (Green-Flowered Helleborine) (Click over to enlarge) (Photo: R.Bate)