Saturday, 2 June 2012

In search of the "Common Rock Rose" (not so common!)

Photos above are: top "Old Man Easter", Common Rock Rose, A Ladys Mantle species, Possibly Limestone Fern or known locally as Limestone Polypody, and bottom is the early start of the Dark Red Helliborine (Epipactis)

Blog from yesterday Friday 1st June 2012 - 0830hrs-1330hrs. Went from Plain Quarry to the Rakes and checked out lots of areas around that side, especially for the "Common Rock Rose".

Had both Chiffs Craig and Craggy whilst in lower Dalton Crags, also had Tree Pipits calling from down near where the Charcoal Burners where, all Tree Pipits in upper were singing. Found new colony of "Hairy Rockcress" just after "line of trees" and this had at least 161 flowers. Over the morning had a minimum of fifty "Small Heath Butterflies", I think there must have been a big hatch this morning, they seemed to be all over the place. For the first time this year on the Dalton side had a couple of Yellowhammers singing from the top right corner (near the Cuckoo Tree) and then later just over the wall into the Common. Cuckoo calling and being mobbed by a Meadow Pipit. Also had yet another Cuckoo later over and beyond the Rakes. I wondered if this was yet "another Cuckoo" bringing the Hutton Roof calling Cuckoos to four! or was it just one that had wandered!

On the Common had lots and lots of the Spring Sandwort which I have booked down for future reference. But the main species today for me was the "Common Rock Rose" of which I did manage to find more colonies which contained at least 30,400,60,60,20,12,50,10 flowering plants, and which also are looking very promising towards even greater populations. This is really good news for the rare "Northern Brown Argus" Butterfly, which is totally dependant on this rock rose species and which have already colonised a area down in Lancelot Clark Storth. I will go back in a couple of weeks and check this out. Also whilst in the areas managed to find two early growths of the "Dark Red Helliborine" (see photo). Found more Angular Solomens Seal and what a beautiful plant this is.

I did spend quite a lot of time over at the Rakes looking for "Fly Orchids" but without any joy, must be looking in the wrong place. Also noted whilst at this side there were at least three singing Tree Pipits and yet another Garden Warbler.
On way back had a large dragon fly (chaser or darter) yellow and brown, sort of banded like a wasp, need to check out my books for identifications. Also a butterfly flitting about whilst I was on the "pavements" it seemed to be feeding on Birds Foot Trefoil for the short period I saw it and because of its flittiness couldnt make it out from a Wall Brown or a Small Pearl Bordered Fritillary.
Lots of Redpoll calling overhead at various times.

Look at "Old Man Easter", he certainly reminds me of "Easter Island" and the many references afforded within the book from the Eric Von Danikens "Chariots Of The Gods".... maybe its just me letting my imagination run away with itself - up here and all alone and all that!!

1700hours went across to Sandside to check out the Fly Orchids and had seven, although there could well have been more.

Today: Saturday 2nd June 2012.0615-0800hrs.
Had Chiffs Lee, Green and Claw all singing away. Also had one of the most beautiful of creatures "The Hare", which for some reason today looked so big in size from a distance, and it appeared to compare to a medium size dog!! It was noted more or less in the same spot as we saw it last year, after leaving Dalton hamlet and heading past the old "grim reaper" on the left and then down into "Thrush Valley", just before climbing to the summit of Vicarage Lane.