Sunday, 4 September 2011

Adding a few plants to the list

A bit of sun this morning called for a wander around the fell, which I did with the intent of adding a few more plants to the list. I deliberately went looking for a few species I have seen in previous years but haven't seen this year.  One of the first things I noticed was a Robin's Pincushion Gall which is produced as a chemical reaction by the Dog Rose induced by the egg laying of a Gall Wasp  Diplolepis rosae. There's a good write up of the life cycle on Wikipedia

Robin's Pincushion Gall
In South Burn Wood, the Apple Mint is still hanging on but I was surprised to find a much larger clump near Brass Castle Pond. The latter I hadn't noticed before and though its a good sized clump I'm surprised I've missed it. It's growing next to Water Mint here so I'll keep an eye out for some hybrid with the hybrid (Apple Mint Mentha x villosa is itself a hybrid between Spearmint and Round-leaved Mint).

Apple Mint
A few birds were around, particularly noticeable was the number of Song Thrushes. Also seen here were Willow Tit, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Great spotted Woodpecker and a singing Bullfinch. Siskins flew over here and twice over the fell as I walked around. After a bit of looking I found a single plant in rather deep shade of White Ramping-fumitory. This is one of only a handful of sites in the county for this species.  Bladder Campion was still in flower on the fell,

Bladder Campion
as was Field Bindweed. Marsh Hawksbeard, Harebell, Heath Groundsel and masses of Eyebright. One area was white with flowers of the latter.

Eyebright - large population

Among the more interesting grasses were Tufted Hair-grass, Heath-grass and Mat-grass. Near one of the car parks is a clump of Bifid Hempnettle, there is a good population of it's relative Common Hempnettle in South Burn Wood. Both species vary in colour but the separator is that in Bifid, the lip colour of the flower goes right to the edge as opposed to being only in the middle of the flower, and the bottom lip has a slight notch. The plants around Waldridge tend to be all white (Common) or pink (Bifid) but it's not always the case.

and Common Hempnettle

A few butterflies were on the wing, Wall, Small Heath and Green-veined White.

Green-veined White

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