Saturday 29th August 2020 – Field Gentians and Autumn Gentians Survey of Holme Stinted Pastures

More Autumn Gentian photos (2020) can be seen here

Northern Greenland Wheatear (Oenanthe o. leucorrhoa)
Crossbills (chicks in late December etc)

Some of todays Field Gentians just starting to come through on Holme Stinted Pastures - 29th August 2020 (see below for more photos)

"Mi thinks Its always worth doing summat, than doing nowt"

So what about some survey work

Than just go for a walk I decided to do part of my Autumn Gentian Survey on Holme Stinted Pastures. It was without doubt the best count in many a year, I checked all the old five quarry tracks because that is were you find them. They always seem to come through on or at the side of the tracks. In fact this year they were well spread out in all the expected areas.

I managed to count a total of 1034 Autumn Gentians, with the majority being the purple coloured but only just, there were absolutely lots of the white with purple tint, yet less than ten which I would have called true white or of the Septentrionalis (Northern type). Today was dull and most of the gentians stayed closed so I am eager for the next sunny day to get more photos, especially to see the diversities of the variety. I guess this year is one of those bumper AG years but in our case on Farleton side of Hutton Roof its only happening on the West facing, a different story on the East facing which are showing minimal plants. 

Although half expected, It was still a very nice surprise to see my first Field Gentians of the year which I found at two of their last years sites. But at one site in particular I could see there may be far more than 20 waiting to come through, but just maybe 10 days too early. It was also interesting to note that in both cases (2 sites) the Field Gentians were only 2ft (60cm) away from their cousins the Autumn Gentians, so you can almost say they were growing side by side (see photo below). 

Like I said they were closed but here below are a few photos from today.

Field Gentians first:

Here you see Field Gentian in the foreground with a Autumn Gentian about 60cm to the rear

Field Gentian at Holme Stints on 29th August 2020

Field Gentian at Holme Stints on 29th August 2020

Now a few of the Autumn Gentians from today

This shows the Autumn Gentians with variety and ever so changeable in close quarters

Eventually expected to show "Septentrionalis" flowers

Shows very Red features

Also whilst on my way to the Gentians I noticed this beautiful caterpillar gorging itself on the (bramble) blackberry leaves. Not sure but think it may be called the "Knot Grass Moth"

Odd Willow Warblers singing with contact calls within the Stints, odd Swallows overhead thought to be local.  Also could not be sure but definately either Wheatear, Stonechat or Whinchat sat on the walls, but flitty and before I could get close enough moved on. It will be all systems go in two weeks with migration of the Mipits and finches heading out to the SE, so must try and get my survey work completed before then.