Saturday, 8 November 2014

Day 7 - A nature walk on the moors

Hi everyone, managed to get out a little while ago when it was dry, though a bit misty, to have a walk on the North York Moors. It was quite a good walk for nature as I found what has created today's, and maybe some other day's, posts.

As the weather has been so mild there was still the odd heather flower in bloom so I found this.

White-Tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

We thought it was a common bumblebee but research showed it was a White-Tailed Bumblebee. We found this awesome interactive identification guide from the Natural History Museum NHM - Bumblebee Guide. Me and my dad where surprised, as it was the 31st October, to see a bee still working and collecting pollen. If we delve a little deeper into this it means that there could still be a hive in action on the Moors! As it has been colder this week they could be dead/hibernating now, but maybe there is a minuscule possibility that they could be working as you are reading this.

We saw quite a lot on this walk but two other things jumped out at us and one was this Red Grouse.

Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus) in flight on a misty moor.

The RSPB say that because of the loss of heather moorland their numbers are declining and they are an amber status. Also I think that Grouse Shooting on the Moors doesn't help whatsoever! You can find more information here:

Finally we almost didn't see this guy 'cause he almost ended up on the bottom of my dad's boot :-( but happily :-) we saw him just in time. My research suggests that he is a fox moth caterpillar as they like moorland habitats and heather for food. Also they are darker the further north they live.

Fox Moth Caterpillar ( Macrothylacia rubi)

Here is some information on this species:

Hope you enjoyed reading about Part 1 of my moors walk Part 2 will be up in a few days and I'll be talking about the fungi I found.


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