Saturday, 2 January 2016

Post 377 - A New Year, A New Challenge - A Great Start!

A Hazel Catkin at Burton Leonard
Hey everyone, today is post 377 and in post 375 I let everyone know about my latest challenges. I'm trying to go to all the North Yorkshire reserves, and any others I find in the rest of Yorkshire during the year. I think I'll manage North Yorkshire quite well, and I'll certainly try to get to those in the rest of Yorkshire too. I'm also going to see how many Red List bird species I can see this year too, having researched this a bit more this could be a bigger challenge!

I did a little poll to see which challenge people thought I should focus on most. 85% said the reserves challenge. Well recently I've managed to get to Fox Glove Covert and to Nosterfield. Today I managed to get to three Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserves, two new ones and an old favourite! They were quite close together so we decided to make a day of it and I went to the new ones in the morning, had lunch and then to the old favourite.

Bishop Monkton Railway Cutting
On the way round as well I was looking out for flowering plants for the Botanical Society of Britain & Ireland #NewYearPlantHunt.

Burton Leonard Lime Quarries
So the first reserve was Bishop Monkton Railway Cutting. This was nice to find but really boggy at the moment. It's not a very big reserve so I didn't stay too long. Couldn't find anything flowering here but did see some Chaffinches and Long Tailed Tits. I can imagine this is a great place for plants and insects in the spring and summer though so I will be back.

Red Campion at Burton Leonard
Next on out route was Burton Leonard Lime Quarries. This is a really nice place, very peaceful, I could hear lots of bird song. I found some old Lime Kilns here. It's very sheltered and a few plants here were flowering. There was a coppiced area with what I assume was Hazel and some of the catkins were starting to open. There were lots of the pink flowers (in the photo) around too, I think this is a Red Campion flower not so good yet on wild flowers so thanks @T_N_L_S and @BSBIbotany for confirmation ! I also saw Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Long Tailed Tits and Wood Pigeons. We had a good walk around this lovely reserve, it's a new one for us and another that is definitely worth coming back to in the spring and summer. It looks a great place for a shady summer walk and picnic! Some one else must think its a great place too as I found a great den someone had built.

Gorse at Staveley
Hogweed (?) at Staveley.
The last reserve was after a late lunch and it's an old favourite, Staveley. It didn't disappoint. Within a couple of minutes we saw our first Barn Owl of 2016! We also saw two Fallow Deer too - the first time we`ve ever seen them there. On the lakes were lots of birds like Cormorants, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Lapwings, Swans and a Pochard or two. So that's a Red List species too. Flowering plants were good too. I found Gorse, Hogweed, and Angelica all in flower so my first Umbellifers of the year (had to use that word as it's great :-). There was a solitary Red Campion out here too.

We also saw another Barn Owl as we walked back towards the car, just as it was getting to dusk.

Not a bad first day out for 2016 and while it was grey it wasn't raining all the time!
Angelica (?) at Staveley

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. I love red campion, it's such a pretty flower. Lovely photos as always Zach! - Tasha