Sunday, 3 July 2016

Post 428 - Yorkshire Reserves Challenge update

Hey everyone, Post 428 today and I have quite a lot to tell you about from my recent activities!

Well, I've been continuing on with my Yorkshire Reserves Challenge. and I've managed to get to a few more lately, and a few further away than usual thanks to my trip to the Big Bang Fair so here's a bit of an update on the ones I've managed to get to lately.

At Ripon loop
Oystercatchers disagreeing
Ripon Loop

About a fortnight ago I happened to be in Ripon for the day. There was some moth trapping at Fountains Abbey in the morning and in the afternoon I'd made plans to do a bug hunt with Dr. Roger Key. So in the time in between I thought I'd pop to a reserve that I hadn't been to before that was in the area - Ripon Loop.

Banded Demoiselle
This is a lovely reserve that is tucked away in a bit of Ripon that I'm sure not many people get to. You have to get to it along a tiny track and there is a very interesting sign just before you get there which I'm sure must put people off. That probably makes it great for nature though :-)

It was very peaceful and I saw quite a few interesting things there. There were lots of Sandmartins flitting about over the river and grassland feeding. I found a Scorpion Fly and saw quite a lot of Banded Demoiselles. Oystercatchers were on the shingle of the far bank of the River having a little bit of an argument too. It was a lovely place and I'll have to see what it is like in different seasons.

Ledston Luck

I visited here a while back on another trip to Fairburn and said I'd have to go back as the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust said it's amazing for orchids. They weren't wrong! There were orchids at practically every step!

Must try to ID all the orchids
I saw - here's one
And another
And another

Bee Orchid at Ledston

I took out my new GoPro as well to the reserve as I had brought it with me to use it at Fairburn, but sadly it was playing up a bit, or maybe I've not fully worked it out properly yet, so I didn't get to salvage any footage from it.

It was a lovely reserve but it was a shame I didn't manage to get all the way around it, There were grasslands, woods, reedbeds and a lake all within 200 metres of each other! So this is one I'll definitely have to go back to!

A weevil at Ledsham
Ledsham Bank

This one was great as well. Not just because it is near a great pub where we have lunch, but also because it had so many wild flowers and grass! It was a another place that was covered with orchids too. And of course with so may wild flowers and grasses it is good for bugs that like them. There were a lot of Chimney Sweeper moths, quite a lot of bees and hoverflies, and loads of other insects! I didn't get to ID many of them as there were so many and they were so lively the photos kept being obstructed by another insect as there was so many. This is my second time to this reserve and it definitely won't be my last.

A real carpet of flowers and grasses
A pyramidal orchid at Brockdale

So Dad and I headed to Doncaster the day before the Big Bang Fair. We did that to save an early start and miss rush hour traffic on the A1, its about an hour and a half away from us and we had to be there at 9am. It was OK though, going the day before, as it meant I could visit some reserves. I managed to get quite a few in like this one called Brockdale.

Marbled white feeds
on an orchid
At the entrance
This was an interesting one as I saw a butterfly that I haven't seen before. Usually, when I find a new butterfly, you don't see many quite often just a single specimen, but here, I saw loads! They were the Marbled White and when I saw my first one, I only saw one for about a minute, but then I saw a second, and a third, and fourth, until I could see about 10 in my line of sight! They were everywhere! It was really amazing to see all of these miniature Swallowtails as I call them (you'll understand if you see the pictures).
Yet more orchids

Also I saw a lovely Whitethroat one of the few I've seen in Yorkshire which was something really exciting as I found it from its song! The place was alive with wild flowers, Marbled Whites, Chimney Sweeper Moths, the songs of Skylarks and the call of a buzzard. I really enjoyed this walk!

Great Crested Grebe & Chick
Kestrels in residence
Denaby Ings

This was an interesting one as we didn't anticipate going to this one, in fact we would have completely missed this one if I hadn't have seen the sign for it. We knew this one existed but didn't realise we'd be passing! Although this was probably one of my favourite's in this post, as it's a wooded wetland, my favourite habitat, and we saw something that me and my Dad have wanted to see for ages. A Great-Crested Grebe carrying its chick on its back! The Grebe is so beautiful itself, and the chick almost as much as the adult. And it's so cute and amazing to see how the baby will ride on its mother! I saw some interesting behaviour where the mother actually tipped the chick off! I guess she wanted to start diving for food and couldn't do that with her baby on her back. Also at the other side of the lake was a nest box, it looked like the sort you use for Barn Owls but this one had a family of Kestrels in it.  I also met some lovely people there who told us that there was a Little Bittern at Old Moor. So guess where we went next?

Old Moor

Yes, here! I've been meaning to come here for a very long time so I thought it would be a good idea to come while I was at Doncaster and while there was a reason to some as well! As I arrived i was greeted by a Tree Sparrow tweeting away in the guttering.

A lovely greeting
Also, I got here at the exact same time as a load of Primary School Children got there which I thought was amazing! I don't usually see many kids coming to nature reserves so I'm so glad to see a load come here and learn about and nature. I didn't see anything especially unusual apart from a couple of Shovellers and a some Little Grebes. Sadly, the Little Bittern didn't turn up but let's hope it's come a little bit further North up to us!

A lovely view at Potteric Carr
Something disturbed the gulls but
I didn't see what it was.
Potteric Carr

This was probably the most exciting of the day as it is the Yorkshire Wildlife's Flagship reserve and deserves that title too! It's an amazing reserve because of the size, different habitats and variety of species! There were so many hides that we didn't get to go around them all, in fact we probably only managed to get into about half of them. But the ones that we got into were really amazing. I even got a lifer. The Black-Necked Grebe! Sadly, I didn't manage to get a photo of this beautiful bird, or sadly a really good look at it, I only saw it from across the lake behind a group of Coots. It was paddling towards a group of reeds and I only got enough of a glimpse of it to identify it before it ducked into the reeds but it was an amazing bird to see non-the-less. I think I saw about 20 species of bird in the 2 hours I was there, including a fleeting look at a kingfisher and a baby Canada Goose just feet away! One of the pools we stopped at had five little Egrets on it. I think that's the most I've ever seen at once! Apparently there was a juvenille Bittern that had been showing well but we didn't have much time in the hide where it had been seen as our day had been so busy we had to get back to the car park before they locked us in!
A swan family at Potteric Carr

I could go on about this reserve all day, so I will just round it off by saying that you do a great Jacket Potato at your cafe! I was also pleased to see the photos on display from the photo competition this year including a couple of mine!

Seriously though, this was an amazing reserve to go to on top of all the other reserves that I have mentioned in this post, so if you ever get a chance, go and have a look around them. They're amazing!

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. That banded demoiselle is just gorgeous Zach! Great shots. - Tasha