Denaby Ings ( the first visit for most of the group) did not disappoint for the variety of habitats and species. The weather was warm, calm and autumnal. The trees and shrubs were laden with fruit.
Our day consisted of a meander around the perimeter of the Ings, an extensive lake created as a result of mining subsidence. It has an important role in flood control of the Dearne valley, overflow water entering the wetland when the gates of the sluice are raised. The group spent some considerable time viewing the birds that had gathered on the lake from the two hides. As well as good numbers of Black headed gulls and Mallard there were Gadwall, Teal, Wigeon, a lone Egret, several Grey Heron and a group of Cormorants sitting sentinel like in the trees. We enjoyed seeing the Great crested grebe with young also a Mute swan with cygnets. A Buzzard circled overhead and a Kestrel was seen. The total number of birds seen was 22. A number of Migrant hawker dragonflies were seen and also a white butterfly in the area of grassland.
A total of 61 species were recorded by Alice (our botanist), 35 in flower, 22 in fruit in addition 3 ferns. In the area between the sluice and the River Derwent several interesting plants had recently colonised including Celery leaved buttercup, Water chickweed, Spear leaved orache, Broad leaved plantain and Redshank. Soapwort and Marsh yellow-cress were seen. Notable plants of the woodland and grassland were Sanicle, Black bryony, Guelder rose, Gypsywort, St John's wort, Harebell and Devil's bit scabious. A stand of Ploughman's spikenard was seen by myself on the road side shortly after leaving the reserve.
Three of us completed an additional short walk along the Trans Pennine Way, a cycle path that follows the River Dearne and leads to the Earth Centre and Sprotbrough Flash. The path edges were botanically rich and would be worth including in a summer visit.
The day was rounded off with a blackberry picking session, the blackberries would nicely combine with the apples Julia had kindly brought for the group. We were back in Bradford in good time having enjoyed a satisfying and leisurely day out with a blackberry and apple crumble to look foward to. Thanks go to Julia for driving and for those apples.
See the photos here.