Thank you to John and Alice for coordinating a few of us to get together on Baildon Bank.
A few regular attendees of the WFV have been in touch with each other in order to start meeting together for short outings around the District. Of course we will not exceed the maximum of 6 people together in an outdoor setting, so it is not possible to create and issue a general programme at the moment, but Alice is doing a grand job of coordinating leaders and offering out places in a very fair way. It would be great if, before too long, the restriction on numbers was relaxed, but I haven’t heard any mention of that. Though limited, it’s a great opportunity to pick up on the social aspect of BEES at least. Of course, there is no need to limit gatherings to once a week, or to a Tuesday…
We met on Green Road below Baildon Bank and, after John had kindly shown us a selection of lovely moths from his moth trap, we zig-zagged our way up the hill. It was a little bit dull and chilly this morning so the butterflies weren’t as active as they usually are, but John painted a great picture of what you can expect to see when the sun is out, and through the seasons.
The first, and only, butterfly we saw was a ringlet – the species first to be active in the morning, maybe because its dark wings are able to absorb more warmth. The heather was coming into flower, but the most numerous flower was Common Cat’s-ear. We saw quite a lot of Heath Groundsel, Heath Bedstraw, Rosebay Willowherb and Sheep’s Sorrel. The Jackdaw’s provided the soundscape.
We strolled as far as the area where John can watch Purple Hairstreaks in the canopy of the Oaks. Again, too cold while we were there, but we know where to look in the future.
Whilst John returned home up hill, spotting a Meadow Brown, the rest of us heading down to the road. There were several fungi on the path side, John had told us to look out for the Blushers, but there was another we did not identify. On my way home I walked through the meadow between the beck and the railway line at Shipley. Not ideal with my bike but I had bumped into someone who had seen a couple of Marbled White butterflies a few days ago. There were lots of insects (bees, hoverflies, Small Skippers) on the thistles and brambles, but, unsurprisingly, I didn’t see any Marbled Whites!
It was good to see people, and hopefully it pans out that everyone can catch up with friends over the coming weeks.
See photos here.