My plan today was to repeat the walk I had completed with a friend along the side of Fewston Reservoir the previous Monday. I had been impressed by the rich botanical interest more especially the profusion of Common Spotted Orchids which lined the broad gravel footpath. I was overcome at the start of the walk by the sweet smelling Meadowsweet. However much to my horror the sides of the path had been mown presumably by Yorkshire Water and the sward which contained the orchids had been desecrated ! Nevertheless there were numerous orchids in the ditches and grassland off piste.
Again the variety of flora was substantial- Hedge Woundwort, Meadow Vetchling, Spear Thistle, Betony, Tormentil, Red Campion, Ragged Robin, Greater and Rosebay Willowherb, Wood Stitchwort, Hedge Bedstraw, Foxglove, Raspberry, Honeysuckle and Perforate St John's Wort. Also there were some more unusual plants - Wood Sage, Common Cow-wheat and Figwort. In addition there were some summer flowers such as Scabious and Harebell.
A detour from the main path down a track brought me to the shoreline of the reservoir where Silverweed was in flower as well as Bistort and Watermint. Venturing down another track brought me to an area of extensive flora supporting several butterfly species such as Red Admiral, Small Tortoiseshell, Small White and Ringlet.
The highlight of my walk was an ornithological one. Near the start of the walk a small group had gathered and were peering into a nearby group of trees. They were looking at five fluffy young birds sitting motionless together on a branch. The parent arrived to feed them. She was decidedly smaller than her chicks. Identification was not certain. Were they Chiffchaff or perhaps Warblers ? Prior to this sighting I had seen and heard anotherfluffy youngster near a wall. This time identification was somewhat easier - a Wren. Other birdlife included Oystercatcher(heard), a skein of Greylag Geese, Canada Geese and Mallard. A Song Thrush was seen moving along the shoreline.
I would thoroughly recommend this as a visit for Bees in early to mid July. It was a lovely day out!