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White Letter Hairstreak, 12th July

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Sun, 12th Jul 2020, 6:12pm

This is a report of a sighting rather than a full blog. I had a short walk from home today and explored a field close to woodland to look at butterflies. I thought I might get photos of a Small Copper but was delighted when I spotted a White Letter Hairstreak on ragwort!! The first one I saw flew away before I could get good pictures. I looked around for others and had almost given up when I saw two of them and they let me get really close for photos. I was so excited!!

See photos here. 

Sue Z

6.07.2020 Eccup Whin Nature Reserve

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Tue, 7th Jul 2020, 7:26am

Today Alice and myself ventured into the unknown, a visit to Eccup Whin Nature Reserve. BBG had planned a guided walk in July and as this was cancelled I thought it would be of interest to complete an independent exploration. The reserve is situated north of Golden Acre Park and can be accessed from Black Hill Lane and Eccup Lane. It is an area of dense mixed woodland with birch, oak and sweet chestnut. The trees were planted by Yorkshire Water. Subsequently Leeds Countryside Service perform some basic maintenance tasks, tree felling and maintenance of footpaths. However the woodland has been largely left to its own devices. It is a hot spot for migrant birds in the spring and summer. 

22.06.20 Orchids Otley Chevin

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Mon, 22nd Jun 2020, 7:37pm

My plan today was to hunt for orchids in an area of the East Chevin.The area I had in mind was an area of grassland/ heathland beyond the board walk and pond when approaching from Pool Bank. On my initial exploration I saw two diminutive but fully formed Common Spotted Orchids in pristine condition. However following further exploration of the heathland I decided to return on the same track. It was here that I spotted one good sized orchid adjacent to the path. Further along I came across a small colony of approximately 25 C.S Orchids hidden by bracken. A good result. 

15.06.2020 Otley Chevin: Yorkgate Quarry Area

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Tue, 16th Jun 2020, 10:58am

Alice and myself enjoyed a special treat today. We visited the species rich meadows, woodland and ponds in the vicinity of York Gate Quarry. Our meeting point was the York Gate Quarry car park which was relatively quiet. The weather conditions were ideal- a sunny, warm day with gentle breezes. Initially we explored the meadow on the left of the path leading to the Quarry. I was hopeful that we would see orchids more especially Southern Marsh Orchid although seeds of doubt had been sown prior to our visit due to the previous months dry weather conditions. Much to our joy we discovered a whole colony of Southern Marsh Orchids occupying the sheltered and wetter perimeter of the meadow, possibly up to 30 in number. The majority were in pristine condition. There were lots of lovely summer flowers- Lesser Stitchwort, Self Heal, Yellow Rattle, Common Birds Foot Trefoil, Oxeye Daisy, Alchemillia (possible garden variety), Dog Rose, Tufted Hair Grass and  Knapweed.

9.06.2020 Ox Close Wood

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 10th Jun 2020, 3:40pm

The weather conditions were ideal for todays visit to Ox Close Wood - cloudy, mild, fine (no rain) which made for an enjoyable day out. I covered several contrasting habitats: the lanes (drier and sunnier than the woodland), an area of wetland and marsh, the estuarine habitat around the River Wharfe and the woodland with its glades also meadow area. To my surprise the car park on Crabtree Lane was almost full when I arrived ( no room for an ice cream van). However people must have set off in different directions and completely bypassed the wood as I didn't meet a sole there. 

Sunnydale, East Morton, 6th June 2020

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Sat, 6th Jun 2020, 5:56pm

The forecast for today was strong winds and frequent showers but Andrew and I decided to risk a walk. Although much colder than of late and with a very strong wind, the walk was mostly rain free; just "spits and spots" early on with only one proper shower towards the end of the walk which did not spoil the day. Having parked up close to the junction of Ilkley Road and Street Lane we walked uphill on Ilkley Road. A red kite flying overhead did not seem perturbed by the strength of the wind. I spotted something dart across the road; my "hare" antennae were on full alert but it was probably just a rabbit; we saw plenty of them later on. We turned right off the main road through some fields where a lapwing and single chcik were running around and beyond them in the same field was a solitary curlew.