11.08.2020 Rodley Nature Reserve

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 12th Aug 2020, 12:17pm

Rodley was at its very best today and we were free to enjoy it as we choose. 6 of us met in the car park having taken a variety of forms of transport- car, bicycle or bus/foot. We met up with Graham who gave us a brief introduction to developments on the reserve (he had kindly opened the disabled toilet for our use).The plan was to look at the plants in the ponds and surrounds including the two education ponds (used by children for pond dipping) and several dragonfly ponds.The ponds were noticeably overgrown which was much to our liking (Water soldier had taken over one or two of the ponds). It was good to have Joan with us to assist with identification, no need to trawl through the books! It was surprisingly warm if not very hot at times. We completed a circular tour of the ponds returning via the Butterfly bank to enjoy lunch at the picnic tables. 

The plants included:-

Trench Meadows - 4 August 2020

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Tue, 4th Aug 2020, 9:17pm

This week's visit to Trench Meadows saw our group of 6 meet on a somewhat dull, drizzly morning.  In spite of this we all enjoyed seeing the range of flora that this site holds and were even blessed with clearing skies as the morning progressed.  The harebells were still putting on their show and were an absolute treat.  Angelica was noted as was hairy sedge alongside a good selection of rushes.  Donald pointed out marsh arrow-grass to us which produced a squeal of delight from Alice as she made a quick search in her bag for her camera.  There was also an excellent view of a roe deer walking alongside the treeline at the top of the field giving Sue Z a wonderful photo opportunity.  As the weather picked up gatekeeper and meadow brown butterflies were seen and a skein of Canada geese were spotted flying overhead. 

31st July 2020 Trench Meadows 

Submitted by Amanda on Tue, 4th Aug 2020, 1:51pm

On a rather damp morning 6 of us met at the end of Coach Road by the bridge over Loadpit beck. As we entered the field the shorter grass, shimmering wetly from the previous night’s rain, soaked our feet. We paused to look around, the first thing to catch our eye were several spectacular patches of misty blue Harebells on a higher dryer slope.  The whole area was a picture, with a variety of brownish seeding grasses swaying in the breeze, greener flushes with water running down, splashes of yellow and purple seasonal flora, a beautiful area set against the darker backdrop of Ancient semi natural woodland on the land above.
Our thanks to Joan who then led the walk around the meadow pointing out many species of interest including; Great Burnet, St Johnswort sp, Ragged Robin, Common & Marsh Ragwort, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Cinquefoil, Selfheal, Lesser Stichtwort, Meadow Sweet, Zig Zag Clover

28.07.2020 York Gate Quarry

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 29th Jul 2020, 2:39pm

 Wild, windy, sunshine and showers - these words sum up the "summer"  weather conditions for this morning. There was some initial confusion as road signs stated that the road was closed at both ends of York Gate. However Julia, Sue N and myself were  able to meet up at York Gate Quarry car park. "Where was Donald?!" We met up later. He had mistakenly made his way to the Surprise View car park.

23.07.2020 The Great Northern Trail

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Fri, 24th Jul 2020, 10:52am

On Thursday a party of six (Joan, Julia, Donald, Sally, Lorna and myself) met at the bottom of Station Road Wilsden for a walk of approximately one and half miles along the Great Northern Trail from the Hewenden Viaduct to the Cullingworth Viaduct. The railway contecting Halifax, Bradford, and Keighley was built in the second half of the nineteenth century. It has been called "the Alpine Trail" because of the stunning scenary and sequence of tunnels and viaducts. It is part of the National Cycle network. Sustrans has supported its use as a cycling and walking route (now exceedingly popular with local people). A local forum spanning a variety of interests has been responsible for its development and maintenance. In particular one of our group members Lorna has taken responsibility for enlarging the biodiversity of plants surrounding the path. 

Baildon Moor (Sconce area)

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 22nd Jul 2020, 7:34pm

A group of six met at the car park opposite what used to be The White House Restaurant, It lies at the foot of the steep twisting hill below the trig point (close to the upper car park).  Led by Sue N; myself, Alice, Joan, Sally & Sue Z  headed off on the easy path towards Sconce Scout Huts.

A disappointing day weather wise, a tad too chilly for my liking, but nevertherless a few roosting butterflies were spotted; Small Skipper, Small Heath, Small Tort & Meadow Brown. Joan & Alice were identifying the flowers & grasses: Marsh Pennywort, Marsh Bedstraw, Common Spotted Orchid, Yellow Loosestrife, Apple Mint, Greater Bird's foot trefoil were all recorded.

20.07.2020 Fewston Reservoir

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Mon, 20th Jul 2020, 8:04pm

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.

Baildon Bank, 14th July 2020

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Tue, 14th Jul 2020, 4:52pm

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…

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