Heaton Woods 20th march

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Fri, 20th Mar 2020, 3:47pm

Heaton Woods        20th March

This was prepared yesterday but I see that Julia has beaten me describing some things in Heaton Woods. I present it never-the -less. Also, by the way, botanical terminology gets easier the more it is used so persevere with Julia's blogs. I, for one, hope that they will continue.

The paths are still muddy in places and Red Beck does not seem any less full than last week.
Ten plants were in flower. Some Butterbur spikes were visible, a good sign as hundreds were broken off when the area was flooded. Golden saxifrage in profusion, celandines, woodrush and wood anemone beginning to open were welcome sights. Mosses have thrived in the wet. There are carpets of  different greens with more scarlet elf cup scattered amongst them than I have ever seen in the wood.
Birds were hiding except for a couple of robins and a dipper bobbing for minutes on a recently fallen branch bridging the beck



Lesser Celandine

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Thu, 19th Mar 2020, 12:23pm

I think many of us are familiar with Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria…), one of our earliest spring flowers. I remember seeing the bright yellow flowers in the graveyard in Gargrave on our New Year Walk 2019, but this year I have only noticed them in the last few weeks. 

I have recently started an online botany course and this morning I have been doing some homework which has required a closer look at this common flower. 
I have to write a flower formula for this (I did one for a snowdrop the other day). This process lists the details of the flower parts and helps allocate your flower into a family. Turns out Lesser Celandine is a bit complicated!

Judy Woods 18 March 2020

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 18th Mar 2020, 2:11pm

My regular Wednesday morning in the woods litter picking provides ample opportunity for sightings.  On a still morning there was much bird life apparent.  Small flocks of birds could be seen at a distance as I walked through - no binoculars unfortunately.  A couple of jays were noted and the inevitable magpie, although a fresh carcass of one was seen next to the main path.  Jays were also in evidence, two being spotted.  The wild garlic is putting in appearance all over and the celandines are just approaching their full flowering.

Waxwings 18th March 2020

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 18th Mar 2020, 9:18am

Report of waxwings seen on February 16th 2020. Having heard of waxwing sightings in Keighley I decided to head over there myself given that it was local. Several people gazing into a tree raised my hopes of seeing these beautiful birds. 16 waxwings were in a bare tree and had been going back and forth to a nearby berry laden tree. I took many photos of them perched and hoped to get more of them feeding on the berries. However, a black and white moggy spotted the birds, climbed their tree and scared them off. I could have throttled that cat!! Although I hung around for some time the birds never returned. At least I was fortunate enough to see the waxwings and get some reasonable photos. 

Sue Z


Garden Pond 18th March

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 18th Mar 2020, 9:01am

I love my garden pond;it was well worth the effort of digging it all out by hand.I reguarly see birds bathing in the shallow end and each spring I see frog spawn but I was thrilled to have a good view of the frogs  responsible on 10th March this year. Have a look at the photos of the frogs in the gallery as well as a recent photo of a robin bathing.. 

Sue Z  

Baildon Little Owls 17th March 2020

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Tue, 17th Mar 2020, 9:44pm

Although BEES trips are cancelled we can still take the opportunity to get out and see what nature has to offer.I had seen Little Owls in Baildon before and decided to go and seek them out again. I sat in a field for about an hour, enjoying the stillness, listening to the sound of Skylarks and seeing Lapwing and Meadow Pipits in flight. I thought I was going to fail to see the Little Owls but as I scanned the trees I spotted a pair of them sat very close together. Please look for the photos in the gallery here. 

Sue Z

WFV, 3rd March 2020, Ripley Castle Grounds

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 4th Mar 2020, 9:42am

Our planned visit to Gouthwaite Reservoir was substituted by a plan to visit Ripley Castle grounds. This was considered to be a wise decision for safety reasons. The Pateley bridge area had been subjected to flooding and there had been a flood alert for the Upper Nidd area for over a month. The recent weather had been unpredictable with rain, snow, high winds and sunshine over the preceding weeks. However this trip was well supported by a band of 10 regular Bees customers. All in all the conditions were favourable although the temperatures low. 

WFV, Blacktoft Sands, 20th Feb 2020

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Thu, 20th Feb 2020, 6:04pm

This trip had been rescheduled after the reserve was closed due to flooding when we planned to go in the autumn. 

So, we watched with fingers crossed as storms Ciara and Dennis blew through during the past couple of weeks. Luckily, the reserve didn't suffer, and we were able to proceed as planned. 

There are six hides in the reserve, facing the Humber estuary, each with a slightly different outlook. We started in Xerox hide where we spent a while looking at a Ruff and deciding that the white marking at the base of the bill seemed a good identifying feature. Some other people in the hide identified three Redshank as Spotted Redshank. They were roosting with little on show, but we felt confident with this id due to their pale breasts. 

WFV, Leighton Moss RSPB, 4 Feb 2020

Submitted by Wildlife Field… on Wed, 5th Feb 2020, 5:27pm

Today we had both a full minibus and a glorious day for our visit to Leighton Moss. 

Having checked on the robin population in the lanes of Cononley, we made our way through the Dales and crossed the county border to reach the reserve which is on the edge of Morecambe Bay. The recent winds had subsided and the sun, with its warming rays, made a welcome appearance.

Once we had all got organised at the visitor centre, we split into different parties, dictated by what we wanted to see and how soon we wanted to settle down to our lunch.