You may have believed that the source of the Wharfe was at the northern extreme of Upper Wharfedale, but you would be wrong. It does in fact rise in the above named minor dale.
A full mini-bus driven by Stuart made its way via Bingley, Keighley, Cracoe, & Kettlewell towards our toilet stop in Buckden and then onto our destination New Bridge. The weather began cooler than expected but later warmed considerably, with plenty of sunshine, but always with a keen westerly breeze.
Along the riverbank there was plenty to interest the botanists & there was much discussion over the various tiny white-petalled species & Hawkweed/Hawkbit/Hawksbeard type plants. Several Common Fragrant Orchids & Common Spotted O's were seen. Butterflies were in good number; Small Tortoiseshells, Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Small Skippers, Small Heath, Common Blues, Whites in flight & a Red Admiral. The only moths seen were grass moths; Crambus perlella, Agriphila straminella & Chrysoteuchia culmella were the ones to be identified.
Although we weren't meant to have our lunch stop here, the rocks along the riverbank were ideal for sitting on & as it was around mid-day we all decided to settle there & then to eat. After lunch we made our way in the bus to Beckermonds where we walked along the river in an easterly direction. Some got much further than others! Most of the plants & butterflies seen were the same as before lunch. New species, however, incl. New Zealand Willowherb, Red Bartsia & Butterwort (only one seen actually in flower).
By the day's end the tiny white jobs had been sorted as Lesser Stitchwort, Fairy Flax, Knotted Pearlwort, Thyme leaved Sandwort & 4 types of bedstraw. Well done Alice, Julia & the rest of the botanists. A total of 89 species recorded + 6 ferns & a Dog lichen. Birds were in short supply but good views were had of Wren, Pied Wagtail, Kestrel & Dipper.
We finished 30 minutes ahead of schedule so when Stuart suggested ice creams on arrival at Buckden we were all up for that!
Thanks to our leader Donald & co-drivers Stuart & Julia. A shame we encountered a major hold-up between Nab Wood & Saltaire which delayed our return by about 25 mins.
See the photos here.