Today we explored a section of the Washburn Valley between Lindley Wood and Swinsty reservoirs. This is a sheltered area with some good tree cover. It is noted for its breeding bird population, encouragement being given by the provision of many nest boxes in situ. This morning was cold but the recent winds had subsided, definitely a woolly hat day. However, after lunch, sunshine appeared and it became much warmer encouraging the butterflies to take to the wing.
We divided into three groups. One group of four concentrated on the botanical recording and did a shorter walk as far as the picturesque pack horse bridge and return. A party of seven completed the four mile walk of the circuit. This brought the added reward of scenic views across the valley from on high. A group of three went "off piste" and made several good bird sightings. It was a most enjoyable walk with the spring countryside at its best bursting forth with a variety of colour.
64 botanical species in flower were recorded by Alice. Specials included Wood Stitchwort, Yellow Archangel, Pignut, and Tormentil. 7 fern species were identified including Wood Horsetail. The walking group enjoyed a whole variety of flowers and flowering trees and shrubs. They included Wood Sorrel, Bugle, Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Bistort, flowering Bird Cherry and Apple, Bluebells, Stitchwort and Red Campion (a lovely sight), Primrose and the brillant yellow flowering Gorse.
Bird song surrounded us on the walk. The birds seen included Greylag Geese, Lapwing, Great Crested Grebe, Tree Creeper, Pied flycatcher, Greater Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, Redstart and the raptors Buzzard and Red Kite. The bird total was a good 34. Last but not least a Mandarin duck was spotted on Lindley Wood Reservoir.
The butterflies emerged in the afternoon including Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Speckled Wood, Peacock and Comma.
The bunch of regulars were joined by Steve a new member who gave the appearance of enjoying the day out. At least he has booked for Teesdale.
A great day out with thanks to Stuart and Maddy for their support.
See the photos here.