WFV, Leathley Lanes, nr Otley, 2nd May 2017

RedstartRedstart

Our party of 10 set off from the roadside in Leathley and headed off down the lane towards Riffa Wood. The day remained dry with plenty of sun but with a chilly north easterly throughout.

A total of 69 plants were seen in flower plus 4 ferns. These included Greater Stitchwort, which was abundant along our route, 7 varieties of Speedwell, Large Bittercress, Yellow Archangel and Wood Sorrel. When we reached the wood we were treated to a wonderful display of native bluebells.

The bird count was low with only 18 species seen and oddly no Red Kites? We were however delighted to see both male and female Redstarts, whilst passing a line of mature oaks, on an uphill stretch of the route across a large field. The male was showing well at the top of one of the oaks though I only managed a sighting of the female. Well done Maddie for spotting them and reporting back to the group so that we were able to approach the trees without disturbing them.

Lunch was taken on a sheltered slope, on the opposite side of a stream, which had to be crossed via stepping stones. Robert gallantly assisted several of the less steady members over the hazard.  If you want to see how this affected him; look at the gallery!  It was during this time that the weather warmed sufficiently for Orange Tips & Peacocks to take flight.  Prior to this we all had the opportunity to take excellent photos of a male Orange Tip which was found hunkering on a grass stem, waiting for warmer conditions.

A Greater Spotted Woodpecker was heard and then seen in Riffa Wood.

Well done Marilyn for selecting and leading the walk and to Robert our driver.

See the photos here. 

John Gavaghan 

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