21st of June 2019
Wood End Sewage Works
We parked on Wood End, off Barden Lane and walked along the country road until we reached the sewage works. There were quite a good number Canada geese and their young, along with black-headed gulls and a Grey Heron.
Further down the road, we saw goldfinch, house sparrows, chaffinch and robins. Carrying on along the road, there is a farm house to the right and a bend in the road..
On the left just past these buildings there’s a large open field and a worn path. The path takes you along a route named ‘Spurn Clough’
The first bird we saw was a female reed bunting, that was flushed from the tall grass. We heard a Sedge warbler and Blackcap in the trees. Mike spotted two patches of Ragged-Robin. Reading up on this plant, I learnt that the’re becoming rarer to see as our wild wetland habitats disappear.
These can be seen in a wildflower meadow, damp pasture or woodland ride. Bees and butterflies benefit from these flowers by collecting nectar from them.
Gardeners can plant Ragged-Robin in a boggy area or in a flower border.
We came across two Willow Warblers and watched them flitting around Hawthorn trees for insects, then journeying to and from a patch of low vegetation with food for their young.
As we made out way along the path, we counted a few more of these warblers, they appeared to be newly fledged, lovely to see.
A break in the clouds sent warm rays down on an open area and a few butterflies including Meadow Brown, Peacock, Orange Tip and these two underneath, emerged…
It was wonderful to see newly fledged long-tailed tits in the area.
We reached a bend in the River Calder and scouted out a Common Sandpiper after hearing its calls. Mike caught a glimpse of a Kingfisher and there was a Grey Heron in the field to the back of the river, also a few Sand Martins and Mallards around the river.
River Calder at ‘Spurn Clough’
We walked up a short distance from this river bend amongst the vegetation. Once part way up this hill, you over look this section of the river. Mike spotted a ‘Chimney Sweeper’ moth. I was memorised by its beauty and the way it wings moved as it was perched.
Chimney Sweeper moth. They like to feed on the flowers and seeds of Pignut (Conopodium majus).
We saw a small number of Damselflies in the area… hoping my IDs are correct but I’m still learning.
Female Banded Demoiselle
Male Banded Demoiselle
Male Scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly
Along the river, the area is open and there was a good patch of Common Bird’s-foot-trefoil. It’s a member of the pea family and is a low-growing plant. Mike was telling me that Common Blue butterflies like this plant as a food source for their caterpillars. After sitting down for a brief rest, the sun came out from behind the clouds once again. All of a sudden, Common Blue’s appeared. I always wonder where butterflies hide during bad weather, they hide so well! We counted a minimum of eight.
Common Blue on Bird’s-foot-trefoil.
Nelson Victoria Park
It’s a delightful time of year when fledglings and juvenile birds are around. The pond at Nelson Victoria Park has many waterfowl. That day, we observed a Coot family, Canada geese, Mallards, a single female Mandarin duck, and a Grey Heron to name a few.
Juvenile Grey Heron