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Saturday, 22 April 2017

Today's Ramble

Today's ramble at Park Wood Elland was advertised as a birdwatching event. Five of us turned up, four members and a friend of members who often comes. Of course we couldn't ignore the display of bluebells. As usual, our walks are a mix of all our interests, so apart from looking and listening for birds we were treated to a running commentary on the botany (which is very rich in this wood), on butterflies and micromoths, local history, and what we had in our sandwiches.

The bird list was quite varied.  I like to time those I see in the first half hour - this is a recognised way of doing a simple survey, as the commonest birds are usually encountered first, so these half-hour counts will be interesting and comparable in the future.

10.45 to 11.15 Chaffinch, Dunnock, Blackcap, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Buzzard, Goldfinch, Chiff-chaff, Bullfinch, Robin, Blackbird, Magpie.

Then for the rest of the walk which went on till 3.30pm - Great Spotted Woodpecker, Willow Warbler, Wren, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Crow, Blue Tit, Jay, Green Woodpecker.

Charlie got a great picture of the first Buzzard we saw - it had inner primaries re-growing, and a middle tail feather also.

A new plant to me in that wood was a small Field Maple we saw just before getting back to the car park. We failed  (I failed) to find either of the two Soft Shield Fern sites. My excuse is that new paths are appearing everywhere, created by the mountain-bikers. There was at least one motorbiker in there as well. Some of us agreed it must be an exciting and usually harmless sport, but NOT in a wood which is a SSSI. (Site of Special Scientific Interest.)


  1. Hi all,
    I'd just like to put some names to the micro moths we saw incase anyone would like to find out more about them - the UK Moths site is good place to start.
    Highlight for me was to find three Phyllonorycter species all resting on their own food plant:
    P. geniculella on Sycamore
    P. harrisella on oak (the whitish one)
    P. quercifoliella also on oak (the orangey one)
    Other micros seen were several longhorn moths which were female Adela reaumurellas, one male Incurvaria masculella with the feathered antennae, countless Eriocrania subpurpurellas around the oak trees and one Nettle-tap on you guessed it, Nettles.

    Oh, and the Bluebells were surprisingly beautiful affording countless photographic opportunities. I'd thoroughly recommend next Sunday's walk!

  2. Lovely walk, Steve, wall-to-wall bluebells and perfect weather. Charlie, thank you for your help with the micro-moths and pointing them all out to us. They are fascinating creatures!