The hirundines are with us, Sand Martin, Swallow and House Martin. So too the early warblers with Chiffchaff vociferously proclaiming territories. Wheatears, another delightful passerine have been recorded on both Moors heralding the new season – how long before that other high flying master of aerial manoeuvre the Swift arrives with us and then our speciality, the crepuscular nightjar?
The adder, the enigmatic and much mis-understood reptile appears to be holding its own across the Moors but with the implementation of the Water Level Management Plan on Thorne Moors by Doncaster East IDB through it contractors JBA Consulting and the LIFE+ Project being rolled out by Natural England alongside Open Access, the question must surely arise about potential impact upon the necessary suite of habitats for the species?
This stunning image of a female adder was taken from well back so not to disturb the animal from basking. Cameras of today are so powerful there is no need to cause disturbance or distress to sensitive species. Image courtesy of Martin Warne.
Another far more dangerous inhabitant of the Moors and indeed other vegetated areas where deer and other livestock can be found is the TICK! There are various species but suffice to say, dress appropriately when visiting the moors as they are already out and have been ‘hitch-hiking’ for their next meal. If you do find one of these critters attached, then you are advised to visit your doctors surgery and get the nurse or appropriate medical practitioner to remove it as they can carry and spread Lyme’s Disease
Other early signs of spring have been Orange Underwing and that wonderful sulphur yellow of a male Brimstone butterfly.
The image above, showing an Orange Underwing from Crowle Moors is unusual as it is a species more often seen flying around the top of birch trees and rarely ‘captured’ stationary as here. Image courtesy of Phil Lee.
Orange Underwing is a woodland edge species flying high in bright sunshine. The species passes the winter as a pupa, and the adult moths emerge in early spring to lay their eggs in time for their caterpillars to feed on newly formed birch catkins. Three seen on Thorne Moors on 25 March constitute the earliest record for this species on the Moors, and possibly Yorkshire.
Congratulations to Mark Avery whose relaunched epetition BAN DRIVEN GROUSE SHOOTING has galloped past the first 10k hurdle and is now racing towards the 100k!