Posts Tagged ‘speckled wood’

Unusual sites for interesting species?

June 17, 2014

There are some days you just need fresh air and space to breathe, yesterday was one such day.  So, in the spirit of the Nick Baker’s ‘lunch hour’ sessions* I decided to try a visit to Hatfield Moors for a change ….

Heading out of the car park with its ‘raised bed rally restricting bollards’ I followed the well trodden path through the ‘heathland’ area (ex mineral workings reverting to birch scrub) thinking that I might check on the unusual Salix and Pyrola finds made in 2009 (see Volume 8 of the Forum’s Papers).  There was absolutely no chance of relocating either species as the birch had become so dense.

One of the most interesting records from the brief visit was that of Lariniodes sclopetarius in the Ladies!  A sizeable female had taken up residence, clearly a very literate spider to observe the gender code as well as noticing the fact that the convenience next door had been / was disabled ….

140616 Hatfield Moors hrk 227

There was certainly plenty of bumblebee activity and they appearred to outnumber honeybees feeding on the plentiful bramble flowers.  Bombus hypnorum was also present but in low numbers compared to the other species.

Sadly I wasn’t quick enough to get a shot of either the Brown Silver-line or the male Cuckoo as they flew tantilisingly close, nor the Speckled Wood butterflies.  There were still a fair few spikes of Common Spotted Orchid around, but many past their best so not particularly photogenic.

* With apologies to those readers who didn’t watch the recent endeavours by the BBC to engage, educate and encourage the public to get out more …. Springwatch!

Today’s ‘wildlife’ find was that of an early evening stroll and the discovery of a Pebble Prominent larvae munching a poplar leaf along a substantive hedgerow.  Even as an early instar (c. 9-10mm) the brown dorsal stripe was evident and particularly so through a hand lens.  Which proves that closer inspection generally reaps reward.

Campaign corner:

Readers of environmental blogs such as that of Dr Mark Avery will have sensed disquiet about the performance of the ‘guardians of the natural environment’, a recent posts asks “What’s up at Natural England?”  It might be that there has been a good response to the Government consultation on the General Licence and that Ministers are pressurising the recently ‘ish’ appointed Chair of NE?  There were some well considered responses and we await the Government’s evaluation and report on the ‘consultation’.



‘Moor’ ramblings & rants but not forgetting natural observations ….

September 20, 2013

Readers may recall a recent post pondering the fate of Hatfield Moor’s Neolithic trackway.  I have tried and will continue to try to establish an update from statutory agencies perspective in terms of its condition status, but yes …. please continue to watch this space.  In the interim ….

It was a tad cool to start with on Monday morning as I arrived at Crowle Moors but the autumnal sun appeared and tempted out the last few speckled wood and small tortoisehell butterflies to enjoy the warmth and bramble fruit juices.  A party of house martins of around eight birds were also observed hawking over the ‘nettle crop’ meadow as were a similar number of swallows, all fuelling up before their long migratory flight.  Later on, another small flock flew westwards over Swinefleet Warping Drain towards Thorne Moors and the NE depot as I made my way around the reserve, their constant chittering a reminder of the passing season.

However, by far the best ‘tick’ for the visit were the four superb red deer stags (there might have been a fifth animal but the vegetation obscured an accurate count) feeding, irritatingly the camera was still in my rucksack and as I was up wind of them I simply froze to enjoy the view which I knew would disappear as soon as they picked up my scent.  I had excellent views of three of the substantive beasts, two of them had good number of points or tines,  sadly I have not published the number because of the ‘sporting’ interest in such animals.  The presence of red deer on the Thorne Moors complex is a very contentious issue not least because of financial implications, sporting opportunities and landowner interest.  I can’t remember the last time I was lucky enough to see a Royal and as for a Imperial or a Monarch ….

The image below illustrates antlers from two different animals, one from a Scottish moor the other from Thorne Moors.  Can you tell which from where?


Red antlers 351


Other recent observations include the recent occurence at light of a Brindled Green Dryobotodes eremita at Haxey Turbary recently.   The State of Britains Larger Moths categorises the species as broadly being one of  woodlands and they report it as having increased by nearly 300% up to that date.  UK Moths website describe it as reasonably common.  An oak feeder the species is not a commonly recorded one on the Humberhead Peatlands unless of course you know differently?  In which case, drop us an email so we can update our records.


Brindled Green 3 Haxey Turbary 14.9.13

National Nature Reserves still need our protection, if you’ve not already signed our 38 degree petition here, please think about it.  If you’ve concerns about our stance that are not answered on the petition page then please do contact us.

Images by Phil Lee & Helen Kirk.

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Hatfield Moors Birding Blog

Bird and other wildlife information service for Hatfield Moors, South Yorkshire, UK © HMBSG 17/11/2010

Mark Avery

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

a new nature blog

I write about politics, nature + the environment. Some posts are serious, some not. These are my views, I don't do any promotional stuff and these views are not being expressed for anyone who employs me.

UK and Ireland Natural History Bloggers

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