Walking Group – 19th June

Meet 09.30 Colvend or 09.45 Skyrethornes Lane
Skyrethornes*Wood Nook*Giraffe House* Bordley*Threshfield Moor* Skyrethornes
7 miles Leader: Philip Sugden

Bird group chatter

Swift’s, Swallow and House Martin’s have all been seen in Buckden. Woodpeckers, Siskins, Greenfinches and Gold Finches about. Sandpiper spotted near Grassington Bridge. On a more worry note, the local Tabby has remembered how to climb the tree to the bird box.

Hanneke’s ramble over the rainbow

Whilst walking along the river Wharfe from Hebden to Burnsall and back and then Hebden to Grassington and back during May, I watched Spring unfold. All the different greens from the bushes, grass and trees. The Spring flowers gradually opening up, I wondered why I did not see any red flowers. I know there will be red ones, such as a poppy, but maybe the red flowers need a different location, and, or soil. Maybe one of our members has the answer.

The White flowers I spotted are: Wood anemones, few flowered leek, scurvy grass, garlic flowers, strawberries, garlic and mustard, cow parsley, stitchwort, white clover and cuckoo pint.

The Blue flowers are: Blue bells, forget me not, vetch and sweet violets.

The Yellow flowers I found: Celandine, primrose, marsh marigold, cowslip, dandelion, crosswort and buttercup.

The Pink flowers are: Cranesbill, Red campion which is pink, cuckoo flower, and butterbur and water aven.

I also observed that there are definitely fewer birds in the river, I only saw 3 lots of ducks with ducklings, 10 or twelve, but the last one was Mother duck just with one duckling, then a surprise this morning, a  Mother duck had 10 little ducklings following her, but it was the only duck I saw (29 May 2021).

Other birds I have seen over the last few month, whilst walking along the river are:

  • Goosanders, dippers, mandarin ducks, a kingfisher with their iridescent feathers, what a delight, herons, a sandpiper, wagtails, pied, yellow and grey, different gulls, oystercatchers, sand martins and swallows, flying low over the water.

Furthermore, noisy wrens, different tits, chaffinch, goldfinches showing off their pretty colours, robins with their red breasts, sparrows, blackbirds singing their hearts out, the green woodpecker, thrushes, lapwings flying here and there up and down, curlews with their melodious song, pheasants, an odd starling, crows and pigeons. This is the first year that a starling has not made its nest in our lime tree. Last year I saw lots of starlings, but not this year.

I only once saw two buzzards, and a kite on an other day, 2 partridges rushing away.

A big surprise this morning, a hare just in front of me on the road walking back to Hebden, unfortunately I did not get a photo, but it made me very happy.

The trees are in full leaf and with the sun out, the world looks magnificent.

Most mornings I see rabbits, but fewer than last year. I wonder if the wet and frosty weather in April and early May has made everything later, hence so few birds on the river.

Walking early in the morning, my boots get wet from the dew, but the sun makes beautiful patterns, reflections in the water, with the steam rising and clouds circling round above me.

I feel so lucky to have all this beauty on my doorstep.  I often am accompanied by bird song and the sound of the water rushing over the rocks in the river, my mind free of any worries and I arrive back home full of the wonders of nature and totally refreshed. We are so lucky to live in this beautiful landscape, all this wonder on our doorstep.

Hanneke Dye 29 May 2021

Walking Group Report – Nidderdale

“After negotiating the vagaries of the coin machine in Pateley’s Showground car park the seven members proceeded to leave Pateley, just after 10am, by climbing steeply westwards past the old brewery via alleys, woodland and pastures.

Meeting the Nidderdale Way at the top of the climb we continued westward on tarmac passing banks of roadside wildflowers with extensive views to Bewerley Moor upwards to the left and the Foster Beck valley to the right.

The weather was cloudy and cool but thankfully dry and it was pleasant walking with lambs in the fields and a slight breeze in our faces. 

After crossing Brandstone Beck at Dub Bridge the party climbed gradually for one half of a kilometre before arriving at the information board looking down onto Prosperous and Providence disused lead mines.  We continued down left to inspect the capped main shaft of the Prosperous mine before descending clockwise to the ruined smelt mill and other workings.  A pleasant picnic lunch was taken here amongst the ruined buildings and works on the banks of Ashfold Side Beck.

Mountain Pansy
Mountain Pansy (Viola lutea)

After lunch we crossed the beck and climbed steeply up the other bank as we turned east back towards the Nidd.  We followed the course of this delightful stream with extensive deciduous woodland to the right on the other side of the beck with views opening up of the Nidd valley ahead. 

The descent continued through an extensive caravan park before meeting Low Wath Road near to the old wooden water wheel at Corn Close.  Crossing the road we continued southward following firstly Foster Beck and latterly the River Nidd through pasture, another caravan park and finally Pateley’s municipal park and town centre.

So concluded the first UWFS walk following the Covid 19 lockdown.  A pleasant round of about 7 miles.

Special mention to Christine and Colin for botanical identifications and to Peter Ward on his maiden outing with the UWFS group.

Walk Group Leader: David Wolstenhulme

Spring Sandwort or Leadwort
Spring Sandwort or Leadwort (Minuartia verna)