Saturday, 30 April 2011

Moorland magic

With Royal Wedding fever gripping the nation… would anyone be out on the North Yorkshire Moors on Friday? The answer… not many! We saw maybe 10 people enjoying the area during the day.

Doug Fairweather and I arrived to view superb scenery… but iffy weather conditions! So surely it wasn’t to be a day for decent birding, lepidoptera etc… It was woolly hats, an assortment of gloves and as many jumpers as you could wear!

I’m not overweight, this is jumper bulk!

The rewards… birding wise it was excellent with over 100 Red Grouse, many Curlews bubbling and plenty of tumbling Lapwings.

We eventually found a pair of Golden Plover. This male demonstrating the distraction technique before singing.

And encountered up to 40 Wheatears.

However, the target was Ring Ouzel. This pair showed well before taking flight so this is a record shot. Two of the three seen during the day.

With the inclement weather, tactics needed to change and instead of lepidoptera showing to us, we had to go looking. The coldness made photographs easier despite the dark clouds.

This one of the 200+ Green Hairstreaks found hanging up.

We also found c500 Common Heaths, although finding one willing to pose was a task.

The effort for looking also turns up other rewards with several Argyrotaenia ljungiana and the odd Adela reaumurella during brief sunny periods.

We also managed to find 2 Wood Tiger caterpillars during the worst of the weather.

In different habitats, eyes pick up different things… here is some lichen that Doug spotted.

Cladonia floerkaena

Peltigera spp

Makes you wonder what it would be like to be there when the sun comes out!

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