Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Lissening out for Cuckoos on Rombalds Moor




Yesterday with the promise of fine weather I went to another one of my favourite places, Rombalds moor, spreading all the way from Ilkley to Keighley, it's a vast wide open space. This side of the moor is very quiet I have only ever met one person in all the time I've been going and that was the Gamekeeper last year. Had a look back at my records and I had gone exactly one year ago, 26th May. 
Last year at this time was much hotter, and I was hoping I might get lucky and see the Cuckoo. 

To my joy when I parked up the field was full of sheep, not just any old sheep but some Herdwick, they are native to the Lake District of Cumbria in North West England.



Salting roads in icy conditions is helping a coastal flower become the fastest spreading plant in Britain. Scurvy grass is revealed as the plant that has moved into more areas on the map than any other in the past half-century.

High in the sky two Red Kites were flying, a quite normal sight for us now as they are often over the garden, it was nice just to stand and watch them soaring through the sky.



How sweet are these, Herdwick added to my list of must have sheep...









Photobomb !




Climbing Corydalis is another new wild flower I can add to my list, I also spotted it at the park for the first time this week, on my patch of land, were I have recorded the flowers that have grown after some trees were cut down. Reaching a count of 50 so far.






New growth on the heather plant and fruiting moss, there was splashes of colour.

Waiting for ID, think it is Heather




Even though there was a cool wind blowing you could see the heat coming of the land, making any distant shots of bird blurred.


 I saw a bird fly of, and realised it was a Green Woodpecker, for a while it sat on the fence, what with wind ,heat and distance this was the only shot I got. Which is ok as I'm quite excited to record one here. 






I sat for a while and listened out for the Cuckoo......
Nothing.





Another flowering moss, could be

 Strict Haircap (Polytrichum strictum)




Lots of lichens are found on the moors, cladonia being one species, with a distinctive red trumpet.








I did spot a few Green Hairstreak Butterflies but not as many as last year. They would fly of in the wind, to far for me to chase, so I will leave you with a photo of one I took last year.





44 comments:

  1. Super post Amanda, more great photos. Rombalds Moor looks a beautiful place.

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    1. Thanks Ian, it's the most super place...

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  2. I associate the moors at Ilkley with meadow pipits, of which there were always loads! And also, UFO abductions.

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    1. Thanks Simon, there were a few pipits, no good photos due to the heat haze...not as many birds as there should be.
      Amanda XX

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  3. A highly enjoyable and varied post Amanda :-) I have only heard the one Cuckoo this year and that was near my cottage at Grosmont, whilst fellow birders down in East Yorkshire have been really struggling this year :-(

    I like the Herdwicks but in my humble opinion you still can't beat a good old Swaledale !!!

    Hope all is well and fingers crossed that the forecast heatwave for early June makes it this far north :-)

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    1. Thanks David, little disappointed I did not hear the Cuckoo, hope I missed it and not the fact they have not come back.

      And I have to agree with you Swaledale would have to be my all time favourite.
      Amanda xx

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  4. Oh, so many beautiful things!!!!!! The pictures of the sheep are my favourite, they are all so different and so expressive aren't they. I love the way that they seem to be looking straight into the camera and out of the picture right at you. Your pictures of the big skies are stunning too, they really convey the beautiful wide open spaces. Thank you so much for taking us along!!! xx

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    1. Thanks Amy, glad you like the sheep, I was having a chat with them, that's why they were looking...asking them if they wanted to come home with me...!
      It's such a lovely place glad to share it with you.
      Amanda xx

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  5. Love the photo bomb sheep. You are very welcome to come hear and listen to our cuckoos- had one in the back garden last week :o) xx

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    1. Thanks CT, photo bomb going to be printed of and framed, and as for coming to listen to your Cuckoo's, I would love to :)
      Amanda xx

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  6. That looks like my kind of walk! Lovely photos!

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    1. Thanks Louise, I think you would really enjoy this space..
      Amanda xx

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  7. Such a calming place, and a calming post. I almost feel like I was there with you for the walk. Your mosses, grasses, and sedges are magical. And the sheep! Your photos are fantastic. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks PP, thanks for the kind comments and glad you like my photos.
      Amanda xx

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  8. I would love to have been on this walk with you, especially as you brought tea (or coffee), any cake? ;-)
    You find some very attractive sheep species. Around here they are all quite ugly, except for when they are very young! Lovely photos and a very enjoyable virtual walk! xx

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    1. Thanks Mandy, I do like to take coffee and cake on my trips out, as I like to sit for a while and listen and look what's going on, time just goes when I'm out on my own like this, so ready for a coffee. Trouble is you need to pee to, let's just say the dense wood came in handy!
      Amanda xx

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  9. Hi Amanda
    Goodness you found such a variety of things on your visit. I love the herdwick sheep such cute faces and the lovely colour of their fleece. What a wonderful place.

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    1. Thanks Elaine, when you first visit the moor it looks like there is nothing there, but close to the ground it's bursting with life and colour, the Herdwick looked at home out on the moor.
      Amanda xx

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  10. A lovely post Amanda with gorgeous photos and a great selection of wildlife. Looks a really beautiful place to walk - so much solitude :) Love the Herdwick Sheep and the photobomb photo particularly :) I've only heard one cuckoo this year when I was at Sutton Park. Well done on the Green Hairstreak - still not seen one here. Was hoping to go out today looking for some but weather isn't good - cool, windy and mainly cloudy :(

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    1. Thanks RR, not till I had got home I realized I had gone at the same time last year, many more Butterflies about then, the weather did not help to day as it was so windy, even the moths were having trouble flying, as they were whisked of in the wind.
      Glad you like the sheep to.
      Amanda xx

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  11. Another lovely set of images Amanda. Yes I like the Herdwick, a real hardy sheep.
    The mug of tea is a really good idea.{:))
    I have only found a few G/Hairstreak so far this year, not like some years.
    A superb expedition you went on there.

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    1. Thanks Roy, hoping the lack of Butterflies is due to the weather on the day and things are running a little later than last year. There was not as many wild flowers out in the verge and last year the bell heather was flowering, not to day.
      Don't go very far without my trusty flask of coffee....
      Amanda xx

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  12. Simply stunning !!!! amazing pics ! Thanks for sharing with us !

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    1. Thanks Géraldine, so glad you like my photos, and thanks for visiting...
      Amanda xx

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  13. I haven't heard a cuckoo for many years, I really need to slow down and listen. Loving your photos, especially your sheep. We've just spent a few days in the Lake District, I took a few sheep photos but not blog-able photos. They never got too close to our rowdy group of walkers and my zoom photos always make my hands shake!! Very fuzzy sheep. Sarah

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    1. Thanks Sarah, so pleased I've got everyone spotting sheep :)
      Amanda xx

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  14. I really enjoyed this post. We heard a cuckoo up on our moor yesterday, sounding as if it was in the trees in a little clough, and last week I saw a black grouse up there, first time I've ever clapped eyes on one.

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    1. Thanks Annie, think you would love this moor... good to hear a Cuckoo and see a black grouse, the Red Grouse on the moor are nesting at the moment so did not see many...
      Amanda xx

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  15. i've enjoyed being on the wide open space of this moor and seeing what you found for your list. it would have been good to have heard a cuckoo, but I would have been pleased just to be there on the moors.

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    1. Thanks Linda, if I could have stayed longer I would have done it was quiet nice been up there on my own, just watching what was going on, cup of coffee and cake...job done.
      Amanda xx

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  16. Amazing photos as always. The moor looks a great place to walk, I used to think of moors as barren places but have come to really appreciate them through yours and Louise's blogs. Very envious of the red kite. The last time I heard a cuckoo was when I was in primary school before they dug up the field at the end of our street and put a big housing estate on it - very sad. x

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    1. Thanks Julie, driving past a moor there looks like there is nothing there especially this time of year, but there is so much to see when you get up close. I just love been in the wild open space..
      We have come quite use to seeing Red Kites as I think there is a breading pair up in the wood near our home, but we still shout "Red Kite " every time we see one.
      Going to go back next week if the sun comes out and listen again for the Cuckoo, you never know I might get lucky and see one.
      Have lovely week..
      Amanda xx

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  17. WOW, Amanda! Some incredible photographs. I always think of Beatrix Potter and her Herdwick sheep! The RedKite is terrific: we once had one fly over our home in Swansea, but we rarely see them here in the east (though there are good-ish numbers as you go towards the west). The lichen is superb ... and your Cottongrass photo is stunning. Such an evoctive part of the world, with your Bronte quotation!

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    1. Thanks Caroline, so glad you like my photos, now I know were the sheep are I am sure they will be having their photo taken again...
      Harewood House is not far from use and it is one of the first places to release Red Kites back into the wild so we are very lucky to have good numbers round here.
      Amanda xx

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  18. What a beautiful landscape to walk through with so much wildlife. I love the photobomb! My hubby is from Yorkshire and I still can't understand why he left it, the scenery is amazing and I just know if I lived there I wouldn't ever be spending a moment in the house. xx

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    1. Thanks Chel, it is a wonderful place to live...
      Amanda xx

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  19. Amanda ... what a fabulous post. I love ALL your photo's. It was quite funny - I was told to be quiet (in a nice way) whilst looking at and reading your post - apparently I was saying 'Ooh' and 'Aah' at too many of your fabulous pictures (could you please make them not so good next time LOL ?) and it interrupted my lovely husband's thought process ... !

    But seriously what lovely pictures - and I didn't know about 'Scurvy grass'

    Great to see and read, thank you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thanks Jan for such a lovely comment, have a look out for Scurvy grass it's flowering at the moment.
      Amanda xx

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  20. Amanda, another fantastic set of photos reminding me of what we all walk past and fail to notice. Memo to self - be more observant and see more.
    Thanks for your encouragement, I have revisited Greenthumb so hope I have now got it right.
    I visited Salts Mill on Saturday and saw the Hockney Exhibition "The Arrival of Spring". He made a different picture for each day of May all on a 10 mile section of country road near Bridlington. There is a great quote of his at the start of the exhibition.
    “What I began to call Action Week, when the cow parsley (Queen Anne's lace) seems to grow a few feet in about a week, always comes around early May. A very exciting time, I thought, especially with the hawthorn, of which there is a lot on Woldgate. If this were Japan at a a time like that, I'd tell people, there would be thousands of cars driving round to take it all in; but here we are lucky, we have it all to ourselves”.
    In West Yorkshire I think Spring is a little later.
    So Good Luck with your 30 Days Wild Challenge.
    Thanks again
    John

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    1. Thanks John, Salts Mill is one of my favourite places to go, and it's just down the road from me, I like the history of Mr Titus and I do like the Hockney collection too. There are some good walks round there as well.
      Amanda xx

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    2. Lovely post Amanda .Glad someone else is searching for cuckoos like me ! You'll be pleased to know they are in and around Rombalds moor , but not as numerous as last year . It's a beautiful place , with varied bird life . At the moment I'm watching some long eared owls , and came across a few snipe nesting amongst the lapwings and curlew . The cotton grass is amazing at the moment, and..... as you mention. I rarely see a single human being . Thank you for your wonderful photos.

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    3. Hi Andrew, so pleased you found the post, and I am so glad that someone else has been there and likes the place, it's rather special. Had hoped to go back this weekend but to windy, some years back I recorded blue butterflies there and have been trying to spot them ever since, have not come across them any were else in this area.

      I would love to see a long eared owl, are they there up in the woods or are you sat watching them some were else? Love the cotton grass to, how it moves in the wind. So hope the weather holds for this weekend and I might get back there..if it was not for work I would be packing my camera as we speak.
      Amanda xx

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    4. Hi Amanda, just spent a few hours in and around Rivock wood . Had superb views of the long eared owl parent hunting low over the heather then returning to the edge of the wood complete with supper for an eagerly awaiting youngster . Location wise , they're on the southern flank in the Bucking Hill area. Good luck !! Quite a few cuckoo heard too. Still, they are very elusive this year. Love your bee hotels. Reminds me of my butlins cabin I stayed in as a kid ! Dead basic !

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    5. Thanks for the information, might just have to have a drive out to night before the weather changes...
      Amanda xx

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