Friday, 28 August 2015

I will be seeing you soon


As most of you know we are in the middle of doing up the house, one room has lead  to another then another....!

While this is going on I was also looking at changing my job.
Last week I handed my application in, Saturday I got a call to come for a interview on Tuesday.
Thursday I got the call I had got the job, and I start tomorrow !!!!
Have to work at my old job for a month, this means I will be working two jobs for a month, seven days and some evenings.
Not going to really have  the time to blog properly for a few weeks.

so see you soon.

Amanda xx

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Wallpaper on ,Woodcock surprise , Butterflies in the garden and a moth kinda week !

How long does it take to wallpaper two wall's
all day!

We have brought the out side in, I love stone walls. Two weeks the floor is coming, which is good as the kitchen contents are spread all over the house and I am starting to forget were I put everything...

We have had a lot of rain the past few days, mainly around teatime, but the days have been warm and sunny which has brought the Butterflies into the garden. 
Large Whites, Admirals and a nice return of the Peacock Butterfly. 

Friday I had a break from decorating and had a wonder up on the Banks, the fields are full of 

Even though the plant is poisonous to Horses there were Horses in the fields, I think if they have grown up with them in the field they know not to eat them, death by Ragwort is quite low.
Having said that I don't now how I would feel if they were my Horses.

The bees do love the flower though.

Sunday is going to be my day to visit the Gravel Pits at Ben Rhydding, the sun was out with a slight breeze, a proper lazy hazy summers day.

Harlequin Ladybird

I had hoped to spend some time on the river looking for birds, but forgot it has been raining so hard in the West the river was up, there was no sight of the Kingfishers on the ponds either.

The Peacock Butterflies were out here to day too.


I think these are Sea Holly thistles growing in one spot under the trees.

There was another couple wondering round, he was trying to get a photo of this Southern Hawker, it was flying round him threatening to land at any moment, then flying of as the camera was raised. We had a chat how hard it was to photograph them, he gave up and carried on with there walk.

Once his back was turned the Hawker settled down on the Hawthorn tree right in front of me and stayed, in the end it stayed so long I left it sunning it's self in the sun.

Southern Hawker

Speckled wood
 Noticed this little plant, a first for me Red Bartsia pretty little plant.

 Red Bartsia

I was now back at the entrance, quite a wide area of gravel alongside the tree line.
There sat was a little bird, quietly asking it to sit still so I could take it's photo.

At first I thought it was a Grouse, I don't know why !  managed just one shot and it flew of.
Looking at the photo I realised it had a long beak... Snipe , no not quite right.
 Put it on iSpot as a Woodcock and it is....

a first for me and it might be a first for this site. 

Just one new moth this week as most nights it has been raining 

Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta)

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Photo catch up....

We started decorating the bathroom which has now turned into the whole of down stairs !!!!

A lick of paint is taking over !

So sorry if I have not commented on you blog, last thing have been reading through your posts but that's all, the garden looks like it has been through a spin and rinse in the washer, need sorting.. and I've been looking for a new job! last week I had nothing to do.. funny how things happen. 

I just wanted to show you my photos I took last week when I visited the gravel pits again and have managed to record  another 16 new moths on my garden list.

The first butterfly I saw to day was a brand new  Brimstone butterfly, still with it's wings to dry out properly. I have never managed to photograph one before, The  White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly was still there but no blue.

On the ponds made by the gravel pits, two Kingfishers were spotted, Dipper, Cormorant,  and Buzzard, were down by the river.
This place still has a few more surprises to show I'm sure.

The Brimstone:

Gravel pit

View down river

view up river

The best thing about starting a new projects is everything is new, have seen some lovely moths over the past week, so if you are interested you can see them on my Garden list blog, just have a look down the list on the left hand side and look for "Light box catch" it will bring them all up.

here is just a few of my favourite moths I have caught...

Early Thorn

Bird-Cherry Ermine

Mother of Pearl 

Copper Underwing

 Hope I will get chance to visit your blogs over the weekend so.......

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

I'm following a tree and wonders at Ben rhydding gravel pits nature reserve

Once a month I have been following a tree, this year it is the turn of the Larch tree.
There are two Larches I am following one a Japanese Larch and the other a Common Larch.

I did miss out on July and this month is a little catch up as things are quiet on the tree.
The new growth is fresh and green, the cones are at full size and have not managed to see much wildlife amongst the trees , just the odd Wood pigeon.
Blackberries are starting to fruit under the tree, and Cleaver's have grown up the branches, I thought they looked a bit like a  Ant hill. Honesty seed pods are green but soon will turn paper thin, they have done well this year hiding in the edge of the tree they are missed my the man mowing the grass.

Ben Rhydding gravel pits nature reserve 

After seeing the White-letter Hairstreak at the park the other day 
I remembered were I had seen some on the internet. 
It had been just down the road from me at  

Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits nature reserve.

Alongside the beautiful river Wharfe near Ilkley the Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Nature 
Reserve has a variety of habitats and is a great place to observe birds,
 plants,butterflies and Dragonflies and if you're lucky you might even spot a Otter.

The first thing I spotted was this couple of bees mating, she has to be the biggest bee I have ever seen.

Late summer
As the season progresses nests begin producing offspring which are not workers. New queens (females) and males are produced in order to allow the colony to reproduce. The male bees leave the nest and do not normally return. They do not collect pollen and spend their time feeding on nectar from flowers and trying to mate. New queens leave the nest and mate soon after. Mating behaviour varies between species but typically involves several males competing in one way or another. Most males never mate.

Once mated, new queens feed heavily on pollen and nectar, storing the energy as fat inside their bodies. This fat will be used to provide energy during a long hibernation. The old queen and her nest will naturally come to an end as summer turns in to autumn. Only the new queens survive until the following spring, by hibernating underground.(Link)

On their website there is a report they have seen Common Blue here
and this is what I was hoping to see, sadly not to day but I did get to see some other 

Small Copper


Small tortoiseshell
Musk Mallow

One of our aims at the Ben Rhydding reserve has been to try and promote a wider variety of native plants for birds and insects and we have already planted many plug plants and spread wildflower seed in a coppiced area of Hawthorn. We are happy to report that, after a long period of little plant life, the latter has sprung into life with new flowers making the most of the extra light now available to them. In a bid to try and understand what sort of plants the reserve would support, Steve Peel, of Natural England and a regular volunteer with us, has also analysed a series of soil samples for us. We were most grateful for his efforts since the information will be very valuable in our continued efforts to enhance the site’s biodiversity. (Link)

Walking the path alongside the river I could hear something in the trees, not the best shot due to the Ivy, but you can just make out a Stoat, I think. Looking at the photo he/she is checking out a old birds nest.

There was a lot of Hoverflies about and insects, I think this one is a Tachinid Fly.

At the far end of the reserve there is a bench up on the banking, I did look out for a Otter but no luck to day.

Meadow Brown

Purple Loosestrife

Green veined white Butterfly

The  White-letter Hairstreak Butterfly has been feeding in the same patch of flowers for weeks and easy to find, they don't fly of like other Butterflies so nice to be able to watch them close up.
They have a really pretty face.

Comma Butterfly
Speckled wood Butterfly 

Having spent over two hours here It was time to go home, I spotted a young frog in the grass, but of before I could get a photo, but this hopper stayed long enough to have it's photo taken.

Ben rhydding gravel pits nature reserve is fast becoming a wonderful place to see nature,
a big thank you has to go to Wharfedale Naturalists Society for all their hard work.