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
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.
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
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.
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.
|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.
|Speckled wood Butterfly|
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.