Friday, 2 April 2021

Dragon Horse and the sun over Lanshaw reservoir

March 30th 2021

Lower Lanshaw reservoir

 Another trip up Burley moor did not disappoint, Tuesday was predicted to be the hottest day of the year so far, let me tell you at 8.30 in the morning it was very cold.

At the bottom of the hill I got some new birds for my list on the moor.

Mistle Thrush

Long-tailed tit

Blue tit

On the moor my first Common reed bunting and still plenty of Grouse about, the males displaying their eyebrow frills.

Common reed bunting

Male Grouse

My sister had come with me today as I thought between us with a map we could find some of the cup marks in the area, turns out we are both bad at reading maps!

At the top, Lanshaw rocks we did find the modern carvings in the stones.

Dragon Horse

Devils face


Devils face

We could hear and see the helicopter in the distance, they were mending the path further over the moor near Ilkley. 

  Today we had a walk over to High Lanshaw reservoir, this area will be a good place to see wild bog flowers a bit later on in the year.

Sat in the path there was a frog.



Mining Bee

At Lower Lanshaw reservoir 



We noticed  this little grass flowering in the boggy areas, did not know at the time what it was.
Turns out to be Common cotton-grass Eriophorum angustifolium, none of my books show it at this stage they show it with the white fluffy seed heads.

Seed heads in July

On another path I removed two toads out of danger, you can see how much smaller the male toad is on her back.

white-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)

We thought this looked like a giant Turtle 

Lots of Meadow pipits today

On the way back down the hill it had now got very hot, the flies were out! as well as butterflies. My first for the year was a Brimstone (no photo) then a Peacock butterfly. A Goldcrest and a Wren were amongst the gorse , tow more birds for the list.



Daisy (Bellis perennis)

Peacock butterfly


  1. A super walk and photos - the first one is stunning!! :) So pleased you had so many great sightings. The carvings are brilliant! Hope you can find the cup marks one day. I've only ever recognised cotton grass when the seedheads are fully developed too. Good to see a butterfly! Have a good Easter.

    1. Thanks so much Caroline, it's going to be a great spot during the summer months. I wonder why most books do not show the Cotton grass at this stage ?!
      Hope you have a Happy Easter too.

  2. Wonderful photos of the birds and the butterfly is stunning. But best of all is your photo of the reservoir with the sun over it. Was it really purple looking like that or did you do that on your computer? Whatever the answer, the image is amazing! Happy Easter xx

    1. Thanks Mandy, so nice to see the butterflies back, and yes did add a bit of colour to the sun photo. Have a Happy Easter too.

  3. What a fascinating post! The first photo could be an award-winner. And the rock carvings are awesome. Great information and photos all around!

    1. Thanks so much Beth for the lovely comment, so glad you liked the blog post.

  4. Lovely, it seems it's just full of life there, Peacock was my first butterfly of the year but my husbands was a Brimstone!

    1. Thanks Pam, turning out to be a lovely place, hopefully going back soon, just needs to warm up a bit. Not the best place to be on a cold day.