Tag Archives: Wildlife

A Night Away At The Caravan.

On Saturday we were finally allowed to travel to our caravan and more excitingly, stop overnight! I must admit I was a little worried about our drive to the Lake District. Would we be stuck in traffic for hours? Would everyone in England be heading away for the weekend? It turns out we hardly saw a soul and the roads were not overly busy. There again the weather was not the best and we definitely needed our waterproofs.

Our destination was just under two hours away, so on route we stopped off near Kirkby Lonsdale to take Hugo for a riverside walk. The Lune was nearly bursting it’s banks, there had been so much rain.

Pretty painted pebbles lined the riverside path.
Rather nice art on the public toilet doors.
An old fashioned float in Kirkby Lonsdale.
The River Lune looking choppy.

Once we got to the caravan site we checked over the van , had some lunch then headed up into the fells for a walk. It’s the first time we have done this route, probably because of my general reluctance to drag myself up hill. It was of course worth it! We found a patch of woodland, a clear water beck and lots of foxgloves.

Once back in the village I couldn’t resist looking round the Green. Melmerby Village Green is an 11 acre green that used to be grazed by livestock. It is managed for wildlife and there are lots of lovely wildflowers on display.

Pied Wagtail almost camaflaged in the wall.
Betony.
Sheepfold.
Harebells.
Postbox in the village.

In the evening we left the pub to the locals and had tapas and wine in the van. Wil fried these padron peppers in olive oil and tossed them in sea salt. Delicious!

Peppers.
Quiet on site.

On Sunday morning we headed to Pooley Bridge which is near Ullswater. The lake was lively!

Hugo in Ullswater.
Bought a sausage roll in here. 😁
And had a socially distanced coffee in The Crown .
The River Eamont and the new bridge under construction. Pooley Bridges original stone bridge was destroyed during Storm Desmond.
Pooley Bridge Inn sign.

It felt good to be able to stay overnight at the caravan and it was nice enjoying a coffee in the Crown pub. We are ready for our proper week long break away. Not long now!

Did you go to a cafe or a pub at the weekend?

Under The Railway Bridge.

I have been noticing lately how lovely a local field is looking. All-sorts of flowers have been popping up this year. Makes me wonder if someone has been scattering seeds? The plants have been absolutely buzzing with bees and grasshoppers. Meadow Brown’s , Ringlets and Skippers are flying in abundance. I’m eager to see what else will turn up over the Summer. Will keep you posted. 😘

There could be more clover than grass in the field and they smell really sweet, especially in the sunshine after a shower.

Pops of colour are certainly provided by the burnt orange blooms of the Orange Hawkweed, which is also known as Devils Paintbrush and Fox & Cubs.

I think this is a member of the Crane’s -bill family , maybe Druce’s Cranes-Bill.

Tutsan is the largest of the St John’s Wort flowering plants. I was quite surprised to find it amongst the vegetation. I like how there are both flowers and berries.

I noticed a couple of Silver Y Moths fluttering around the thistles. They are migrant moths that fly day and night and can be identified by the metallic y on each wing.

Love-in-a-mist is not a wildflower, so I’m not sure how this bloom ended up here. I love it’s delicate and intricate design.

By the brook a Yarrow peeps , it’s leaves are feathery. In the past this plant was used on bloody wounds, but sticking it up your nose causes nosebleeds apparently. 🙄

Skippers are seen resting on buttercups and darting from flower to flower. They are tiny butterflies, however I cannot tell whether they are the large or small species.

In the grass I spy Fairy Flax which looks like it should be in a fairies garden.

Along with ringlets there are lots of Meadow Browns in the field. They are very fond of the thistles. 🙂

So that’s all for now. There are foxgloves and teasel but I will save them for another post. 🙂

The Elusive Bee Orchid.

Yesterday in the scorching heat we found the elusive Bee Orchid! This one was in Cross Hill Quarry Nature Reserve in Clitheroe, which can be accessed through Brungerley park. A kind member of a local wildlife group offered to show my sister, her kids and I where it was. 😊

There are over fifty species of orchid in the UK and all are protected. Although there are much rarer orchids ,the Bee Orchid is particularly striking I think. It’s flowers resemble the insect and amerous bees can transfer pollen to them, mistaking them for another 🐝 bee.

There were plenty of insects out in the late afternoon heat yesterday. We saw lots of butterflies including meadow brown’s, skippers, ringlets, common blues, tortoishell s, red admirals, whites and comma all fluttering around the quarry.

One of many many large skipper butterflies.
An unassuming orchid found all over the quarry is the Common Twayblade. I did not even realise that these are orchids.
A beautiful Marsh Orchid.
My niece got this picture of a cute new moth ( to us) , the Latticed Heath Moth.
The only Bee Orchid ( as yet) in the reserve has three flowers.
Bee Orchid.
My niece and Yellow Loosestrife flowers.
Heron intent on tea.

As you can imagine, wandering round a quarry in the heat made us all want to dive in the river, which luckily was close by. We all went for a paddle to cool off and the above heron wasn’t bothered by our presence at all.

Have you seen any orchids this year?

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve ~ June.

So I returned as promised to Salthill Nature Reserve in Clitheroe to look for the elusive Bee Orchid. There was a photo of one on a local wildlife group, but could I find it? Well nope! However there was still plenty to see and it was nice to wander round the reserve.

There were lots of Speckled Woods in the woodland areas.
And scented Dog Roses adorned the pathways.
The poisonous Cuckoo Pints green berry stalks cover the woodland floor.
The Common Blues looked vividly blue.
Honey scented flowers of Agrimony were once added to mead.
This rabbit sat and watched me from a woodland clearing.
A new wild flower sighting for me ~ Round leaved Wintergreen. The leaves remain evergreen through winter.
I saw a few Brown Ringlets.
Common spotted orchid.

I snuck into a gated off meadow which might not have been part of the reserve. Whoops! There were vast amounts of ox-eye daisies in there which were buzzing with bees and small dragonflies.

Daisy fest. 🌼
Small tortoishell on daisy.
And on bramble blossom.
Red Clover. This one looks particularly vibrant.
I didn’t have a clue what this was! I thought it may be some rarity, but then someone told me it was a cowslip gone to seed. 😜
Small tortoishell on wild thyme.
Cinnabar Moth.
I always get my Cinnabar’s and Six spotted Burnet’s mixed up. I should just count the spots. 😊

So despite not coming across the bee orchid, it was a successful visit. Have you visited a nature reserve recently?

Down by the river in Clitheroe.

This morning Hugo and I headed down to the river Ribble on one of our usual walks. I thought I would share some photos on here.

A glance back at the castle.
Weir.
Waddow Hall, which is used as a base for Girl Guiding UK.
River Ribble.

We walked to Brungerley park where there is a Sculpture Trail , which I blogged about previously.

I never noticed this bench in Brungerley Park before with its snake arms.
Three fish sculpture.
Heading through Brungerley park.
See the swan.
Bush vetch.
Otter sculpture.
Someone’s name perhaps?
Hunched heron.
Here’s my close up.
Watching for wildlife. 🙂
Watery poem.
Brungerley bridge view.
Female Black cap.
Banded Demoiselle.
Sunbathing.

Loving the sunshine at the moment. ❤️

Up With The Owls.

Early morning walk with Hugo this morning was well worth getting up for. ❤️

Cow Parsley. Also called Queen Anne’s Lace.
Bunny ears. X
Bistort. Grew up calling this flower ‘ Sweaty Feet’.
Ragged Robin in unmown field.
Little owls. Youngsters maybe….
Little Owl. 🙂
Life’s a hoot.
Yellow Flag Iris.
Nuthatch.
Woody path.
Nice to be out before it gets hot.:)
Goldfinch.

Thanks for dropping by. 😘

Caton Riverside Walk.

Today dawned sunny and warm , we got up pretty early, setting off from Clitheroe at 8am and driving through the beautiful Trough of Bowland and on to Caton , a village by the river Lune. Tantilising glimpses of sparkling blue sea could be viewed as we passed Jubilee Tower. We were however intent on a riverside walk.

At Caton we parked at the Bull Beck picnic site and car park. After crossing the road we joined an old railway walk/cycle path ( now part of the River Lune Millennium Park) and then ambled back along the river, about 4 miles in total.

Stone eisel depicting Railway walk/ cycleway.
Blue Sky.
Bug B & B ( open for business, I presume).
Squirrel checking out prospective breakfasts..
There was already a breakfast guest. 😘
I was so happy to see this gorgeous bullfinch…..and he posed for pictures. 🙂
Otter carving near the Crook O’ Lune picnic site..
And another. ❤️
Bridge at Crook O’ Lune.
Crook O’ Lune.
Reflections.
Ducklings.
Shallow Weir.
Riverside hide.
Relaxing by the Lune.
Spot the tiny Hugo.
Aquaduct.
There were several of these stone fence posts in the field.
Footbridge over Artle brook.
Hundreds of Sand Martins nest in the sandy river bank. They dart around so fast. I couldn’t believe it when one landed on a nearby fence. 🙂
Beautiful Sand Martin. 😘
Can just make out the flat top of Ingleborough in the distance.
Another hide.
Oyster catcher on shingle.
Hugo on shingle.
Following the river.
Young bull. Earlier we almost got stampeded by a group of cattle when a farmer was herding them to this field in his tractor. Don’t think he saw us ( hoping not) and we escaped just in time. Yikes!
Young bulls. All much calmer when not being chased by a cross farmer.

No more photos but we are almost back at the car park/ picnic site at Bull Beck. Amazingly the public toilets are actually open. Result!

After brunch ( it’s still only 10-45) we decide to head home through the Trough of Bowland. I had found another walk that looked nice at Abbeystead, but when we arrived it had gotten busy. Everyone else had the same idea! Another time perhaps.

We really enjoyed our River Lune walk. Such a tranquil beautiful morning. ❤️🥾

Walk Book ~ Walking in the Forest of Bowland and Pendle by Terry Marsh.

Map ~ Explorer OL41 ( Forest of Bowland & Ribblesdale).

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve ~ May.

By midday today it was scorching hot. I had taken our labrador for a riverside walk early morning ( saw my first dragonfly of the year) and then decided to head out somewhere unaccompanied. I love Hugo but he gets a little impatient when I become distracted by butterflies. 🙂

Salthill Quarry Nature Reserve is one of two nature reserves in my home town. A mixture of limestone grassland and shady woodland, the reserve is a haven for wild flowers and birds such as black caps and bullfinches. Which I never see ! Haha. Today my nemesis bird ( a gloriously colourful jay) posed for several photographs, promptly flying off cackling before I could get him into focus.

I enjoyed my walk and intend to post a blog in June, when hopefully the bee orchids will be in flower. For now, enjoy these photos. 😘

Hawthorn.
Yellow poppies.
Blue sky.
Cowslips.

Clock.
Small white.
Germander Speedwell.
Robin red breast.
Birds Foot Trefoil aka Bacon & Eggs.
Dog Rose.
Small white.
Wood Aven.
Bugles and Herb Robert.
Bluetit flying in and out of a nesting box.
Crinoid bench.
Milkwort.
Wild Strawberry.
Common Blue.
Chiffchaff.
Common Blue on Buttercup.

I hope I have identified the above correctly, please let me know if I have mixed up my common blues with my holly blues. 😅

Worsaw Hill Walk.

Before the sun broke through the clouds yesterday and all the social distancing sunbathing and street parties commenced, we headed out for a walk up Worsaw Hill. The grassy limestone knoll is walkable from my hometown of Clitheroe, we managed an eight mile circular route before lunch time. 🙂 Here are a few images from our morning.

Lambs and Pendle Hill.
Blossoming Horse Chestnut Tree.
Hello Nanny 🐐.
Sheep sculptures ~ Worston Village.
Bunting ~ Worston Village.
Footpath sign after the Calf’s Head pub in Worston.
Footpath with Worsaw Hill ( I only took one actual picture of the hill itself, doh! ) In the distance.
Curious cows.
Water Avens.
View to Pendle Hill from ( almost the top of ) the much smaller Worsaw Hill.
View of Pendle. We rested and ate an Aldi version of a Tunnocks Tea Cake. Hugo had half an apple. 🙂
Downham Hall and Church from the other side of Worsaw Hill.
And views toward Kemple End and Clitheroe.
Violets.
Pretty path towards Chatburn village.
Tortoishell butterfly.
From Chatburn we headed for the river. Hugo had again rolled in something dead! Time for a dip.
The Ribble between Chatburn and West Bradford Bridge.
Bad dog! 🙄
Mute Swan.
Any ideas botanist bloggers? On the Riverside.
Canada Geese.
Dandelion clocks.
Hanson Cement works on the outskirts of Clitheroe.
Heron doing a Greta Garbo. 😅
Dusky Cranesbill.

This was a quiet walk with great views, wildlife and if done in the future, places to find refreshment. Also for film buffs, Worsaw Hill appears in Whistle Down The Wind , which was made locally.

Thanks for joining us. Hugo is clean again. 😘

Lockdown Visitors.

We are all spending so much more time at home right now, an ideal opportunity to look out for lockdown visitors to our gardens and yards. I have a small yard that backs onto a neighbor’s garden. I think that’s where all my visitors come from to be honest. 😁

The bluetits are big fans of the coconut.
A thrush who sometimes tries to smash snail shells on the ground, to get at the snails inside. 😮
A little wood mouse visitor who cleans up after the birds.
Though next doors cat now knows where Mr Mouse appears from.

This Great Tit is collecting nesting material ~ Hugo’s dog hair!
Nesting materials.

Anyone who doesn’t have a dog, I can recommend buying this cute hessian bag of herdwick’s sheep wool from Parma Violet, which Birds love to use in their nests. I bought one for my sister who has had a duck visitor collecting the wool.

Female Blackbird on the gate.
Visiting wood pigeon.
My most prolific guests are the house sparrows who regularly feed on fat balls.
Male & female House Sparrows.
A jackdaw swings on the bird feeder. Definitely creator of the most mess!

Other birds I have seen in the yard ( but haven’t yet managed to photograph) are starlings, a goldfinch and a wren.

Who have you noticed visiting during lockdown?

Do you have more birds & animals coming into your garden now?

Let me know in the comments. 🦆