Tag Archives: Wildlife

A Wander To Wiswell. 🌼

After studying our O S maps, ( Wil is better at this than me πŸ€—) we found another walk from home, using footpaths we were not previously aware of. For this dear lockdown 3, I am grateful…

We plotted a route to the village of Wiswell and back via Barrow village and Standen Hey community woodland. The weather on Sunday was clear and bright, spring was definitely detected. On our walk we heard woodpeckers drumming, curlews calling and saw buzzards soaring. I noticed a solitary tortoishell butterfly and spied sunny clumps of primroses and celandines.

Heading out of Clitheroe to cross the busy A59.
And on into fields in the shadow of Pendle.
Hugo was happy to find a brook.
Plank bridge.
A huge house, actually newly built.
And into Wiswell village.
Hugo at the watering hole.:)
Wiswell.

Wiswell is a small village that lies at the foot of Wiswell Moor. Pronounced Wizzel, the settlement is possibly named after Old Molly’s Well , which became known as Wise Woman’s Well or Wise Well. We didn’t see the well though. Anyhow we sat and enjoyed a flask of coffee in the village centre a while. A greenfinch merrily chirruped in a nearby Conifer.

Greenfinch. πŸ™‚
The Freemasons public house ~ definitely on our list for future pub walks.
Heading away from Wiswell to Barrow.
Early plum blossom?
Berkins Deli in Barrow.

We got a bit lost in Barrow trying to find footpaths that had been either blocked off or diverted because of new housing development. Eventually we found ourselves on the right track, crossing a train track..

Safely across.
An unsuccessful selfie with Hugo.
Onto a familiar path, the old Roman road and stone cross base.
Community woodland.
Primrose.
Celendines.
Catkins.
Crocuses.
Alpaca πŸ¦™ on the outskirts of Clitheroe.

This walk was a little over 8 miles , started off chilly and ended up quite warm.

Os Explorer Map West Pennine Moors 287.

Seeking Out Sika Deer. 🦌

Unbeknown to me until recent times , the Gisburne Park estate in Gisburn is home to a herd of Sika Deer. The deer roam free and are wild, they are often spied in the local area. I had never seen one though…until now.

Sika deer were introduced into the UK from the Far East in 1860. And they were brought over to Gisburn from Ireland by Thomas Lister ‘ Lord Ribblesdale’ in the 19th century. The parks fallow deer herd had declined and it was hoped that the Sikas would make good sport. Lord Ribblesdale had a band of buckhounds used for hunting deer. All was looking good , but the imports were having none of it. They didn’t like hanging out in the open, and would make a dash into the trees if disturbed. Soon the Lord’s buckhounds were disbanded and the sika deer became feral. Their descendants roam the estate today.

Entrance lodges.
Fields of sheep.
Snowdrops.

Wandering round Gisburne Park early morning is a delight. Some areas are private but there are public footpaths through the grounds too. All was calm and peaceful and Hugo was able to have some off lead time. We saw several buzzards including one that landed in a tree just metres away and disturbed a long billed bird that flew out from the edge of the woodland into the fields.

A bonnie bridge.
Riverside House.
Hello Hugo.

Most exciting though was coming almost face to face with a stag, one of Lord Ribblesdales Sika Deer descendants! He stood his ground for quite a while, which gave me ample opportunity to take a couple of photos. As we quietly passed, he stamped his hoof and turned into the trees.

Our Sika deer are probably originally descended from Japanese sika deer.
The word sika comes from the Japanese word Shika ~ meaning deer.
Peering through the Catkins.
Handsome chap.

As Sika deer are an introduced species they are not protected wildlife. Their numbers are not encouraged, especially if in an area where there may also be native Red deer, which they sometimes breed with. As far as I’m aware, there are no red deer here so the sika are safe. πŸ™

Gisburne Park mansion, now a private hospital.
Ivy on a stone post.
Daffodils on an old cottage door.

Do you have any deer living locally?

Thanks for dropping by. 🦌

An Early Morning Clitheroe Route.

I am loving the weather at the moment. Cold and crisp, hard frost and no squelchy mud. Hugo coming home clean and no danger of him shaking dirt all over the house. Bliss!

During the week it’s mostly just Hugo and I on our walks as Wil works full time. I can fit the doogal in round my part time hours and we stick to local routes around the outskirts of Clitheroe. Happily It isn’t very far for us to find some fields and below is one of our usual hikes from home.

Walking past Primrose Nature Reserve.

Teals can be seen over the reserve fence.

We avoid walking up a busy Whalley road by using a shortcut . πŸ™‚

And cross the road into fields.

Kemple End through the trees.

One of my favourite fields. I hope it never gets built on.

Hugo likes it here too.

Obligitary sheep pic. πŸ‘

Tree lined path leading to Four Lane Ends.

Ivy Cottage.

Which way now?

We pass Ivy Cottage with its Wheel bench.

And Opposite is the entrance to a private residence ~ Standen Hall.

Four Lane Ends.

At Standen Bridge I peer down into the brook and spot a Dipper. πŸ™‚

Reflections.

Now this is a new addition, a vandalised caravan. 😦

A nicer new addition. Somebody has hung a few bird feeders along the lane.

A short detour to take this photo of Pendle.

And back to Clitheroe through the fields.

I spy Clitheroe castle. 🏰

Somebody’s watching me.

Heading into town.

Let’s hope this dry cold weather continues πŸ™‚

Januarying.

I am treating January as I usually do. It’s my month of keeping snug and cosy inside, with a healthy dose of fresh air and exercise. I also like to plan holidays and weekends away at this time of year, so have been researching our little holiday in North Norfolk during May and weekend walks in the Eden Valley, for when we can get back up to the caravan.

Continuing Winter cheer with my window display. The Robins mimic my real life robin visitor. The hyacinth plant I found in Sainsbury’s for a bargain 65p is now flowering and giving off a delicious scent, resembling woods of bluebells.

Winter Walks.

I’ve been looking for more walks from home. Although I thought we had been just about everywhere on our doorstep, I was proved wrong last weekend, when we discovered new to us footpaths. I’m sure there are more to explore!

There will be another place to wander when Clitheroe’s new Nature Reserve opens. It is very local indeed. I have nosed over the fence a couple of times and I spied several Teal on the water. πŸ™‚ Can’t wait for a proper look.

The RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch is all set for the last weekend of January. I have signed up as usual and am looking forward to seeing which feathered visitors turn up in the hour.

Primrose Nature Reserve. πŸ¦‰πŸ¦‰ Photo from their Facebook page.
Bridgerton. It’s a bodice ripper.

Incase you are looking for some on screen escapism, here is a list of what I’ve enjoyed watching recently. Most are series and there’s one film. But let me say this, my list is one of mostly guilty pleasures. πŸ˜„

  • Bridgerton. Netflix. Regency romance with lots of drama, comedy, gossip & scandal.
  • Derry Girls. All 4 / Netflix. Coming of age comedy set during ‘ the troubles’ in nineties Northern Ireland.
  • Ghosts. BBC I Player. Spirited comedy about the ghostly inhabitants of a haunted house, from the creators of Horrible Histories
  • Winter Walks. BBC I Player. Join well known faces as they film their favourite walks in Yorkshire. I miss Yorkshire. ❀️
  • Eurovision Song Contest : The Story Of Fire Saga. Netflix. Very cheesy but enjoyable musical comedy film set in Iceland and Edinburgh.
  • The Masked Singer. ITV/ ITV Hub. Addictive crazy singing competition.
  • Home For Christmas. Netflix. Norwegian rom com series.
  • Sneaky Pete. Amazon Prime. Crime drama about a con man who assumes the identity of his cellmate to escape from a vengeful mobster.
  • The Queen’s Gambit. Netflix. An orphans rise against the odds to become the Worlds number one chess player.
  • All Creatures Great And Small. My 5. Heart warming 1940s comedy drama about a young vet who accepts a job in a Yorkshire Dales Vetinary practice. This is a remake of the original series, and just as good. ❀️
Winter Reading.

It’s nice to find a nice cosy read and I did in Winter Holiday from the Swallows and Amazon’s children’s book series by Arthur Ransome. I am immersed in a world of frozen lakes, snowy igloos and secret signals. Thanks to the What is it about books ? blog for the recommendation. ❀️

So this is my first foray into using the new WordPress editor. I hope it turns out okay.

Do leave me your own thoughts on how you are spending January?

Wildlife Moments in 2020. 🦊

2020 has been tough on us humans but the natural world has carried on as normal. In fact in those early days of lockdown when most of us stayed home and the roads were eerily empty, wildlife blossomed. Many of us had time to notice the birds in our gardens , the visiting butterflies, the quiet rustle of hidden creatures going about their business. From all the negativity a greater connection to nature came about. We have so much to appreciate in our wilder surroundings.

Travel restrictions prevented me from venturing very far so my photos this year are from Lancashire and Cumbria. Still plenty to see though. Enjoy the pics. ❀️

Roe Deer spotted on the fringe of woodland earlier this year in Clitheroe.

Scarlet Elf Cups , Kirkby Stephen in March.

A sandmartin settles, the river Lune, Caton.

Round Leaved Wintergreen, Salthill Nature Reserve, Lancs.

Ringed Plovers and Dunlin, Port Carlisle, Cumbria.

Corncockle in a wildflower meadow on the Lowther Estate, Cumbria.

Red Admiral butterfly.

Little Egret with its bright yellow legs, Ravenglass, Cumbria.

Bonnie Bullfinch at a feeder in Caton, Lancashire.

Juvenile Wheatear , Cow Green Reservoir, Cumbria.

Fly Agaric on the riverside at Garrigill, Cumbria.

A Whitethroat by the sea in Heysham, Lancs.

Heather in bloom , Bowness on Solway, Cumbria.

Native Longhorn cattle on the Lowther Estate, Cumbria.

Marsh Cinquefoil , Eyecott Hill Nature Reserve in Cumbria.

Golden Plover , Cow Green Reservoir, Cumbria.

Pretty in pink waxcap , the village green in Melmerby.

Female Fallow Deer on the Dalemain Estate in Cumbria.

Bee Orchid in Clitheroe.

Little Owl in Clitheroe, one of two that perched on the tree every morning in early Summer.

What wildlife have you enjoyed seeing in 2020?

Hawthorns Photo Scavenger Hunt ~ July. πŸ“·

Hey, I finally remembered to join in with Kate’s Photo Scavenger Hunt this month. Read on for July’s words.

Something Purple ~ Let me tickle you with a teasel. These spiky specimens appeared in the railway bridge field a few weeks ago, and have slowly been turning purple.

Shades Of Green ~ Not the most original photo, but here’s Hugo wearing a green collar in a newly mowed meadow, where the grass is a few shades of green.

Starts with…..F ~ My niece was ten this week. Double digits! Here is her Fantastic birthday cake with 10 candle Flames.

Still Life ~ And still life went on through lockdown. At least it did for wildlife. A selection of what I saw over that period. ❀️

Snapped At This Moment ~ A moment in time, trying on a mask before heading to my first hair appointment since before lockdown. I really don’t like wearing them as I find them suffocating. However I guess I just need more practice!

My Own Choice ~ The lovely coastline at Grange Over Sands a couple of weekends ago. And Mr Hugo of course. πŸ™‚

Thanks for bobbing by.

A Garden Of Eden ~ Flora & Fauna In The Eden Valley, Cumbria.

I thought I would share some of the wild treasures I saw recently on my week off in the lovely Eden Valley of Cumbria.

A Wildflower Meadow On The Lowther Estate. Situated between Askham and Whale after the bridge, the estate has put on a colourful display.

Vipers Bugloss.

Daisies & Campions.

Corncockle.

More from Melmerby Village. The village green and surrounding meadows are blessed with colour.

Red Admiral.

Travellers horses. Not particularly wild , but a lovely pair with very big hooves. Saw them clip clopping past pulling a Romany wagon, the occupant took the reins with a crow chattering away on his shoulder.

Bitter Vetch.

Skipper on Betony.

Honeysuckle.

Ringlets on Yarrow.

Langwathby & Edenhall. A perfect place for finding riverside and cornfield flowers.

Mallows.

Chamomile, maybe……

Common Furmitory.

Field Pansy, maybe…..

Giant Bellflower.

Cow Green Reservoir. A haven for moorland birds.

Juvenile wheatear.

Golden Plover.

Eycott Hill Nature Reserve. Definitely a go to if you love your upland wildflowers.

Ruby Tiger Moth.

Common Spotted Orchid.

Marsh Cinqfoil.

Bog Asphodel.

Mountain Pansy, maybe…..

Cotton Grass.

Dalemain Estate, Dacre. Always a pleasure to see the resident deer.

Fallow Deer.

Buzzard.

Fallows.

Hope all the colour and cuteness brightened your day. X

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. πŸ™„

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. πŸ™‚

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

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?