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Louise, Colin and myself, with the help of Geoff Wilson and some other EYBG volunteers, managed to cover three points across the two cemeteries. We met Jan Cleary of the Cemetery Volunteer Group at the start and set off on something other than bats. The cemetery volunteers are keen to survey for hedgehogs and wanted some advice on where to start. In the absence of a number of trail cameras a quick lesson in the identification of hedgehog scat was the order of the day, samples being brought from the garden where we regularly have hedgehogs visiting. Scat could be looked for at any time of day by the volunteers and would give a good indication of hedgehog usage.
It was then a walk for the teams to get to the sites in the Manor Road cemetery for an 8.50pm start, leaving one team by the chapel. The bats started early with Common pipitsrelle being recorded at all three points soon after dusk at 8.55. Common pips were feeding at all three sites almost continuously during the recording sessions with a few scattered records of Soprano pipitsrelle. Three passes of Myotis bats were recorded late in the session but could not be identified further. The ‘chapel’ team had to move a little away from the site as the security lights appeared to be deterring bats. A thought for the chapel upgrade would be better shielded lighting.
Some of the farmland at Flotmanby Carr has recently entered into a Higher Level Stewardship scheme as part of the Cayton and Flixton Carrs wetland project. A significant area has been allowed to flood in 2013 and during the autumn has been attracting locally significant numbers of passage waders. Hopefully this area will continue to attract good numbers of birds over the coming months. Unfortunately there are no public footpaths accessing this area, so most views have been from the road and therefore frustratingly distant.
Ten Members gathered at Hay Bridge at 6pm and were shown around this private wetland Stewardship Scheme by professional Ornithologist Chris Bradshaw. The pastures north of the Scarborough-York railway line were walked, and several pools within the fields were visited. Water levels are generally fairly low at this time of year to allow for agricultural work, but most of the pools retained some water.
The main interest was in the birdlife, although a few plant species were recorded. Birds of prey featured quite well, with Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Common Buzzard and Barn Owl seen, but the highlight was of a juvenile Hobby overhead as the group assembled to leave about 8-00pm.
Edible Mushroom (Agaricus campestris).
Greylag Goose (over 470 feral birds).
Great Black-backed Gull.
On a very overcast evening 14 members met at the main car park in Forge Valley and walked North along the board walk and riverside.
The Botanists were successful finding the following.: Herb paris (paris quadrifolia); Great Horsetail (Equisetum telmataea ); Alternate-leaved Golden Saxifrage (Chrysosplenium alternifolium); Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage (c.oppositifolium); Large Bittercress ( Cardanune amara) and Early Purple Orchid (Orchis nuascula).
Fungi found was Microbotyrum violaceum (A Rust) and Polyporus squamosus (Dryad’s saddle).
The Birders struggled in the deteriorating light but 3 separate Tawny Owls were heard and a Curlew flew over. Other birds seen; 2 Song Thrushes; Blackcap; Wren; Goldcrest; Pheasant; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Marsh tit; Robin; Chaffinch and 3 Mallard.
Returning south we walked to a viewing area where Brian Walker and Brian Cockerill used the Bat detector to tape some Pipistrelle bats flying along the river.
After an enjoyable evening the meeting closed at 21-15 hrs
Mike Pearson has caught a good number of moths in the last 2 weeks of June including:
Beautiful garden y, common marbled carpet, elephant hawk moth