29th July 2019

August 01, 2019  •  Leave a Comment

Les Sables de la Ferme Noire, 

Les Marais de la Grotte du Nord

et le Bois de l'Évêque!!

When I'm anywhere abroad I'm always struck by how picturesque or even romantic some of the place names sound. With that in mind I thought I'd translate some of my local reserve names into French... They are in order: Blacktoft Sands, North Cave Wetlands and Bishop Wood. I expect you worked them all out.

So, on July 29th I set off for North Cave hoping to see a wood sandpiper or two. I had barely left when the pager announced: "woodsand at Blacktoft". So I called there first but it had flown. Two appeared later after I'd left but by that time I didn't care. You'll see why shortly. All in all it was one of the best days for some time. 

Blacktoft first. Greenshanks, green sandpipers, a ruff, little egrets, ubiquitous spoonbills and, for me the highlight, a spotted redshank. Pictures please!

Eventually I made it to North Cave and headed for the Reedbed Lake as a few wood sandpipers had been reported there the previous evening. The Bus Stop hide [as I call it] was deserted although I immediately spotted a wood sandpiper out in front of the hide.

As you can see the light was challenging. Suddenly the light changed for the better.

A couple arrived and told me there were 'a few' wood sandpipers visible from the Turret Hide. On my way I met a co-operative painted lady.

Carl was there along with quite a few birders. More greenshanks and several wood sandpipers, a distant common sandpiper and even more distant [so not photographed] green sandpipers. 

The 'plan of the day' was working out nicely. I now would visit somewhere I'd never been to before to follow up info about silver-washed fritillaries at Bishop Wood near Selby.

The first 500 to 600 meters of the walk were not promising but as I approached more open rides with grass and areas of bramble scrub butterflies appeared and the sun shone. Commas and peacocks abounded.

Another painted lady.

Every time a comma appeared my hopes rose as I thought it might be a fritillary. My patience was rewarded and by the end of my walk I had seen at least six silver-washed beauties. Here's a few photos. Incidentally, they're all males as shown by the black lines on the forewing.

Walking back I stopped in my tracks as my brain shouted "orchid!!". Not only an orchid but my first ever broad-leaved helleborines. There were a good number of spikes of varying depth of colour and some were much more elegant and dainty.


This morning whilst putting together this blog I happened to look out of my study window at the road below. Perched on trellis beside the pavement was a bird. I grabbed my iphone before it flew off.

219 UK 2019 STILL!


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