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.