Moorland

Saturday, June 24th 2017

Buzzards are the last birds to be ringed during the nesting season and the bird ringers were out last night trying to find the last nests.  Unfortunately they were unsuccessful, at least as far as Buzzards were concerned.  I will let Tony continue the story - 'but we did ring several Curlew and Lapwing. Amazingly the 12 Lapwing were all less than a week old - presumably second broods, so they are still out there.

One of the young Curlew was almost ready to fly, with a curved beak forming already.

Young Curlew

However, we got well and truly stuck on a heather moor in the middle of nowhere which wasn't very clever! We were gaily coasting along at one moment - the next minute up to the floor of the rover in peat! After an interesting yomp around the high moor in drizzle and a strong wind, a friendly farmer who I hadn't seen in probably 8 years immediately agreed to pull us out - and here we are. Without him we might still have been somewhere else!'

A stuck Landrover!

Thanks to Leanne for the photographs and thanks to the farmer for the rescue, ensuring that the ringers will be present for CES!

This moorland shown above is a little different to our middle moor.  At the minute it is very dry and there is no chance of getting muddy!  The flowers are blooming and making a beautiful mosaic of colour.  If you look closely there is a tiny white flower called Fairy Flax.  Some of the photos I have taken of this flower leave a little to be desired, but I was pleased with this one.

Fairy Flax

Some years ago we had to search for Eyebright but this semi-parasitic plant is thriving.

Eyebright

Early spring sees Greater Stitchwort show its white flowers, especially along Risedale Beck, but also in the hedgelines across the moor.  Lesser Stitchwort opens its tiny, delicate white flowers in June and it too can be found amongst the vegetation on the moor.

Lesser Stitchwort

Bees benefit from different species of clover.  Red Clover is just going over, whilst the White has a fairly long flowering season and so can still be seen and the Zigzag is at its best now.

Zigzag Clover


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