Monday, July 4, 2016

Sir David Attenborough pops into Askham Bog


There's only one way to kick off my early summer round up of wildlife happenings and boy did we need something to brighten up the wettest June on record, so a visit to Askham Bog by the one and only Sir David Attenborough as part of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's 70th birthday celebrations was the most welcome of shining stars to lighten up our landscape!


Sir David Attenborough at Askham Bog, 17/06/16
Sir David was genuinely fascinated by Askham Bog's unique habitat describing it a jewel every bit as precious in conservation terms as York Minster and that local people should feel rightly proud of it. It was a good recruiting there the next day!

The great man and very special guest spoke at length and answered questions from a packed audience at York university later as part of our 70th birthday celebrations.












Follow that Baggins!

Tricky, but the obvious link has to be Askham Bog and despite the inclement weather all summer so far you can't stop a jewel from shining. Here's a few selected pics from the past month or so...

Ragged Robin, Askham Bog, 26/06/16


Brimstone butterfly, Askham Bog, 26/06/16
Ragged Robin, Askham Bog, 26/06/16
Brimstone butterfly, Askham Bog, 26/06/16






Large Skipper, Askham Bog, 19/06/16



Skullcap, Askham Bog, 19/06/16


Water Violets, Askham Bog, 30/05/16



Sir David Attenborough liking Askham Bog, 17/06/16

Wishful thinking to follow an Attenborough pic with a link to the Antarctic or perhaps Madagascar but the furthest I've been since I got back from Spain is the North Pennines... an overnighter in my tent for a bit of variety away from the flat lands of the vale of York and every bit as photogenic as Madagascar!


Grassholme Bridge, Lune Valley, Durham, 07/06/16
Grassholme reservoir, Lune Valley, Durham, 07/06/16

Grassholme reservoir, Lune Valley, Durham, 07/06/16


Bollihope burn, North Pennines, 07/06/16



Old quarry, Bollihope moor, North Pennines 07/06/16



A short trip cut even shorter by drizzle and mist the next morning but not before I'd bagged my first UK Dippers and Redstart of the year plus breeding Wheatear, Snipe, Woodcock, Common Sandpiper & Redshank, passage Spotted Flycatcher and the usual Curlew, Oystercatcher, Grey Wagtail & Meadow Pipit.


Northern Wheatear, North Pennines, 07/06/16

Common Snipe, North Pennines, 07/06/16

Meadow Pipit, North Pennines, 07/06/16

Common Snipe, North Pennines, 07/06/16


Spotted Flycatcher, North Pennines, 07/06/16




Common Whitethroat, Givendale, 03/06/16
Back down here in Yorkshire Wolds I'm not seeing anything like the number of insects on the wing you might expect in mid June and my guess is that many small birds, warblers for instance, are struggling to feed hungry mouths right now - This Common Whitethroat  seemed to be doing ok though ... a nice tasty bug was one of many I observed him taking back to a hidden nest.















Common Whitethroat, Givendale, 03/06/16
Sedge Warbler, Thornton Ings, 23/05/16


This Sedge Warbler was one of at least 4 singing birds along a short stretch of the Pocklington Canal back in late May. Not been back since so I don't know how well they've done -  I'll pop back but doubt that I'll get better pics than these classic 'Sedgie' profiles!





Sedge Warbler, Thornton Ings, 23/05/16


Sedge Warbler, Thornton Ings, 23/05/16
That's how I'd like to photograph a Moustached Warbler one of these days .. I can dream!