Trees, Plants and an Insect

Saturday, April 8th 2017

Following on from the programme, Coast to Coast, last night, the tree in the lake continues to attract wildfowl.  Taken from the hide, so yet again the poor camera is stretched to its limit, this Mallard was preening and then decided to have a drink, all whilst keeping its feet dry.

Mallard on tree trunk in lake

Without the Reserve Managers and volunteers working before, during and after the filming, we could not have completed this task, nor could we have achieved such good footage for the crew to film.  A huge thank you to everyone involved.

In the woodland an old Ash tree had two fallen trunks, one on each side of the main trunk.  Over the years they had started to rot and grow moss which in turn gave a foothold for a variety of other plants.  Recently one of the trunks has finally broken, although the moss and plants are still growing well.

Ash with broken trunk

It has given a slightly different view down to Risedale Beck and a surprise.  A closer look through the camera lens and the leaves seen were actually fronds of Hart's Tongue Fern.  A new species for the reserve.  It looks a well grown specimen so has been there for several years, unseen.

Hart's Tongue Fern

Many people have commented that the area around the Field Centre looks so different now that the willow carr has been coppiced.  Some people wonder if it will ever grow again, but if you look closely you can see that already some of the coppiced stems are beginning to show new shoots.

New shoots of willow

Different flowers have been mentioned since the middle of March, but one that has been left out is the Dandelion.  Not a favourite of many people but it is a rich food source for a variety of insects.

Dandelion

'When the sun comes  out' - how many times have we said that? But it is true.  Invertebrates need the higher temperatures to be able to become active.  This insect certainly was and it needed a quick camera click to catch it flying on the wetland bank.  I half knew what it was but was not sure.  Roger ID'd it as a Bee Fly, Bombylius major.  This is only the third sighting. It was first recorded by Roy Crossley on the 20th April 2011 and was not seen again until April 2015. 

You can see its long proboscis, which it uses to reach the nectar at the bottom of flowers. 

Bee Fly


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