Blog Archive (16) Posts Made in September 2010
Wrinkled peach fungi
Thursday, September 30th 2010
This Wild Arum also known as Lords and Ladies is up in the woodland. The beautiful red berries of this plant are poisonous. There is plenty more fungi all around the reserve in all shapes, sizes and colours.
This unmistakable fungi was photographed by Michaela. It is called Wrinkled Peach and was found growing on an old tree stump. The recent rain has encouraged a whole new range of mushrooms to appear all across the reserve. Candle snuff, puffballs, inkcaps and Fly agaric are just a few examples.
Tuesday, September 28th 2010
It has been a busy few days here despite the inclement weather. At the weekend the eco-club children learnt all about Autumn and the different ways that plants and flowers disperse their seeds. Thank you to Anne and Sue who ran the session and to Elizabeth for preparing the worksheets.
Major Williams Walking Group also came for an Autumn ramble. They spotted lots of new fungi and some signs of Badger activity.
On Sunday the bird ringers recorded over 200 birds.
Work continues on the moor trail path, McDuff was bemused by the amount of high visibility jackets in view.
Meanwhile…..... Today the volunteers were out in force. Tom, Elizabeth, Anthony and John checked most of the bat boxes and were lucky enough to find bats roosting in four of the boxes. Here you can see two little Pipistrelle bats cosying up together. They found six bats altogether and will continue their checking next week.
Elsewhere a start was made on the coppice programme which will open up some glades through the middle of the reserve. A huge amount of work was completed which will make a vast difference to our habitat
Thursday, September 23rd 2010
The contractors are busy working on site to complete the HLS (Higher Level Stewardship) projects funded by Natural England.
They have all had a morale boost today, here are two staff from Custom Made Wooden Buildings Ltd enjoying Marion's homemade strawberry gateau.
They were fitting the shutters to the new wheelchair friendly hide at the lake throughout the day.
Up on the moor the team from ATM enjoyed some of Sophie's flapjack too. The moor trail is progressing quickly and some sections are now complete. The trail remains out of bounds for the moment.
Wednesday, September 22nd 2010
The warm night meant that our moth trap had a good selection of moths this morning. The first is a Frosted Orange.
This next is a Feathered Thorn.
Lastly, this beauty is a Green-brindled Crescent. This moth feeds on overripe blackberries and other fruit.
Monday, September 20th 2010
The damp weekend weather has meant that various fungi have sent up their fruiting bodies. In the plantation near the wetland these Fly Agaric were just emerging through the needle-strewn floor.
Kidney Spot Ladybirds
Saturday, September 18th 2010
Sandra was busy this morning filling the bird feeders. Hopefully the weather will be as nice tomorrow as it was today and the bird ringers will be able to put some nets out.
A new ladybird to the reserve was discovered today. These stunning Kidney-spot ladybirds (and what appears to be their larvae) were basking on the trunk of an Ash tree not far from the Field Centre!
Friday, September 17th 2010
This picture of a tiny club fungus first appeared on the blog on the 14th. July this year. At that time we had no identification. I'm pleased to report that we have found out that this delicate little beauty goes by the name of Typhula capitata and is the latest new addition to our species list. Unfortunately there is no common name. It is still in evidence on the dead Hawthorn branch but is now 'going over'.
Although the weather has been dry of late there is still plenty of fungi to be seen. Along the beck there are Common Puffball whilst some of the dead Willow trunks have fresh bracket fungus which have interesting pore patterns as you can see from the next photo.
Work continues apace on the moorland whilst at the new hide the bridge is almost across the little valley.
There are lots of ladybirds to be found and a visitor reported seeing a Treecreeper whilst coming up from the beck.
Moor Trail Update
Thursday, September 16th 2010
Work has started on upgrading the moor trail this week. The surface of this path is going to be improved with stone. This will be going on for the next few weeks and until it is completed the moor trail is out of bounds. Hector and McDuff were unimpressed with the extra activity and seemed to be quite at ease amongst the men and machinery!
Two different work parties carried out practical conservation tasks for us today.
Students from Askham Bryan and Fairbridge helped to weed out Birch, Hawthorn, Gorse and Brambles from the Heathland. This involved a bonfire and the first baked potatoes of the season were enjoyed by all!
These Red Admirals were photographed on the Hemp Agrimony in the scrapes. There are still plenty of butterflies around during the sunny spells.
Mini Beast Safari
Tuesday, September 14th 2010
Some of the pupils from the Dales School went on a mini-beast safari along the Beck today. They are learning about invertebrates as part of their curriculum this term and will be visiting Foxglove every week to compare different habitats.
Meanwhile, Rape seed chaff from a local farm was bagged by the volunteers ready for the winter. This is used to feed the birds in the large wooden hoppers. Work also continued weeding the Heathland and the final mowing and strimming of paths and net rides took place.
23 Speckled Wood butterflies were counted along the butterfly transect. These were making the most of the sunny spells!
Signs of Autumn
Monday, September 13th 2010
The signs of autumn's bounty are everywhere. Throughout the reserve the Raspberries have finished and now the Blackberries are glistening in the undergrowth. Elderberries are starting to turn black and the Rowans are all bedecked with red. The Hips and haws are adding their bright colour too.
Little Crab Apples can also be found in a few places. Birds use this time of plenty to fatten up before the winter. As well as fruit there are plenty of grasses which are full of seed and will give them oils and protein.
The damp weather has meant that there is plenty of fungi to see wherever there is dead wood.
Late Summer Flowers
Friday, September 10th 2010
The weather has been alternately sunny and showery today. Autumn colours are starting to show although there are still plants in full flower, such as this Angelica, which Elizabeth photographed by the vole ponds.
In the scrapes the Purple Loosestrife is now competing in colour with the burgundy heads of Common Reed. Their drooping panicles were hung with drops of water from the light showers.
Elsewhere Foxgloves are coming to the end of their season and the trees are beginning their slow march towards winter nakedness.
Thursday, September 9th 2010
The bridge that will link the easy access trail to the new wheelchair friendly hide is taking shape as you can see.
Although out of bounds at the moment whilst the contractors are here it will soon be possible to cross the valley through the tree tops.
Wednesday, September 8th 2010
Some of the bird ringers got more than they bargained for today when they set up some mist nets on the training area. 307 birds were caught and ringed, almost all of these were Meadow Pipits.
Flocks of juveniles that have fledged up on the moor are fattening themselves up before heading off South to winter. 203 were ringed last week in the same area, these totals are very unusual and unlikely to be repeated for a long time.
In addition to Meadow Pipits there were a few Linnets and a Skylark.
The moth trap had 16 species in this morning. These included Copper Underwing, Pink-barred Sallow and Black Rustic.
Bird’s Nest Fungus
Tuesday, September 7th 2010
The forecast bad weather didn't arrive and so the ten volunteers who turned up enjoyed themselves in the sunshine with a bonfire on the heathland.
Trevor and his team were back today and managed to get the first telegraph poles installed which are going to support the bridge to the new hide.
Most excitingly, fresh Bird's Nest Fungus was found on the top of a mink raft on Risedale Beck. We found this fungus earlier in the year but at that time the spores had gone and there were just empty cups left.
Today, as you can see, there are some which have their membrane intact (in the middle of the picture), one which is about to rupture (it has a dimple in the middle), and the rest with the spores or 'eggs' waiting to be splashed out by the rain. They are about 5 mm across at the largest.
Seven Spot Ladybird
Thursday, September 2nd 2010
This Seven-spot ladybird was captured on film by Elizabeth earlier in the week. There are 46 species of Ladybird in the UK, and over 5000 species worldwide!
The spots of the seven spot ladybird were said to symbolise seven joys and seven sorrows!
Great Diving Beetles
Wednesday, September 1st 2010
The pond life is thriving at Foxglove. This week several Great diving beetles have been found whilst pond-dipping. This one was seen in one of the shallow pools by Elizabeth today.
These are highly carniverous and are capable of catching and devouring prey as big as themselves. Val saw a Water Scorpion whilst working in one of the ponds on Tuesday and Tony and Mike happened upon a leech whilst pulling out Crassula helmsii today!
There were several species of moth in the trap this morning including Copper Underwing, Autumnal Rustic and Dark Arches.