Mainly Butterflies

Saturday, August 17th 2019

Setting off for a walk around I did not think that there would be much on the wing due to the very strong wind.  I was wrong.  However trying to photograph those on the wing proved interesting.  Photographs include vegetation and no insect, totally out of focus vegetation and of course hands and fingers trying to hold the flower still!  But some insects did co-operate and I was able to obtain some lovely photos. 

I have seen Brimstone butterflies fly this way and that way but never close enough even to get a splodge, but I was lucky today.

Speckled Wood butterflies have not been common over the last few weeks but almost every sunny glade had at least one sunbathing.

I wondered what sort of leaf was waving in the wind, until I realised that it was a Common Blue butterfly hanging on tightly to a stem.  It did not move as I crept closer to get a macro shot.

Hand rails of bridges, especially along Risedale Beck, can often reveal some interesting creatures.  I spotted a tiny Pale Tussock Moth caterpillar crawling along.  These moth caterpillars used to be a pest on hop crops in south east England. The pickers called them Hop Dogs and some claimed that they could cause a severe allergic skin reaction.  We do not have hops on our species list but we do have a wide variety of deciduous trees and plenty of Bramble on which the caterpillars feed.  They can take up to two months to reach a size of 40mm and they are then ready to pupate.

Saw-wort blooms in a hidden away part of the reserve and provides nectar for many butterflies and bees.  Where once there was only one clump of this plant, now there are several.


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Butterflies and Moths Treasure Trail

Friday 22nd July 2022 | During Reserve Opening Times

Enjoy a walk around the red route (easy access trail) and find the clues to learn all about these wonderful insects. 

Pick up a clue sheet from the Field Centre for only £1 and check your answers at the end.

No booking required as this is a selg guided activity! Please remember to bring a pencil from home.

The clues will be out for the duration of the school summer holidays (North Yorkshire dates).



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Wednesday 27th July 2022 | Various sessions available starting on the hour

Come along and find out which animals are living in some of the Foxglove ponds. Book a pond dipping session for your family bubble of up to six people. There will be a socially distanced brief to set you off and then you can use the equipment for the remainder of the session. You will be requested to use hand gel on arrival and the net handles will be cleaned between sessions.

Please call the Reserve Managers on 07754 270980 to book your allocated slot. You are advised to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated time. 

A donation of only £5 per group in advance will confirm your time slot.



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