Category: Nature Notes

Recent nature notes

Blackcap 0

Over-wintering visitor

In our hallway hang two large frames each displaying several photographs of children’s artwork from West Riding schools collected about 30+ years ago. The works were in a number of different media – pastel,...

Golden crown 0

Staveley Nature Reserve

A sprinkling of snow lay on Ilkley Moor and Otley Chevin, an unusual sight these days, as my son and I headed for Staveley Nature Reserve, near Knaresborough. On arrival we had an immediate...

Winter wren 0

Winter wrens

In my frugal wartime Christmases, I remember, the coins in our family Christmas pudding were farthings. Many of my readers probably don’t even know what a farthing was, I suppose. It was a tiny...

Spider 0

Arachnaphile

Autumn is the time when we develop a heightened awareness of spiders! Partly because the low sun, heavy dews and early frosts transform their sticky webs into jewelled artefacts and partly because it’s when...

Praying mantis 0

Praying mantis

On an October visit to southern Spain my wife was confronted by a large green insect clinging to the back of her chair, a predatory looking creature with front legs raised as though about...

Young grass snakes 0

Grass snakes

Last week saw a change of duvet for us – as the first frosts began to nip. Out in the garden preparations were also going on: coal tits hurrying to cache seed from the...

White-tailed sea eagle 0

Sea eagles

Looking from our Otley front windows down the valley towards Ilkley Moor red kites are almost ever present, sometimes joined by buzzards with both species occasionally spiralling upwards in the same thermal. Twenty years...

Fly agaric 0

Fungi

Another misty morning with a slight nip in the air reminded me that this was one of my favourite times of year – fungus time. As a small child in Burley-in-Wharfedale I was fascinated...

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Hawkmoths

My brother lives in southwest France in the department of Lot-et-Garonne, in a house looking across a cultivated valley to the small town of Duras. His garden shelters an enviable variety of wildlife, from...

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Tormentil

I’ve just returned from a restful week in the Scottish Highlands – wet but still very beautiful. I had to adjust to a whole new cast of wildlife characters – porpoises and seals, sea...