Wharfedale Naturalists News Blog

butterbur 0

Butterbur

Out cycling at this time of year, I often pass what from a distance look like rather strange pink hyacinths. These are the flowers of the BUTTERBUR (Petasites hybridus). Most people will recognise butterbur...

dOC 0

English Country Garden

A song remembered from my youth, sung by Nana Mouskouri, extolled the attractions of the English country garden. Some parts of it still apply both to country and urban gardens, especially the first verse...

Roe deer 0

White Doe of Rylstone

“Cast not a clout till May be out”, was a saying much quoted in my childhood. I was puzzled as to whether it meant the month or the blossom – and still am. However,...

Dunnock_eggs 0

Nesting birds

Three dunnocks flirting in the topmost branches of the oak with much tail and wing flicking, two grey squirrels playing Catch-me around its trunk, tails quivering and claws scrabbling for purchase: it was 15th...

mole 0

Winter moles

It’s surprising what you can see in the dead of winter, even on the short drive from Ilkley to Keighley. The first delight came on the Addingham bypass: a couple of hazel bushes festooned...

Barn owl 0

Owl hunting

A flying start to New Year’s Day was provided at Staveley Nature Reserve near Knaresborough by a barn owl hunting in daylight beneath a blue sky. It kept my son and myself entertained for...

Fox 0

Winter life

The Winter Solstice is past and we have to believe that the days are lengthening, though I can’t usually detect much difference until well into January. I can, therefore, understand why, since primitive times,...

magpie & kites 0

The vicious side of magpies

Below our bird feeders is a wire cage, bought to keep squirrels and pigeons from devouring the seeds falling from above. It works with the pigeons but is totally useless against squirrels which easily...

Devil's Coach-horse 0

Beetles

Horrified, I read in the press recently that some tidy person had hoovered up a collection of hibernating ladybirds. I guess she assumed they were dead. Ladybirds can escape the cold, prey-less months in...

Corsica Nuthatch 0

Nuthatches home and away

I refilled the bird feeders at the start of October, having left them empty over the summer when I reckoned the nearby woods were overflowing with natural food. I had thought that the feeders...