Wharfedale Naturalists News Blog

Jay by Jenny Dixon 0

The end of summer

It’s my sad time of year: such a sense of endings. Many summer visitors have already left – swallows, swifts, martins, migrating warblers and, of course, cuckoos. The adult birds, free of all parenting...

Dandelion 0

Seed dispersal

I was sitting in the sunshine contemplating the garden and butterfly-spotting when something wafted past my nose: a dandelion seed on its own private parachute. It brought back memories of childhood when we called...

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Northumbrian birdlife

In mid-July my wife and I transferred our lockdown from Otley to the village of Boulmer on the Northumbria coast. From there it was possible to walk along either the coastal footpath or the...

Seamus 0

Badgers and peanut butter sandwiches

It was one of my top four wildlife experiences, and in my own back garden about five metres from my door. During Lockdown I have been entertained by hedgehogs. There’s a population of six...

Vipers bugloss 0

Gardening for wildlife

The planter was to my left as I sat contemplating the summer garden. I’m afraid Lockdown has not resulted in a flurry of garden-tidying, so the pot had been left to its own devices...

Great grey owl 0

Owls and vole numbers

A month ago I wrote of finding a bank vole and its nest beneath an old dustbin lid in the garden. I have not seen a vole since although that may change when I...

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Heather

Almost without noticing, in the botanical relay, the pinkpurple baton has been passed from Red Campion in the late spring, to Foxgloves in early summer and now, as we enter the second half of...

Mr Raisins 0

Mr Raisins junior

I’d already given blackbird, Mr Raisins, his breakfast of sultanas. Then, as I mixed my own muesli, I glanced out of the kitchen window and saw him, just outside the door, feeding sultanas to...

Vole 0

Nesting vole

Brambles are a mixed blessing. Their flowers are loved by bees, hoverflies and butterflies while the blackberries they produce in late summer are wonderful. However, we have sometimes speculated that, were we to abandon...

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Otley Wetlands

Early on the sunny morning of 2nd May I walked down through Wharfemeadows Park to Otley Wetland Nature Reserve, hoping to see summer visitors flown in from afar to complement the chiffchaffs and blackcaps...