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New breeding record

Yesterday I managed to find three 2-spot Lady birds at Caldene fields. Two of them were… well…spring was in the air. But on a serious note, this is a confirmed breeding record which is valuable information for the ecology of the site and it’s protection.

Also some may remember the work we did on the meadow at Raw Nook Nr a few years ago. We cleared patches of vigorous grasses and putting down Yellow Rattle seeds.

Now Yellow Rattle is an annual and it lives a semi-parasitic life by feeding off the nutrients in the roots of nearby grasses which in turn helps to reduce it’s vigorous grasses.

Well our work is starting to pay dividends with the many clumps of Yellow Rattle now forming all over the meadow which is great news!

In the clumps of YR we can then plant wildflowers which will grow better as they which won’t have to complete with the vigorous grasses.

House Martin are now starting to arrive with 3 probable local birds today flying over Raw Nook NR.

Found a possible new moth larva at TH Beck today but need a bit more research before fully sure…

Old friend returns…

Yesterday at Toad Holes beck I was checking on whether the Coot eggs have hatched…and thankfully at least one pair are feeding chicks.

However, I had a surprise when I saw the Terrapin which I personally have not seen at the site for at least 10 years.

Anyway he or she seems to be doing very well and appears to be a lot bigger than I last remember.

However, there could be a bit of a mystery here as I’m sure many will remember the Terrapin at the pond at Raw Nook NR. It lived in that pond for many years but disappeared when the pond first dried out in 2018. Could this Terrapin at THB be the Raw Nook NR one?

Swifts are slowly starting to arrive now with 3 on the 9/5…2 on11/5 and a single today all observed from C fields and all moving N/W.

Wildlife gardening…

If anyone is interested in wildlife gardening and in particular establishing an urban wildflower meadow I brought out my latest Youtube video on How to maintain a wildflower meadow. Checkout my other wildlife gardening videos…Might be of interest…

How to Maintain a Wildflower meadow…The Spring Trim – YouTube

Two Swifts the first of the season flew N yesterday over Caldene fields. No sign of the Sedge Warbler at Toad Holes Beck.. Unfortunately.

Whitethroats…

This morning at Low Moor Banks were 2 newly arrived Common Whitethroats in song. There was also some good new as well as another male Lesser Whitethroat has arrived. Thankfully one is singing near the Wyke end of the site and the other is near to the recycling centre.

Relating to the breeding Coots…Forgot to mention another obstacle the family has to cope with… X marks the spot!! A Grey Heron that is trying it’s best to get the eggs but the male Coot flew at the Heron and it moved away. THIS TIME!

She needs OUR help…

I do not normally show birds on their nests on my website due to possible disturbance.

However, a pair of Coots for the first time ever have decided to nest at the pond at Raw Nook NR.

NOW SHE IS UP AGAINST IT….AND SHE NEEDS OUR HELP!

Firstly a plea to all dog walkers!!! Please, Please don’t let you dog swim in the pond and chase the nesting pair.

I stayed on the bank and took the photo opposite so please don’t go near the nest site.

Secondly…and I’m afraid this is out of all our hands… is the weather!

Because it’s been a very dry spring the pond is receding and the forecast is for dry weather with sadly no rain in prospect for the next week or so.

I just hope that SHE know nature better than we do and her family will survive and I/we are worrying for nothing.

Lesser Whitethroat

A check this morning at Low Moor Banks revealed a newly arrived male Lesser Whitethroat (uncommon in the Bradford aera) in full song.

I then went to TH Beck to look for the warbler but as yet, nothing.

There were no Common Whitethroats found at either site but expect them in the next few days.

Lesser Whitethroat OLD PHOTO..NOT TODAY’S BIRD

Improvements to footpath…

A big thank you must go out to Michael who has improved the wet footpath at Toad Holes Beck. He has also put in a small drain which will keep all our feet dry…Well done Michael.

The Bird Cherry trees in our area are just coming into bloom and the one at the top of Caldene fields is starting to look very smart!

Not many new migrants in at the moment with this cool northerly air flow. However, 2 Swallow battled against the wind yesterday and flew N/E

Horse Chestnut tree found again

Away from the local parks the Horse Chestnut tree Aesculus hippocastanum is not common in our recording area.

Last year I found a sapling growing in a very shaded and crowded area at TH Beck.

Sadly the tree did not survive and died.

However this morning in a better location at the site I found not one but two young saplings growing.

This is great news for the additional bio-diversity these trees will bring to the area and fingers crossed they will develop in their light and open environment.

Other sighting include my first Swallow moving N/E on 17/4 at Caldene fields.

There is now at least 4 singing male Blackcap + at least 1 female at TH Beck.

A pair of Coots have taken up residency at Raw Nook NR pond which thankfully is still holding water. However, the local Moorhens may well be forced off the pond by the bigger Coots.

A pair of Great Tits are nest building in one of the nesting boxes at Raw Nook NR.

And I believe Blue tits are now nesting in at least 2 of the other boxes.

Saw the first male Orange tip butterfly yesterday was at Caldene fields.

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