A surprise at Dealburn Road…

On Saturday 25/5 I decided to leave our recording area and visit the nearby Dealburn Road ( Woodland site ) at Low Moor with the aim of doing some survey work. I have kept wildlife records for this promising wildlife site since 2012 with the aim understanding more about it’s bio-diversity.

One of my main aims was to look for daytime moths. I had just entered the site when I saw a small micro moth in some nearby grass. A quick photo revealed the moth to be a Grapholita lunulana

I recorded a single Grapholita lunulana at the site in 2016 and thought it was just a lucky find but on Saturday I recorded 10 strongly suggesting the moth may breed at the site.

The moth’s status is described by Yorkshire moths as : Nationally Scarce B: Local Status: Rare and local resident

Mother Shipton moth

In addition I found 2 Mother Shipton moths which is a new species for the site.

By the way the name for the moth refers to the forewing markings, which appear to show an old lady or witch’s head…

Increase in moths species…

It’s far too early in the season to suggest moths appear to be increasing in numbers and species this year in our recording area. However, I started recording moths late this year…14th of May. And so far I have recorded 24 different moths of which 3 are new species for our area.

Above is one of the 3 new micro moths, the Cocksfoot moth found in the heather at Raw Nook. The other two were Cauchas rufimitrella &
Esperia sulphurella both at Caldene fields.

These 3 new species bring our moth species list to 319

Stepping up to the work day…

On Saturday we had our groups work day at Toad Holes Beck. We had planned to repair some steps, tidy up the gravel path adjacent to the pond, widen the grass paths and do a litter pick.
Peter from the YWT had kindly donated some wood for the steps and this was our first task.  

Once the steps were in and everything tided up it was onto strimming and widening the path….But also having a welcome break….when a pair of handsome Bullfinches showed off close by…

We also cleared the gravel path as the trees and shrubs were getting over grown and the grass was encroaching onto the path…

So all in all it was a good mornings work. Sadly the litter picking team once again picked up a number of bags of litter and rubbish from people who don’t appear to respect our local wildlife haven…

Thank you to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust for supplying the timber for the steps.

Two more added to the lists…

Feeling happy today as yesterday I found what I thought was an unusual wasp species at Raw Nook NR. I took some details and photos and did some research…and more research but I was looking at the wrong family…It was not a wasp but one of the Nomad bees species

The bee is a Nomada flava.  A new bee species for our area

Nomada species are cuckoo bees, laying their eggs in the nests of other bee species.

Later in the day I found a new moth species at Caldene fields ( above ) and with the male Common Whitethroat finding love at THB is been a good couple of days..

Sightings update…

On the 6th of May I visited Dealburn Road ( opposite the Low Moor tip on Dealburn RD) to see if I could find a Lesser Whitethroat which bred last year at the site. I was in luck with a single male singing his heart out trying to attract a female. Also at the site were 4 singing Common Whitethroat which is a good count. I then visited Raw Nook NR where a single C Whitethroat was in song. There was a bit of a surprise at TH Beck when I observed a feeding Snipe which is unusual to find one in spring in our area.

At Caldene fields on the 7th I found 2 Willow warblers feeding together almost side by side. One with typical plumage colouration, one ‘Clearly’ had cold greyish brown tones suggesting one of the sub-species. Sadly both birds flew off without any further descriptions taken. A common Whitethroat was in song at TH Beck.

On the 9th the first Swift flew N followed by 9 Swallows at Caldene fields and a Lesser Whitethroat was in song at TH Beck

The Great Outdoors…

Just received this very exciting newsletter from Sarah of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust about the Bradford Urban Discovery Project, which delivers play and volunteering activities in greenspaces in South West Bradford.

So if you or your family want to get outdoors, maybe get more exercise, learn about wildlife or just simply want to have some fun… Please checkout the newsletter below….

Please find our newsletter and a map of our BUD greenspaces attached!

If anyone does not want to receive this newsletter please reply to me and I will take you off the list.

Please feel free to forward this email to anyone who may be interested

If you would like a poster for either our volunteering sessions or our children and young people’s activities please reply and ask me to send you one  – we have them for all three areas : Gt Horton, Wibsey and Oakenshaw – so specify which area you are interested in.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions or suggestions 

Best Wishes Sarah and Peter

Roe deer alert…

Received a recent photo of an early morning Roe Deer at playing fields near Odsal Top. Given that the top of South Bradford Golf course is not far away from where the deer was seen it could easily make it’s way down to our area…Very interesting.

Spring migrant update: 3 Swallow flew S/W + 2 passage Willow Warblers at Caldene fields on 27/4

Workday at the meadow…

You may recall that the meadow at Raw Nook NR has been neglected over the years which has encouraged grasses to push out the native flowers thence over the years I have starting to record fewer butterfly and moth species at the meadow.

However, our group recently had a meeting with Sarah YWT and her new assistant Peter Gurney Community Nature Reserves assistant for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust where we highlighted the meadow issue.

Well we recently received some good news from Peter as he and 10 of
(Tomorrow’s Natural Leaders WYT)  had given the meadow a much needed spring cut…They did a brilliant job but just couldn’t rake up all the cuttings… No problem…an ideal opportunity for our group’s workday which was on Saturday.

We decided to rake up the cuttings and because Peter and team had cut the meadow we were able to dig up small areas of grass and spread wildflower seed which will start to restore this valuable wildlife meadow.

There way a few blisters and arching backs but knowing we may have Common Blue butterflies coming back to breed on the meadow made the work worthwhile…

A special thank you to one of our members, Gillian who is not so well at the moment but still attended and did a brilliant job.

Migrant counts…

Today I conducted a survey of spring migrants that are passing through or staying to breed on the local patch.

I first started at Caldene fields where there is a nice male Wheatear (passage) which arrived yesterday and is feeding up in readiness to complete it’s journey. Also there was a male Blackcap in full song and a Common Buzzard circling the fields.


At Raw Nook NR there was a welcome sound a singing Willow Warbler I say welcome but the species was very uncommon at the site last year. Blackcaps were evident with 5 seen including 2 females and at least 3 Chiffchaffs were noted.

TH beck held at least 5 chiffchaffs and 6 Blackcaps including 2 females. So all in all a reasonable sprinkle of migrants for this time of year. Also at the site was a male Orange Tip butterfly.

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