Calling All Young Birders

Common Lizard - Kat Simmons

Common Lizard – Kat Simmons

We all know how critically important it is for the future of our wildlife that young folk take up the cudgels and do whatever they can to help conserve our biodiversity. The BTO has recognised this and invites any birder aged sixteen or under on Saturday, 10 September 2016 who can tell the difference between a Marsh Tit and Willow Tit to enter a competition to find the Spurn Bird Observatory’s Young Birder of The Year. This is part of the Spurn Bird Observatory (SBOT) Migration Festival and is being run by the BTO, SBOT and the Next Generation Birders (NGB). Any young birder is eligible to apply by filling in the competition questionnaire online, answering questions such as whether or not you have a local patch, where you go birding further afield and if you can tell the difference between the songs of Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat. The online questionnaire is the first part of the competition. Four entrants will be chosen to take part in the final that will be held on Saturday, 10 September at the Spurn Migration Festival. During that day they will answer questions on bird identification and distribution and be observed doing a visible migration watch and a seawatch, two challenging types of birding. All four finalists will need to be available on 10 September for the final at Spurn Point, and will need to be accompanied by a responsible adult. Entry to the Migration Festival and a camping pitch will be provided free for the finalists. The prizes last year included binoculars, field guides, free membership to SBOT and much more. Think you have what it takes? If you know someone who might be suitable then you know what to do.

Helping Wind in the Willows Theatre Production

Of course encouraging youngsters can take many forms and apply to many age groups and one way is theatre, which is precisely what Jo Smalley and Liz Baxandall are doing in Knaresborough – in collaboration with a professional production team to bring unique, journey-based theatre to Knaresborough’s Castle, Waterside, Wild Woods and Conyngham Hall this August. The community cast are all volunteers, giving their time to put on this exciting show. The show is all about those wonderful wildlife characters Mole, Ratty, Badger and Weasel, yes it’s an ambitious production of Wind in the Willows, the perfect way to get kids introduced to wildlife and to love wildlife. They need your help though, please, can you help by providing some props? The wishlist is a long one and includes items for Ratty and Mole for the Picnic Scene and include vintage picnic rugs, a flask, enamel white plates with blue rims, other suitable picnic items. Badger’s House needs his kitchen/lounge dressing and real vintage is needed, preferably not shabby chic or replica. Typical items required include logs for the fire, old dark wood furniture – anything considered for but including a dresser, old armchair, chairs, kitchen paraphernalia, 40 new enamel cups for the audience to drink out of, pictures, painting, fabric to hang from the ceiling, rugs and much more. Then there’s the Weasel’s Lunch Banquet, white table cloths, tankards and flip charts. Loads of stuff and it’s sure to be well used, encouraging kids to love wildlife so if you can help please send a photo of the item to Jo Smalley on email, jo.ralph.smalley@gmail.com. I believe all goods will be returned but please check that out with Jo. The Group’s Facebook page is @knaresboroughwindinthewillows.

Your Sightings

David Mason is a self-employed gardener. For some time he had been feeding a robin worms in a garden on Yew Tree Lane. It recently brought him three chicks to join the feast.

Grey Heron - Andrew Dobby

Grey Heron – Andrew Dobby

Andrew Dobby,writes, “I do a bit of fishing and have seen plenty of Herons at fairly close range over the years but found an über friendly one in a park in Dublin. On our daily visit to the park and lake the Heron flew over to us each morning, just fantastic to see such a majestic bird at close range.”

Guillemot - Adrian MosleyGannet - Adrian Mosley

Guillemot & Gannet- Adrian Mosley

 

A number of you have been to RSPB Bempton Cliffs recently, including Roger Litton and Adrian M Mosley, sadly I can’t use everyone’s photos although I do try to include all your messages. Adrian writes “How we are blessed with such a location as RSPB Bempton Cliffs. My wife and I checked in yesterday to see how the season was progressing and sadly the decline in numbers does appear to be continuing according to RSPB staff. Having said that the cliffs were teeming with life (a few photos attached). What made it more impressive was the number of visitors, overflowing the car parks into adjacent fields. Spoke with a number of first timers – they were in awe of the spectacle – prompting a goodly number to join the RSPB on the spot. Perhaps there is some future as people appreciate the need to share our planet, with wildlife that also calls it home.” I do hope that more and more folk start to realise that we should share our planet with wildlife and not exploit it.

Carole Turner writes, “A bit of publicity about this in your newsletter would be much appreciated. For details see:- http://raptorpolitics.org.uk. I have a Collared Dove nesting on two eggs in a bush by our back door. Also a Mallard has brought her newly hatched 12 ducklings into our garden today. Alas, this is her second brood as the first brood of eleven didn’t survive, not sure why – herons or rats maybe?” Many creatures prey on mallard chicks, which is why they have so many, they seem to be well down the food chain. How much this affects Mallard numbers I don’t know but suspect that nowadays, especially on bigger waterways, we see more and more Gadwell and less and less mallards. What do you think?

Tawny Owlet2 - Stuart Ibbotson

Tawny Owlet- Stuart Ibbotson

Nice photo of a Tawny Owl chick from Stuart Ibbotson, taken somewhere in the Nidd Gorge.

Jackdaw - Judith Fawcett

Leucistic Jackdaw – Judith Fawcett

Judith Fawcett writes, “sending you a photograph of a leucistic Jackdaw which visited our garden this week. Has anyone else seen it? Saltergate Drive, Jennyfields, Harrogate.

John Stockill was “walking down to Filey Brig as the tide went out and found two seal pups trapped in the rocks. Unfortunately one was injured so informed the RSPCA and monitored them till they came.” The pups look like they are Common Seal pups, please let me know if you think otherwise, I’m not sure, which is interesting because Common Seal pups can swim as soon as they are born, which means birth can take place on sand banks. Grey Seals on the other hand need a while before they can swim and must haul out on dry(ish) land such as Donna Nook whilst they learn to swim. Common Seals, despite their name, are much rarer than Grey Seals and I reckon the majority of seals we see are of the grey variety. Congratulations to John for doing his bit for wildlife.

Tom, from America, I think, writes, “Very interesting article (re swifts). I hope the Swifts do well in the future. It seems there are not as many Barn Swallows in our area as there used to be, even though the small insect and overall mosquito population (that they feed upon) has remained at a high level. Jill Warwick writes (14 May), “There are fewer Swallows (and House Martins) at the moment probably because of the colder weather in the Mediterranean, which is not conducive to northward migration. More will come through when the winds turn back to a southerly direction. With our House Martin cote (which Simon designed back in 1992), we’ve noticed two waves of arrivals – the first in late April, the next in early June. Happens every year but can’t explain why! Perhaps with the BTO’s current House Martin Survey (do encourage your readers to participate), we may answer this question.” I have also been told that swallows may nest further south on the continent and move further north as the weather and possible insect life improves, so the birds may already have had one brood before we see them.

Roger Graville, “Heard my first Cuckoo of the year today (15 May) near Silver Hill on the Pateley/Wath road. During seven decades I have only ever seen one cuckoo, despite having heard quite a lot. Maybe I should have read your comment earlier about them often being much closer than you think! Also saw numerous swifts in the same area.

Richard and Kat Simmons, “heard a Cuckoo at Guisecliff Woods on 14 May and again on the 15th. Also saw a Common Lizard (minus tail) on the same crags on the 15th warming itself on the timber stile, and two Swallows at Blazefield on the 17th.” Are there a few more cuckoos around this year? What do you think?

Seen at Parceval Hall on Monday, Spotted Flycatcher, a beautiful male Redstart, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Early Purple Orchids, heard Cuckoo.

Lower Ure Conservation Trust http://www.luct.org.uk/ recent sightings include two peregrines seen in territory dispute over Flask Lake. First Redshank chicks out and a Reed Warbler on the Old Silt Lagoons today. Sanderling and Hobby at Lingham. Butterflies, Dingy Skippers, Brimstone, Peacock, Green-veined White, Large White, Wall and Small White. A very good selection of butterflies if I may say so.

RSPB Fairburn Ings some of the recent sightings included Bittern, Black-Necked Grebe, Garganey, Whimbrel, Ruff, Little and Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Black Tern, Arctic Tern, Cuckoo, Hobby and Peregrine.

Keeping The Skies Alive: Swifts and Red Kites

Swift - Gillian Charters

Swift – Gillian Charters

A Talk on the Swift – Rare Within 20 Years!

Because I felt it important to publicise this event which will be held at The Friends Meeting Hall, Harrogate on Thursday 19 May at 7:30 things are a little earlier this week, also because I have only just returned from holiday things are a little rushed this week, so bear with me and please attend this meeting. For many folk the sound of a squadron of Swifts flying low and fast over our rooftops whilst attempting the Swift’s own version of sonic boomS is a delight of hot summer days. Well not only are hot summer days few and far between but Swift numbers are also getting fewer and fewer. In fact they are listed as an amber species for the UK, so it’s worrying. An interesting Swift fact courtesy of the BTO is, “By sleeping with half of its brain at a time, the Swift lives a perpetually aerial life, coming down only for a short period each year to breed.” It seems we humans also have only half a brain focused on the wildlife which share this planet with us and Swifts are reducing in number. Surveys show that unless we take action now, and on a significant scale, within 20 years the Swift will become a rare bird within the UK.

The meeting will discuss what’s happening and what we can do to help them and action includes both creating new nest places and properly protecting existing ones, as well as providing and maintaining habitats more generally that offer them with vital support, principally their flying insect food and water. Speaking will be Edward Mayer of Swift Conservation, a charity created by Edward to save the Swift, to explain why they matter and to tell us how we can help, and that’s what Edward will be talking about at the meeting. It promises to be a fascinating because Edward is a fascinating man in his own right. His working career has been mostly in buildings and facilities management; he was Head of Gallery Management for the Tate Gallery in London from the opening of the Clore Gallery to the creation of Tate Modern. Edward has loved Swifts since childhood. Admission: £5 adults, £2 unwaged. This meeting is organised by Harrogate Green Party.

cuckoo David Tipping

Cuckoo – David Tipping

Swifts and Cuckoos Are Back

A number of you have kindly contacted me to say you have seen Swifts and Cuckoos:

Rick and Trish Brewis, “Seven Swifts seen today (5 May) above Pine Street allotments. First time in my living memory that Swifts have arrived before the Swallows!” Has anyone else seen Swifts before Swallows this year and does it imply Swallow numbers are also declining fast?

Bill and Liz Shaw, “Heard then saw our first Swifts of the year last evening (5 May) over Harrogate, fab.”

Susan Hockey, “heard the Cuckoo today on the hill behind our house off Scar House Road, Upper Nidderdale.

Ian Law, “I heard a Cuckoo this morning whilst walking down to Knaresborough from Bilton Hall on the Beryl Burton cycle way. The nearest location I could work out would be the woods at Scotton Banks.”

Cuckoos are often much closer than they sound and can be seen sitting in exposed places on trees so a careful search, especially with binoculars, can often reveal one. I heard one recently near Thruscross Reservoir. Why wasn’t it called West End reservoir after the village lost under its waters?

Nidd Gorge

Ken Fackrell writes, “Keith Wilkinson is quite right – I walk every morning in the Nidd Gorge and nature is repairing itself rapidly (as it will do everywhere once we stop tampering). This morning I watched a pair of Grey Wagtails feeding on insects in the early morning sun, just by the bridge in the Nidd Gorge – they are frequently there these days.”

Orangetip - Brian Morland.jpg

Orange-tip Butterfly – Brian Morland

Your Sightings

Jacquie Fisher, “Orange-tips, Peacocks and Brimstone butterflies at Harlow Carr, so if you go to see the tulip displays look out for the butterflies, and the bird song is amazing.

Philomena Noonan, “Last evening I was on the Ripley path between the viaduct and the back of Tennyson Avenue when a Barn Owl flew right over me and then flew in front of me down the track and over the next field. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to experience this wonderful sight.”

Nosterfield Nature Reserve, “Drake Garganey, 25 Ringed Plover, 14 Avocet, 10 Dunlin and Lesser Whitethroat.

RSPB Fairburn Ings, “Spoonbill, Black Terns, 4 singing Cetti’s Warblers, Turnstone and Sanderling.

Sue Boal, “Last night I went for a drive with my daughter and we saw a black and white bird about the size of a Crow which we could not identify. It was flying in a strange sort of figure of eight towards the ground as if trying to intimidate or impress something on the ground (we saw a pheasant). It was mostly black underneath with a white bar on its tail and the upper was 50/50 black and white. It was not a magpie or am oyster catcher or a lapwing. Sorry, no photo, but it was outside East Rounton near Northallerton. Would you know what we saw?” I can only guess, but if the pheasant was a female maybe it had young and it was protecting them from a Crow. Crows are particularity prone to feather pigmentation dilution, leucism and maybe this was such a bird. Otherwise I really can’t think what it might be. If it is a Crow it may well be around next time you are in the vicinity so keep a look out for it and see what species of birds, if any, it associates with. Does any one else have any ideas?

Steve Kempson, “This morning Mrs K and I went for our annual outing to woods near Mickley for the bluebells, which are currently out in drifts (interspersed with celandines, stitchwort and wood anemones) and looking absolutely superb in today’s sunshine. A good variety of butterflies around too – saw Brimstone, Orange tip, Peacock and (I think) a Speckled Wood.

Tony Mawson had a special sighting recently, an Alpine Swift circling over the junction of Knox Avenue and Ripley Drive, Bilton. A large Swift with very pale underbelly, left in the direction of Killinghall.

Red Kite - Doug Simpson

A Magnificent Red Kite – Doug Simpson

Red Kite Killings

It’s great that so much support red kites and are appalled by their unnecessary deaths and I think your comments are worth recording. Richard Yeoman, “I couldn’t agree more – bet the bastards that shoot birds of prey would be first to go to the police if someone shot at them! If enough people are “on side” it might be worth a petition I know Red Kites are protected but that doesn’t help if the bad guys are not “caught on camera” – no proof – no prosecution.” Does anyone have any further thoughts on what can be done locally? Pete Seamen says, “Well Nigel I can only agree with your terminology for such scum. I would like to see them banned from having shotgun or firearm certificates for a length of time if not for life. This may cost some their jobs but if a business such as game shoots cannot exist without breaking the law maybe it needs seriously looking at.” Nick “Totally agree with these sentiments. Until the employers of gamekeepers are held responsible for the actions of their keepers and punished accordingly, I can’t see things changing. Fine words from the likes of the Moorland Association are meaningless.” Tom’s Nature-up-close Photography and Mindfulness Blog “My brother-in-law and his family and friends hunt geese and ducks a lot. Yet they claim that they love nature! I hope they never become very fond of me! Geese and ducks are highly intelligent animals with tight family bonds. Some birds are very intelligent. We have a parrot that understands abstract ideas (and tells you things to prove it)! For instance, the other day I said to her (when she dropped a sweet potato that I gave her), “You are spoiled rotten!” She replied, “So are you!” Tony Rogerson says, “To me the answer is relatively simple: grouse moors should be operated under licence and if wildlife crime is found to have taken place on the estate, or by an employee of the estate while undertaking duties on behalf of their employer (on or off the estate), the licence should be revoked.” Paul V Irving says: “I think bastards is fair enough, although given that there are some very nice people born out of wedlock I usually refer to such people as “Criminal Scum.” As you say there is no purpose in killing Red Kites but even if there were they are protected, all birds of prey are protected and have been since the 1954 Protection of Birds Act. Quite how long does it take before some presumably not very bright people get it. For those people that think there is rather too much of this sort of behaviour in our uplands, along with all the environmental downsides of driven grouse shooting that are only now all becoming better known – water colouration, a contribution to flooding, a reduction in downstream biodiversity etc they could consider signing this petition to ban driven grouse shooting at :-https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/125003.” Trevor Brown, “Bloody hell Eccup is the place I saw my first Red Kite.” Judith Fawcett, “the world has gone mad. I’m lost for words on this one.” Luke Steele, “A worrying development. Eccup has always appeared a safe haven for birds of prey.” The English Exile, “????holes, what do they get out of this .” Peter Burton, “makes me so angry.” Someone else said, “Time to up the punishment. Mindless cretins.” Patricia McDermott, “why oh why?” Charles Gibson, “Don’t blame you in the least, Nigel. If only we could stamp it out. The world would be a better place.” Steve Harris, “Clearly yet another criminal has (probably legitimate) access to a firearm. Worrying deceit and misuse.” Christine Holmes, “I completely agree with you on the killing of the Red Kites. These beautiful birds are such a delight to see. I cannot understand the mentality of these people. Guns kill. What or who is the next victim going to be?” Tony Mawson “My feelings are the same as yours re Red Kites, hope Gareth Jones has luck catching those responsible.”

Outdoors Events

See website for full details of these events and to confirm no changes.

Nidderdale Bird Club

Monday 16 May(Evening) Staveley YWT Nature Reserve

Sunday 22 MayFull-Day Bird Watch in the AONB

Harrogate and District Naturalists’ Society

Tuesday 17 may – Great Whernside, Upper Nidderdale

Bastards

ECCUP KITE - Doug Simpson

The Eccup Red Kite – Doug Simpson

Well, what else do you expect me to say? How many of you have watched the Red Kites over Bilton, maybe there will be one less to enjoy now. Doug Simpson, the Red Kite Man, tells me that two more Red Kites have been shot locally, “On 21 April a new Red Kite nest was discovered in woodland near Eccup in West Yorkshire. Hanging from the next tree was the carcass of a Red Kite. Veterinary examination and X-ray of the bird showed injuries which were consistent with it having been shot whilst sitting on its nest. On 23 April, just two days later, a kite with a broken wing was found near Nidd in North Yorkshire. It was still alive. It was taken to a local vet who found that the wing was so badly damaged that it would not recover. It was put to sleep. Again, veterinary examination and X-ray showed that shooting was the cause of the bird’s injuries. Information was subsequently received that what was presumably the same injured bird had been seen on 20 April, approximately a mile away from where it was eventually retrieved. The finder had gone to get a cat carrier to put it in but could not find the bird again. Any information about either of these incidents should be reported to the Police by dialling 101 and asking to speak to a Wildlife Crime Officer or, alternatively, by using the ‘Contact us’ facility on the Yorkshire Red Kites Website.

Why are folk killing Red Kites? These birds are almost predominantly scavengers, they may take the odd errant worm or beetle and, let’s be honest, the BTO say that Red Kite “scavenge on carrion, scraps, will take small live prey.” Yorkshire Red Kites say, “Red Kites are scavengers, drifting around on their long buoyant wings looking for food items on the ground. They do not have the strength or power associated with some bird of prey species, which rely primarily on their hunting skills for survival. Although they are capable of taking small live items such as mice and voles, kites mainly rely on carrion – things which are already dead – as their basic food supply. They are quite often reluctant to land, snatching up their food from the ground and either feeding on the wing or taking it into a tree, to feed on whilst perched. If the food item is too large to carry off, they may land on the ground – but they are very wary and will generally wait until crows have fed on it first, as though making sure that it’s not a trap!” The RSPB agrees, “Mainly carrion and worms, but opportunistic and will occasionally take small mammals.” I tried The Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and they agree, saying, “Red Kites are primarily scavengers, however that is certainly not to say that they will not take young game birds and other ‘live’ prey items, but they will clean a large carcass in a similar way to a vulture. Because they are a relatively weak bird, they rely on other predators to open up the tough skin, so that they can then access the soft flesh within. Decomposition also softens the dead animal’s skin, allowing kites to rip the body open themselves, devouring the putrid flesh. Just like vultures, they have highly specialised digestive systems, which produce powerful acids to neutralise rotting meat, making them resistant to bacteria such as salmonella and E. coli.” So continuing to look at why, let’s look at game birds, almost all our game birds (a misnomer if ever I heard one, no game involved there, at least not if you are the target) – pheasants and red-legged partridge – are kept in captivity until large enough to be introduced into the wild, that is until they are too big to be taken as prey by most creatures, especially Red Kites which weigh (BTO again) male 1000 g female 1.2 kg. That is around the weight of a bag of sugar. They aren’t a threat to game birds and to kill them just demonstrates that age old mindset of hooked beak bad! Why? It seems these folk are killing Red Kites when they are at their most vulnerable at nests, probably supporting young which will also die as a consequence of this disgusting action.

In Scotland a new law of vicarious liability for wildlife offences was introduced. It came into effect on 1 Jan 2012 and is specifically aimed at anyone who has the legal right to kill or take wild birds over land or manages or controls the exercise of that right. It was passed in response to the illegal killing of protected birds (usually raptors) on (especially) shooting estates, and is designed to make landowners/managers ‘vicariously responsible’ for crimes committed by their employees, contractors and agents under existing laws that relate to:

  • the protection of wild birds, nests and eggs;

  • the prohibition of certain methods of killing or taking wild birds;

  • the possession of pesticides;

  • attempts to commit such offences.

Clearly it’s time we had a similar law here, after the MPs had declared an interest I wonder how many would be left to vote on it? We should also ensure that no Government financial support is provided to landowners who allow such activity on their land. I suspect many, many folk do enjoy their Red Kites as illustrated by Jo Smalley, “Red Kites over Jacob Smith Park, Knaresborough last week. Beautiful. Stood and watched them for ages.” What do you think?

Bilton Recovering - Keith Wilkinson

Bilton Recovering – Keith Wilkinson

Nidd Gorge

Keith Wilkinson, of Bilton Conservation group, tells me he was “working in Nidd Gorge this morning with students and took this image to show just how quickly the flora is recovering after last winter’s storms. The floods had been so severe we thought that bluebells, wild garlic, wood anemones et cetera would have been scoured away because the collapsed river banks looked so bare and devoid of life. You can see the ample evidence of fallen trees – but it is remarkable that the bare areas are greening up with a decent show of bluebells and wild garlic. Tawny Owls were calling from the north bank and a pair are raising young. There have also been reports of Barn Owls hunting over the west field near the viaduct. There is much work to be done recovering the ravaged footpaths and small teams have been out almost every week since February making the place safe and accessible. It will take until Christmas at least to complete the job. I was encouraged by the complimentary remarks of a group of elderly walkers from Bedfordshire(!) who were here for a long weekend. They were very impressed with the fact that the woods were so accessible, attractive and litter-free. I didn’t realise that Nidd Gorge’s fame had spread quite so far. I walked with them for half a mile as they paused on the viaduct to admire the view before they headed off for a ‘shandy’ at the Gardeners Arms and back to Knaresborough.” I dare say I’d be happy to holiday in Bilton if I lived in Bedfordshire.

Wren's Nest2 - Stuart Ibbotson

Wren’s Nest – Stuart Ibbotson

Stuart Ibbotson writes, “I thought I would send you a few birds nesting and young Heron photo. The young Heron was on the Nidd and clearly had not yet learned a lot. Firstly it was quite unafraid of people passing by on the opposite bank and secondly could not contain its excitement when a female Mallard brought her brood of 16 to within striking distance. This clearly gave mother duck the opportunity to gather her brood into a tight formation and then swim away from danger. Woodpigeon on nest as seen from the Nidd viaduct. Female Mallard on nest at the base of a tree also seen from the viaduct. Wrens nest constructed on a fallen tree root, (a favourite site for wrens). A pair of Goldcrests have a nest within the sewerage fencing. Finally, Tawny Owl on nest. This nest site has been used on and off over the years and I first noticed the bird sitting on 22 March. Therefore by my calculations the first egg should have hatched on 21 April. No sighting of the young as yet but the owl is sitting noticeably higher up.”

Your Sightings

Farnham, Harrogate Naturalist Society’s members’ private nature reservehad a Black-tailed Godwit on 29 April, and on May 1st an Arctic Tern, Little Gull and Pied Flycatcher.

Sightings at Nosterfield Nature Reserve recently: Arctic Terns, Swift and Whimbrel.

Richard Scruton, “Saw my first Swifts of 2016 on Friday (29 April) and this morning (2 May): 6 swifts seen in eastern Luxembourg on Friday evening at Wecker and Wasserbillig, and a large group seen this morning near Knaresborough Golf Club where the Farnham road turns off the Knaresborough-Boroughbridge B6166 road.” Richard certainly gets about in his quest to see swifts!

Gretchen Hasselbring wrote, “I wanted to report a Fieldfare sighting. Not sure if they are rare but it was the first I’ve seen one. 3 May late morning along the Ure in Ripon on a grassy bank between a field and the river presumably catching worms?” Fieldfare are common in winter because they are a winter migrant from Scandinavia, here to eat the berries, seeing one at this time of year is much more unlikely, although last Wednesday I saw a few, which suggests that the weather in Scandinavia is not particularly good or our weather isn’t providing the tail wind they need to migrate across the North Sea.

Chaffinch - Roger Litton

Chaffinch – Roger Litton

Through Your Window

Roger Litton writes, “This Chaffinch sat on the lawn and said ‘I’m not moving until you take my photograph’!”

Please note no blog next week, my 65th birthday, presents to the usual address.

Outdoors Events

See website for full details of these events and to confirm no changes.

Nidderdale Bird Club

Friday 13 MayBarden Bridge and Strid Woods

Monday 16 May(Evening) Staveley YWT Nature Reserve

Harrogate and District Naturalists’ Society

Thursday 12 May – Spa Gill Wood

Tuesday 17 May – Great Whernside, Upper Nidderdale