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August 2013

2nd, Moths
Fan-foot x8, Antler Moth x2, Silver Y x8, Dark Arches x37, Marbled Minor ag. x15, Marbled Beauty x16, Lesser Yellow Underwing x58, Snout x3, Brimstone x9, Riband Wave x20, Common Carpet x1, Common Rustic x12, Yellow-tail x2, Willow Beauty x8, Bright-line Brown-eye x1, Early Thorn x4, Beautiful Hook-tip x1, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing x7, Dun-bar x12, White Satin Moth x1, Common Pug x2, Double-striped Pug x3, Cloaked Minor (NFY) x4, Cabbage Moth x3, Light Emerald x4, Green Pug x1, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (NFY) x19, Common Footman x6, Yellow Shell (NFY) x1, Single Dotted Wave x2, Middle-barred Minor (NFY) x2, Ruby Tiger (NFY) x6, Poplar Grey x2, Light Arches x3, Grey Dagger x2, Large Yellow Underwing x48, Plain Wave (NFY) x1, Poplar Hawk-moth x3, Uncertain x8, Smoky Wainscot x2, Common Wainscot (NFY) x1, Dot Moth x4, Grey Arches x3, Rustic x4, Double Square-spot x2, Scalloped Oak x1, Double Lobed (NFY) x1,Rosy Minor (NFY) x1, Small Dusty Wave x1, Shuttle-shaped Dart x1, Double-striped Tabby (NFY) x1, Brown House Moth x1, Garden Grass Veneer x17, Bird Cherry Ermine x12, Light Brown Apple Moth x1, Mother of Pearl x16, Pearl Veneer x3, Dark Fruit Tree Tortrix x1, Grass Veneer x8, Meal Moth x1,Water Veneer (NFY) x100+, Chequered Tortrix (NFY) x1 & Orange Pine Tortrix (NFY) x1.

4th, Deepdale
A good walk around my favourite corner of the Yorkshire Wolds, the countryside still full of summer wildlife to enjoy. Best of these were the butterflies with a good variety of species noted throughout this rarely disturbed corner of the East Riding, the decreasing but still plentiful enough wildflowers providing plenty of food for Skippers, Small Heaths, Marbled Whites and other more common species. As summer moves into its latter weeks the Rosebay Willowherb is now coming into its own and can be found flowering profusely in the usual spots, whilst harvest continues apace on the Wold tops as the golden countryside becomes a busy place of work for the local farmers.

8th, Moths
Willow Beauty x8, Shuttle-shaped Dart x3, Dark Arches x3, Marbled Beauty x1, Riband Wave x6, White Satin Moth x1, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing x20, Mottled Beauty x2, Common Rustic x35, Lesser Yellow Underwing x3, Silver Y x4, Dun-bar x2, Large Yellow Underwing x8, Uncertain x1, Snout x2, Garden Carpet x1, Copper Underwing (NFY) x1, Dark Umber(NFY) x1, Large Twin-spot Carpet x1, Flounced Rustic (NFY) x1, Brimstone x1, Garden Grass Veneer x10, Grass Veneer x8, Pearl Veneer x1, Diamond-back Moth x1, Mother of Pearl x2, Common Grey x1, Fruit-tree Tortrix x1, Light Brown Apple Moth x1, Dingy Dowd (NFY) x1 & Garden Pebble x1.

11th, Burdale
Today we explored a corner of the Yorkshire Wolds which we had previously never visited, following the route of the old railway line through Burdale and also stopping to check out the local quarry and the remains of the old Burdale railway tunnel, long since closed up due to its dangerously unstable roof (though bat groups do sometimes visit to record the species and numbers of bats whom now reside within). However for us it was the butterflies and the wildflowers which were the attraction with a good variety being noted around this deep, south facing valley between Thixendale and Fimber.

12th, North Cliffe Wood
We paid a visit to North Cliffe Wood today on what was a bright but blustery afternoon with heavy showers in the vicinity, which mercifully seemed to miss us during our few hours at this woodland and heathland reserve. Dragonflies were the primary reason for our visit with a good mixture of species being recorded, including Migrant Hawker, Brown Hawker, Common Hawker (this being the first I've ever recorded at this site), and Common Darter.

Butterflies too were reasonably well represented with Peacock, Whites, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Small Copper, and Wall Brown all being seen, while the heath was seemingly covered in Silver-Y moths, a species which seems particularly abundant this year. Being August I was also interested to see how the fungi were coming along and though still a little early I was able to find a few interesting specimens here and there, hopefully signs that this year will be much better than last year which was very poor at this woodland reserve.

18th, Fordon Banks
On Sunday we had a gentle stroll around the Fordon area of East Yorkshire, this small parish being as far north as one can go in the county with North Yorkshire being on the other side of hill above the village. Indeed this tiny community which consists of no more than a few farms and dwellings is delightfully positioned in the rolling countryside and also hosts one of the smallest active churches in Yorkshire, though due to its position as somewhat detached from the community it has to be kept locked most of the time which is a real shame.

To the east of the village there is an area of Yorkshire Butterfly Conservation Trust managed grassland which is a mecca for butterfly and wildflower enthusiasts such as myself and if it wasn't for the fact that this location was so far away from Beverley I would visit it all the time in the summer months. The site is particularly good for Brown Argus butterflies, of which we managed to record a few on Sunday despite the blustery wind and occasional light showers, though none were very cooperative when it came to photography. The site is also excellent for Wall Browns of which many were recorded not only here but around the local countryside (a particularly beautiful specimen being found outside the church), but again the breeze made most of the butterflies very flighty which photographically was very frustrating.

However my favourite sighting of the morning was a fine looking Painted Lady, only the second I've seen this year and though I managed no images of this beauty I was merely happy to watch a butterfly species which I have seen little of in the last few years (already I've had more sightings this year than in the last three years put together). Other butterflies seen on our stroll included numerous Common Blues, a fair number of Meadow Browns, lots of Whites, tons of Peacocks, a few Small Tortoiseshells, Speckled Woods and Small Coppers, as well as lots and lots of Silver-Y's which seemed to be absolutely everywhere on Fordon Banks itself.

24th, St. Bart's Day
With August entering its last week the countryside of eastern Yorkshire is certainly beginning to look tired with most of the summer wildflowers now faded for yet another year and the golden cereal fields a hive of activity as farmers rush to safely gather in their precious assets while the weather remains favourably inclined. This is truly a glorious time of year and with St. Bart's Day falling tomorrow one is mindful of the old piece of weather lore "St. Bartholomew brings the cold dew", a reminder that autumn is almost upon us.

Indeed the local countryside, and nature in general, is showing signs of this annual change with juicy ripe Blackberries in the hedgerows (the quality of which is very good this year), fungi in the woodlands, the departure of our local Swifts, and the ever shortening days which now see me rise before the ascending sun for the first time since late April. Personally I look forward to autumn every year, just as I look forward to every season in this little & diverse Isle of ours, and should St. Bart's Day come with fine weather (which as of the time of writing seems unlikely judging by the forecast) it should mean a fine autumn, this is at least according to the following little rhyme,
"If St. Bartholomew's Day be fair and clear,
Then a prosperous autumn comes that year."

25th, North Cave Wetlands
This morning we had a stroll around North Cave Wetlands with my sisters, niece, and nephew joining us on what was a sunny, warm but breezy day, though our latish arrival at the reserve and the fact I wanted to get back home before the Belgian Grand Prix meant our walk had to be fairly brief today. As a result my photographic opportunities were limited, with a pair of excitable children in tow also making it hard to creep up unnoticed on many otherwise shy beasties, but despite this I was able to try out my new camera with the 100mm macro lens attached.

As is normal for this time of year it was dragonflies and butterflies which provided most of the interest, though some nice passage waders included a few Ruff, Dunlin, Green Sandpipers & Common Sandpipers, though we were unable to connect with some reported Curlew Sandpipers. Dragonflies meanwhile were represented by Common Blue Damselflies, Blue-tailed Damselflies, Brown Hawkers, Migrant Hawkers, Common Darters and a single Black-tailed Skimmer (one of the latest on my records for this site).

As regards butterflies the number of species is now beginning to dwindle and there was no sign of the reported Clouded Yellow from the other day, but nevertheless a decent variety were noted into my little notebook including Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Large White, Green-veined White, Meadow Brown, Small Copper, Speckled Wood and Common Blue. I did briefly think I had stumbled upon a Brown Argus, a small colony of which can be found here, but on reflection I think it was just a rather faded female Common Blue (I was unable to photograph the underwing pattern to make sure). A few moths were also seen including Silver Y's, Copper Underwing, and a lovely Magpie Moth, the first I've seen this year.

27th, Moths
Straw Dot x3, Common Marbled Carpet x1, Lesser Yellow Underwing x7, Garden Carpet x1, Flame Carpet x1, Large Yellow Underwing x15, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing x6, Burnished Brass x1, Angle Shades x1, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing x3, Silver Y x1, Dark Marbled Carpet(NFY) x1, Copper Underwing x1, Riband Wave x1, Gold Spot (NFY) x3,Lime-speck Pug (NFY) x1, Square-spot Rustic (NFY) x1 and Common Rustic x2.

30th, Moths
Silver Y x4, Willow Beauty x3, Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing x8, Common Rustic x6, Large Yellow Underwing x128, Lesser Yellow Underwing x30, Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing x7, Dark Marbled Carpet x1, Common Carpet x2, Setaceous Hebrew Character (NFY) x2, Dun-bar x1, Gold Spot x1, Flame Carpet x1, Cabbage Moth x1, Riband Wave x1, Green Carpet x1, Centre-barred Sallow (NFY) x2, August Thorn (NFY) x2, Flounced Rustic x1, Shuttle-shaped Dart x3, Square-spot Rustic x1, Rosy Rustic (NFY) x1, Brick(NFY) x1, Dusky Thorn (NFY) x1, Bird Cherry Ermine x1, Garden Rose Tortrix (NFY) x1 and Light Brown Apple Moth x1.

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