Friday, 19 June 2009

Rodley Nature Reserve, Leeds

Rodley Nature Reserve held an Open Day last Sunday & it was great to see so many visitors & so much wildlife. Whilst we watched from the hide a Kingfisher flew over & perched briefly on a post overlooking the water before darting off as quickly as it arrived. As it was our first sighting of the beautiful bird we were delighted.

Five Grey Herons settled in the trees beyond the water. On the ponds a Great Crested Grebe (so far our nearest sighting of a GCG to Kirkstall), Oystercatchers, Lapwing, Mallards, Coots, Little Grebe. A couple of Kestrels soared overhead & turned out to be the pair nesting on the reserve that Andrea mentioned in her earlier post.

Damselflies & Dragonflies danced around the newly created ponds that were also choc full of tadpoles. Could these be Azure Damselfly (Coenagrion puella) or Common Blue Damselfly (Enallagma cyathigerum)?
I wasn't able to capture the Dragonfly in profile, so I'd struggle to ID this one.

Meandering through the meadow full of grasses, Ox Eye Daisy, White clover & Buttercups, a Jay flew into view, settled in the hedgerow & quickly made off again.

Familiar Speckled Wood butterflies were plentiful. I watched a pair in aerial combat, one made a hasty retreat while the other took up a vantage point on a hawthorn to bask in the sunshine. Once identified they’re easy to recognise, Ive found that once they land they tend to settle for prolonged intervals which makes them easy to photograph, .

To round off the visit we bought some honey from a local beekeeper in Calverley. Our Allotment Association was recently approached by a local beekeeper to ask about the possibility of installing & maintaining a hive at the back of our plots. She was given the go ahead which I’m really excited about & hope to learn a little more about our super-pollinating pals.

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