Monday, 9 April 2012
A couple of days ago, I wandered over to Kirkstall Hill, where I immediately recognised the call of a Chiffchaff and caught a quick glimpse before it disappeared but continued to remain in the area. The blackthorn were flowering & birches were full of catkins.
Kirkstall Hill is a small (200m x 150m x 150m ) unimpressive triangular section of west facing greenspace located at the busy crossroads of Kirkstall Lane and Kirkstall Hill. Half of the area is grassland with shrubs, brambles and deciduous trees bordering the remaining area, Hawthorn, Birch, Laurel, Holly, Ivy, Oak, Blackthorn. Kirkstall Hill was the site of an old quarry, owned by Reffitts, a firm of dyers based on Kirkstall Road, (thanks to Andrea for her help). The most notable feature is the view from the hill up along the Aire Valley which is pretty impressive on a clear day.
As well as the Chiffchaff, Goldfinch, Long Tail Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Robin, Blackbird, & Wren were all active in the surrounding trees and shrubs.
The only butterfly in view was this Small Tortoiseshell.
Birch catkins were showing well, you can clearly see the difference between the longer hanging male catkins and the smaller upright female catkins, as the fresh shiny finely toothed leaves are starting to unfurl.