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Dawn Chorus, Appleton-le-Moors
4th May 2013

led by Jim Pewtress

Keith walking on water Four members and a welcome guest arrived at Appleton-le-Moors on a cloudy morning at 5.00am. The first birds singing were Blackbird and Song Thrush. Walking down the field towards Hell Bank Wood we heard Whitethroat, Wren, Chaffinch, Robin and a distant Yellowhammer. The wood itself was fairly quiet but towards the bottom were heard Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Blackcap and over the valley Willow Warbler. Walking along the road to Appleton Mill we had good views of Blackcap and at the footbridge over the river, Siskin were in the tops of the Alders, a Grey Wagtail flew past as well as Greylag Goose and a Nuthatch was calling in the small wood. On our way to the ford we had good views of a male Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding on a tree and two Pied Wagtails. Despite Keith’s walking on water we failed to see either Dipper or Kingfisher. Our route back took us along the edges of Hell Bank, Ridings Bank and Howlgate Head woods. It was here that the star bird of the day showed itself. The initial song was thought to be Redstart however a look in the trees revealed a male Pied Flycatcher which gave excellent views. An enjoyable walk and morning was rounded off with the first Swift and Greenfinch, Goldfinch and Tree Sparrow. Other birds seen or heard: Woodpigeon, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Swallow, Magpie, Jay, Buzzard, Rook, Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Long-tailed Tit, Mallard, Curlew, Grey Heron, Goosander, Collared Dove and Starling. (39 species)

The other delight away from the birds was the wonderful cover of Wood Anemone over the woodland floor from white through pink to purple flowers, and Wild Daffodils. The small patch of Yellow Star of Bethlehem at the western edge of Hell Bank wood had finished flowering. There was an odd Bluebell just beginning to think about flowering and in sheltered areas Greater Stitchwort and Goldilocks were starting to flower. A lovely patch of Moschatel was out on the verge of the bridleway down to Appleton Mill.

A pity some of our regular attendees could not be present but it does show that on the club outings there is always something of interest to see with frequent highlights.

© Ryedale Natural History Society 2013, Photo © Ryedale Natural History Society and Jim Pewtress 2013 Back to the Home page