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Reeking Gill, Rosedale
5th June 2016

Species lists below

Ryedale members in Rosedale

Fourteen members and two guests (Cleveland Field Nats and Whitby Nats) attended this meeting on a gloriously sunny day, the first for some weeks as this area has been dogged by sea fret. We met at the Millennium stone at 1030hrs and after a short walk along the road we headed west over the moor using an unmarked track. A golden plover was a nice sight perched on a small hillock.

Ryedale members descending gill

Waterfalls in gill

We descended in to Reeking Gill near the head and followed its small beck downstream. This area is rarely frequented by walkers and very much unspoilt. It was good to see green hairstreak still on the wing. The gill opens up and deepens at the waterfall, which can be quite formidable after heavy rainfall but was fairly quiet on this occasion. Again, another careful descent was made down the steep-sided gill along the side of the waterfall. A wet flush was visited on the north side containing lousewort and marsh violet amongst other things.

Lousewort Pedicularis sylvatica marsh violet Viola palustris

This area also has sneezewort but alas, a bit early for flowers. A female large red damselfly was seen, the only one of the day. One old ring ouzel nest was pointed out to members. We saw a couple of marsh thistles that had a “sport” where several heads had fused together – this is known as fasciation

marsh thistle with fasciation Large red damselfly female
We stopped for lunch where the gill meets the old railway line and watched a male redstart in the lower gill. This part of the Gill widens significantly with gentler sloping sides. We continued north along the railway line to the edge of an old stone quarry where we saw at least two male ring ouzels and one female. We also visited a pond which contained at least five palmate newts. The photo shows the 2 lines of dark spots along the flank and tail and the filament at the end of the tail as well as the dark webbed feet, all indicative of male Palmate Newt.

palmate newt

There was also a good show of round-leaved water crowfoot in one of the ponds along the railway.

round-leaved water crowfoot  Ranunculus omiophyllus

round-leaved water crowfoot  Ranunculus omiophyllus

We retraced our steps south to Reeking Gill and continued on the old railway line to a bog area containing yellow pimpernel in flower and the locally rare New Zealand willowherb yet to flower. We also saw the very beautiful chickweed wintergreen (which is neither a chickweed nor a wintergreen!).

chickweed wintergreen Trientalis europaea

Chickweed wintergreen (above)
New Zealand willowherb with its small round leaves (right)

New Zealand willowherb Epilobium brunnescens

Eventually we ascended Sturdy bank Gill along its NE edge where we saw a number of grouse chicks. Finally we headed back north over the moor via a bridleway.

Full lists are found below. It was a disappointing day for birds as we would like to have seen stonechat and wheatear which are known to be in this area. Only two molluscs were found but it is not a good habitat for them.

Ryedale members

The meeting concluded at about 1600hrs with butterfly and cherry buns.

Plant list

Latin nameCommon name
Achillea ptarmica Sneezewort
Bellis perennis Daisy
Betula sp. Birch
Blechnum spicant Hard Fern
Callitriche agg. Starwort
Calluna vulgaris Heather or Ling
Cardamine amara Bittercress, large
Cardamine hirsuta Bittercress, hairy
Cardamine pratensis Cuckoo flower or Milkmaid
Carex echinata Star sedge
Carex nigra Common sedge
Carex ovalis Oval sedge
? Carex viridula Yellow sedge
Cerastium fontanum Mouse ear, common
Ceratocapnos claviculata Corydalis, climbing
Chrysosplenium oppositifolium Golden saxifrage, opposite leaved
Cirsium vulgare Thistle, spear
Crataegus monogyna Hawthorn
Dactylorhiza fuchsii Orchid, common spotted
Digitalis purpurea Foxglove
Dryopteris dilatata Common Buckler Fern
Empetrum nigrum Crowberry
Epilobium brunnescens Willowherb, New Zealand
Erica tetralix Cross leaved heath
Eriophorum angustifolium Cottongrass, common
Eriophorum vaginatum Cottongrass, harestail
Erophila verna Spring whitlowgrass
Festuca rubra Fescue, Red
Fraxinus excelsior Ash
Galium saxatile Bedstraw, heath
Hydrocotyle vulgaris Marsh pennywort
Hypericum pulchrum St Johnswort, beautiful
Ilex aquifolium Holly
Juncus effusus Soft Rush
Juncus squarrosus Heath Rush
Larix sp. (L. decidua) Larch
Lotus corniculatus Birdsfoot trefoil, common
Luzula campestris Woodrush, field
Luzula multiflora Woodrush, heath
? Lychnis flos-cuculi Ragged robin
Lysimachia nemorum Yellow pimpernel
Montia fontanum Blinks
Nardus stricta Mat Grass
Oreopteris limbosperma Lemon-scented or Mountain Fern
Oxalis acetosella Wood sorrel
Pedicularis sylvatica Lousewort, common
Plantago lanceolata Plantain, ribwort
Poa pratensis Meadow Grass, Smooth
Polygala serpyllifolia Milkwort, heath
Potamogeton sp. Pondweed sp.
Potentilla erecta Tormentil
Prunella vulgaris Self heal
Pteridium aquilinum Bracken
Quercus sp. Oak
Ranunculus ficaria Celandine, lesser
Ranunculus omiophyllus Water crowfoot, round leaved
Rumex acetosa Sorrel, common
Rumex acetosella Sorrel, sheeps
Sagina procumbens Pearlwort, procumbent or mossy
Salix caprea Willow, goat
Sorbus aucuparia Rowan
Stellaria holostea Stitchwort, greater
Stellaria uliginosa Stitchwort, bog
Taraxacum sp. Dandelion
Teucrium scorodonia Wood sage
Trientalis europaea Chickweed wintergreen
Trifolium dubium Trefoil, lesser
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry
Veronica arvensis Speedwell, wall
Veronica chamaedrys Speedwell, germander
Veronica serpyllifolia Speedwell, thyme leaved
Viola palustris Violet, marsh
Viola riviniana Violet, common dog


(thanks to Melanie Earle)
Sphagnum cuspidatum
Sphagnum capillifolium subsp. rubellum
Sphagnum squarrosum - very distinctive pointy one, easy to recognise in the field
Sphagnum palustre
Sphagnum fallax
Sphagnum quinquefarium


(thanks to Melanie Earle)
Galerina paludosa
Galerina spp. (at least 2 not including paludosa)
Rickenella fibula
Entoloma sp.
Panaeolus sp.
Gymnopus (Collybia sp, probably dryophilus)


(thanks to Tom Denney)
buzzard, kestrel, curlew, redstart, cuckoo, reed bunting (female), chaffinch, willow warbler, swallow, wren, ring ouzel, meadow pipit, lapwing, blackbird, golden plover, grouse including chicks, wood pigeon, herring gull and carrion crow.

Green hairstreak

Butterflies and Moths

(thanks to Terry Crawford)
Plutella xylostella - Diamond-back Moth
Philedonides lunata - (Heath Twist)
Pieris napi - Green-veined White
Callophrys rubi - Green Hairstreak (photo, right)
Opisthograptis luteolata - Brimstone Moth
Ematurga atomaria - Common Heath
Phragmatobia fuliginosa - Ruby Tiger
Phytometra viridaria - Small Purple-barred
Autographa gamma - Silver Y
Gonepteryx rhamni - Brimstone Butterfly


(thanks to Terry Crawford)
Cochlicopa lubricella - snail
Arion ater agg. (immature) - slug


tadpoles, palmate newt, whirligig beetle, water boatman, ?pond skater, large red damselfly (female), green tiger beetle, click beetle, common lizard, white tailed bumblebee.

© Ryedale Natural History Society 2016, Photos © Gill Smith, Jayne Smith, Pauline Popely 2016 Back to the Home page