This coming Saturday, 9th December, we have a field visit to Anglers Country Park. Good for both water and woodland birds —and we normally look at fungi too. And a bite to eat afterwards perhaps or a warming drink? Michele is leading our visit and the forecasted weather is better than this last weekend’s!
We are meeting at 10am in the car park at Anglers Country Park, Haw Park Lane, Wintersett, WF4 2EB. It’s near Ryhill. Grid reference: SE375153. What 3 words: ///eggplants.stuffing.songbirds.
Parking is now ‘up to two hours at £1’, ‘up to four hours at £2’ and ‘over four hours at £3’. £2 should do it including a visit to the café!
Barnsley Nats brings together people who share an interest in natural history and the wildlife of the Barnsley area. We have a programme of meetings and field visits throughout the year. Monthly indoor meetings take place from October to March at Worsbrough Common Community Centre. Field visits take place on the first Saturday morning of each month and on Wednesday evenings replacing the indoor meetings in the summer. See our programme page for details.
Our next field visit is to Anglers Country Park on Saturday 9 December. Our next indoor meeting is our Social on Wednesday 20 December.
Ron Marshall gave a brilliant account of his ‘Birdwatcher’s Year’ at the Barnsley Nats meeting on Wednesday 22 November in our new venue at Worsbrough Common Community Centre. Great images and presentation as always!
For some of his local images have a look at: www.barnsleynats.org.uk/category/ron-marshalls-images/
Our Barnsley Nats monthly indoor meetings are at Worsbrough Common Community Centre (Vera Mawby Centre) Warren Quarry Lane, off Park Road (A6133), Barnsley. Post Code: S70 4ND What Three Words: ///daring.medium.weds There’s parking in the Centre Car park and on the Warren Quarry Lane roadside.
The Wednesday evening dates for our talks (at 7pm) are: Wednesday 25 October 2023: A Carrion Crow in Close-Up by Steve Byers Wednesday 22 November 2023: A Birdwatcher’s Year by Ron Marshall Wednesday 21 February 2024: Ancient Woodland Inventory Review by AWIR Project leaders, Nick and David, Wednesday 20 March 2024: Wildflower Meadows by Chris Tomson.
Our Christmas Social is on Wednesday 20 December 2023 and our AGM on Wednesday 24 January 2024.
This coming Saturday morning, 11 November, our field visit is a walk around Royd Moor Reservoir. As well as the open water, there are areas of woodland and heath, so lots to see.
We are meeting at 10.00am on Royd Moor Road above Thurlstone. There is parking just off the road where a track leads down to the reservoir. Grid reference SE224041 What3words: ///forest.exhales.depending
Avid photographers will be pleased to hear that the what3words for the reservoir itself is: ///perfectly.snaps.local . Couldn’t be better!
Royd Moor Road is above Thurlstone. You can get to it from Thurlstone itself, but we think the roads are much easier by taking the road from Millhouse Green signposted Royd Moor, off the A628 from Penistone. Once at Royd Moor Hill viewpoint (highest point) go straight on down Royd Moor Road and the car park is on your left.
The paths are ok after all the rain but a little muddy in places so boots, wellingtons or sturdy shoes are advisable, warm clothes are good too!
Wednesday, 25 October 2023 brought the first of our Barnsley Nats monthly indoor meetings this year. Steve Byers gave a presentation on ‘A Carrion Crow in Close-Up’ in our new venue, Worsbrough Common Community Centre.
With humour and insights into the behaviour of this species, it was well-worth attending.
Wortley Hall parkland was the place for our field visit this Saturday morning, 14th October. With a total of 14 members from Barnsley Nats and Friends of Wortley Hall Gardens, the weather was typical for Autumn with blue skies and sunshine with a north westerly wind making to feel cold in the shade, at eight degrees!
We did a circuit of the gardens, admired the ancient oak tree and the fossilized tree stump, and found most of the fungi on the grass lawns.
This site appears locally important for fungi and deserves further visits.
Whitwell Moor, near Stocksbridge, is an area of former Grouse Moorland with heather and grassland areas and a beech plantation at its southern end. Eleven of us, led by Doug Brown and Chris Tomson, visited Whitwell Moor on the morning of Tuesday 3rd October. We gathered in the rain at the western end of Long Lane.
There’s a plantation at one end of the moor, and owing to the weather we first went there, finding Russula, Bolete, and Amanita species. Porcelain fungi being one of the prize species.
As the weather improved we headed towards the open moorland around the trig point where the terrain is acid grassland. We thought that this area might be good for waxcap species but we found other species.
The party then headed back along the ridge, looking at an ancient stone wall a site that made millstones in the plantation.
The moor is part of the Broomhead Estate and is no longer managed for grouse shooting. We were keen to have to see any changes due to the natural progression of the moor since management was withdrawn.
The moor was no longer a mosaic of new and old heather. Scrub and some trees had taken hold; Birch and Bracken were spreading. Rewilding?
Finally better weather brought out butterflies including Red Admiral.
On Saturday 9th September, our field visit is to Rabbit Ings, near Royston; meeting at 10:00 am in the car park off Lund Hill Lane S71 4BB What3words: ///extreme.seemingly.grid. Grid reference: SE375117
Rabbit Ings is a country park located on the former colliery yard and spoil heap of the Monkton Colliery and then the Royston Drift Mine, which closed in 1989. The renovated 64-hectare site, situated near Royston, has a range of habitats including grassland, woodland, ponds and wetland areas. It can be a hotspot for dragonflies. Leader Michele Winder.
Doug Brown, one of our members, goes out on a regular basis to do a glowworm count on a transect of the TPT near Thurgoland. This Wednesday night, for our planned field visit, several other Barnsley Nats members went along too. We had a count of around 70 glowworms a-glowing; quite difficult to see but an impressive number these days.
Doug also set up a moth trap at the side of the trail for while we are counting the glowworms. And the following morning we assembled at Doug and Jill’s to see the moths collected on the TPT.
Friday 28 July, 9pm: Mothing at Carlton Marsh Nature Reserve
Cliff Gorman has been in touch to invite interested Nats members to an evening ‘mothing’ at Carlton Marsh on Friday evening —if it’s not raining at 9pm!
Tuesday 1 August, ‘Yorkshire Day’: Dragonflies at Netherwood Country Park
Alistair McLean is leading a field visit at Netherwood Country Park for Dragonflies starting at 11am. It’s a joint venture of Sorby Natural History Society, the British Dragonfly Society and Sheffield Museums.
We visited the country park and its ponds a few months back —before the dragonfly season so now there will be more to see. The car park is off Bradbury Balk Lane, grid reference: SE 3956 0404. What Three Words : ///gateway.enveloped.bugs !!
Our Barnsley Nats field visit —on Wednesday evening, 26 July— to Wombwell Ings, one of the Dearne Valley wetlands sites managed by the RSPB; Ron Marshall leading our walk. A drink at the Old Moor Tavern after, for those who wish.
Meeting for 7pm near the junction of Everill Gate Lane and Pontefract Roadn near the Old Moor Tavern. Parking at the roadside along Pontefract Road. Grid Reference: SE419029. What Three Words: ///astounded.climate.starch or ///history.otter.chucked
Yesterday’s field visit: Eight intrepid Barnsley Nats members braved the weather yesterday at Wombwell Ings; the highlights included the kingfisher darting along the Dearne, Egrets on the Ings –and of course the company; after our walk we retired, somewhat soaked, to the Old Moor Tavern.
The meadow was unmown and there were still orchids, just going over. There were lots of speckled wood, meadow brown and ringlet butterflies. Birds included yellowhammer, skylark, and meadow pipit; plants common spotted orchid, yellow rattle, tormentil etc. And much more. A brilliant site and well worth coming again!
Our next Wednesday evening field visit (21 June) is a welcome return to Boylin’s, the area near Strafford industrial park. It’s off the road (Gilroyd Lane) between Gilroyd and Stainborough.
It’s a general nature walk in an area with a stream (Stainborough Dike), reedbeds ( Strafford Mine Water Treatment Plant), grassland and woodland. So looking for plants, birds, butterflies and other invertebrates. It’s part of the Falthwaite and Lowe Wood local wildlife site. The Dove Valley Trail (TPT) skirts the site.
Meeting: We are meeting for 7pm at the Strafford industrial estate car park: SE324041. The selected ‘what three words’ location is ///launch.water.beast !
We have a species count of 103, many of which we see regularly. There will be more to add to the list when we get the insects species from one of our members. Birds that we saw ot heard include wren, reed warbler anf young bluetits. Insects were a snout-nosed moth, clearwing (possibably lunar hornet moth) nurseyweb spider and bishop’s mitre shieldbug. Plants included enchanters nightshde, crosswort, goats rue, everlasting pea and yarrow (flowers are just opening). Galls midge, Dasineura acrophilia, gall on ash; two mite galls, Eriophyes inangulis and E. laevis on alder; wasp gall, Andricus curvatur, on oak sessile