Our next field visit is to Phoenix Park near Thurnscoe. It’s a general nature ramble on a restored colliery site, now managed by The Land Trust. Grasses, wildflowers, hopefully insects if warm enough, birds and woodland.
We’ll meet as usual at 10am and stay until around 1.00pm.
Meet at the main car park for Phoenix Park on Barrowfield Road, Thurnscoe. Three words: //save.prepared.perfected [!!] Grid Reference: SE461052. There are brown signs to Phoenix Park from the A635 roundabout junction with the B609.
A joint field visit with South Yorkshire British Naturalists’ Association.
Our field visit on Wednesday 24 May was to Netherwood Country Park and Nature Reserve, at the side of the river Dove, between Wombwell and Darfield.
As well as the river and large ponds, there are open grassy areas, scrub and a bit of woodland. Not much in flower yet but it was good to identify what was there, as well as other wildlife.
We managed 13 birds including Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Willow Warbler. The young of the Greylag and Canada geese were a delight!
Our nine insect species included Red & Black Froghopper, the Soldier beetle: Cantharis rustica, Redheaded Cardinal beetle, and 7 spot and 14 spot ladybirds as well as Early bumblebee, Red tail bumblebee and Common carder bee.
Of particular interest were the Oak Current Gall, the gall wasp of which creates oak spangle galls in a later stage; and a spiral gall on some fantastic Black Poplar trees.
On our field visit on Saturday 13 May to New Hall Farm, between Ardsley and Darfield, David and Helen Rhodes showed us their approach to arable farming which aims to encourage wildlife whilst ensuring their farm is viable; they maintain hedgerows and hay meadows, and have a variety of features that support birds, insects and other wildlife. It was a really interesting visit. More later.
Our Saturday 22nd April field visit to Adwick washlands, was led by Linda Graham in association with Colin and Linda’s birdwatching group. It’s a familiar area of farmed fields transformed into wetlands, wet grassland and marshes; a rich site for breeding waders including Avocets.
A total of 56 bird species were seen, the highlights included Lapwing chicks, many Avocets on eggs, a Spotted Redshank, 2 Bar Tailed Godwits, a Sandwich Tern, a House Martin, 2 Sedge Warblers, a Reed Warbler and a Kingfisher.
Stuart Foster is giving an illustrated talk on the fascinating True Bugson Wednesday evening, 22nd March, 7pm at Barnsley Town Hall. It’s a chance to find out how to identify the different species and the habitats where they are found.
All welcome: just ring the bell at the Experience Barnsley door
Around 20 people joined our field visit that was postponed to Saturday 18th March to measure some veteran trees at Cannon Hall. We mainly looked at the notable oak trees below the stream and lake, coming back past the old yew tree.
If you’d like some information on ancient and other veteran trees, and how to recognise them, just let us know.
Now with SSSI status, its mix of reedbed, fen, scrapes, marsh, meadows and wet woodland makes Carlton Marsh a great place to visit, in any season.
It was quite quiet when we visited; we were pleased to see the two Whooper swans, as well as mallard, moorhen, gadwall and almost 20 teal; and in the bushes some dancing long-tailed tit. And of course we looked at the fungi, lichens and plants.
A highlight was searching for over-wintering herald moths!
A good number of Barnsley Nats folk joined naturalists from across South Yorkshire for a programme of talks and chat on Saturday 18 February. Highlights included a tour of Brockadale nature reserve and the story of Scruffy the Crow! We’re looking forward to next year’s day of natural history.
‘Aspects of Biodiversity in Barnsley’ was a presentation given by Peter Roberts at the Barnsley Nats meeting at Barnsley Town Hall on Wednesday 25 January, following the AGM. His presentation included lots on the landscapes, habitats and wildlife found in Barnsley. He touched on the problems they face as well as on what we should do to conserve them. Peter also covered the importance of wildlife records and the role of the Barnsley Biological Record Centre.
Wildlife on the Yorkshire Coast, a presentation by Geoff Carr on Wednesday 23rd November was fascinating. Geoff covered a whole stretch of coastline with great images of the birds and other wildlife to be found. He pointed out for us the slippages down the cliffs that have preserved former grassland habitats now lost above the cliffs. A great talk that provoked a lot of discussion.
On Saturday 12th November we have a field visit to Anglers Country Park for the birds of open water and scrub; looking for fungi as well. We will start with the hide(s) and go on round the water and possibly into some woodland areas.
We are meeting at 10 am in the main car park at Anglers Country Park, Haw Park Lane, Wintersett, WF4 2EB, grid reference: SE375153. Car parking free for 2 hours, £2 for 3 hours.