Batting in Dearne Valley Country Park – 24 August 2022

Our Wednesday 24 August evening field visit was a walk around Dearne Valley Country Park. We had a general look around the park along the canal, before using our bat detectors to identify the different bat species when it started to get dark.

The highlight of the evening was seeing the Daubenton bats skimming insects off the surface of the water. We had five species: three pipestrelle, noctule and Daubenton.

Thanks to Mark and Kevin for their support. It was good to have a number of bat detectors for people to try out.

Counting Wall Brown Butterflies -August 2022

For our field visit on Saturday 13 August 2022, twelve of us followed a route from the Royd Moor Hill view point above Thurlstone, down High Bank Lane to a former quarry. Four years ago in August 2018, Alwyn Timms led a Barnsley Nats group on a walk to count Wall Brown butterflies in this area. We decided to repeat the walk, a good way to remember Alwyn.

We counted 24 Wall Brown along High Bank Lane, equalling the 2018 number, far more than the recce the previous week.

We also had 8 Small Copper, 4 Red Admiral and 3 Small Tortoiseshell. And single examples of six other butterfly species. There were Gatekeeper in abundance a week ago but only one this time!

Images: Chris Tomson and Peter Roberts

Wall Browns: Remembering Alwyn

In the summer we intend to have a field visit walking in Alwyn Timms’ footsteps, looking for Wall Brown butterflies on the patch where he recorded them. We will follow a route from Royd Moor viewpoint that Alwyn Timms took us on to count Wall Brown butterflies. Meeting at Royd Moor viewpoint, 10.00am, Saturday 13 August.

Under wind turbines above Carlecotes

A return visit to a fascinating mosaic of habitats in the Banks Renewable (wind farm) site between Carlecotes and Crow Edge with heath, grassland, woodland and bare ground and ponds: interesting plants and invertebrates: this time with frog tadpoles in one of the ponds, some orchids and moths. An oyster catcher calling! Ended by looking at the geology and industrial heritage.

Gosling Moor – Saturday 11 June 2022

A walk around Gosling Moor, an historic wood pasture, with some ancient and veteran trees, mainly looking at the trees themselves and the invertebrates they supported.

With a person at each corner, we held a sheet under various species of tree and gave a branch a shake.

We counted the species of invertebrates that fell into the sheet.

Oak had most as expected with Rowan not far behind.

Gunthwaite – 18 May 2022

Wednesday 18 May saw our annual evening visit to the Gunthwaite area, walking from Gunthwaite dam to Gunthwaite Hall Farm: ancient paved tracks, field paths, hedgerows, pastures, woodland and an impressive veteran tree.

There were lots of woodland flowering plants alongside the tracks and in the woodlands, although this year the summer migrant birds were missing.

Nabs wood – 9 April 2022

There was a change of plan for our field visit on Saturday 9 April. We went to Nabs Wood near Silkstone Common looking for the first woodland flowers. Nabs Wood is a Woodland Trust site. We were intending to go to Bagger Wood and the nearby Lower Lee Wood, which are Woodland Trust woods as well. However both of these have had recent work done and looked rather bare. As well as the emerging flowers, we looked for invertebrates and fungi

Carlton Marsh Nature Reserve –12 March

On Saturday morning, 12 March, we visited Carlton Marsh Nature Reserve. A mix of reedbed, fen, scrapes, marsh, meadows and wet woodland makes Carlton Marsh a great place to visit, enjoy some birding, and spot signs of Spring!

Cliff Gorman who has been involved with Carlton Marsh over many years joined us and posted this account on the Barnsley Bird Sightings blog:

The Barnsley Naturalist Society visited this morning providing the following:
4 Buzzards in the air together, 5 singing Chiffchaffs, 1 singing Cetti’s warbler, 3 singing Reed Buntings, 1 yaffling Green Woodpecker, 1 Linnet, 1 Greenfinch, a male Grey Wagtail and 6 Common Gulls.

The first flowers of Cowslip were showing in the western Meadow along with Dogs Mercury and White Dead Nettle on the embankment.

4 Smooth Newts and a Froglet from last year were found under an old sleeper and a Lemon Slug was under a rock.

A fresh dead Wood Mouse was another interesting find.

It was really good to see old friends from this group again, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did. Thank you for coming and being so enthusiastic.

Stranglers at Wortley Hall

Saturday 2 October: Wortley Hall parkland and walled garden.

Doug and Barry led us on a visit last Saturday to Wortley Hall for fungi and veteran trees. A good visit made more exciting by Doug’s earlier discovery of a special rare fungus: one that parasitises and grows out of another!

The greyish parasite fungus (the Powdercap Strangler, Squamanta paradoxa) grows out of the much more common yellow host fungus (Earthy Powdercap)