Cronkley Fell – Sunday 3rd June 2018

Twelve of us met ready to walk, we travelled to Hangingshaw car park above High Force. The weather was cloudy and looking across to Cronkley Fell it was shrouded in thick cloud, nevertheless we set off and walked down to Cronkley Bridge.

The fields were covered with yellow Buttercups and Marsh Marigolds, as we crossed Cronkley Bridge we could see Lapwings swelling above us along with Curlews, Snipe, a Redshank and Black Headed Gulls. We walked up to Cronkley Farm passing two beautiful meadows either side of the footpath. On reaching Cronkley Farm we noticed that the mist had cleared from the top of Cronkley Fell and the day was brightening up. We followed the Pennine Way a little further being treated to the view of beautiful wild Pansies by the path. We soon left the Pennine Way and cut across to the path that led up from Holwick we then walked up the Green Trod to the top of Cronkley Fell making our way across to the trig point, where we had our lunch near a small tarn, here we were entertained by lots of Black-headed Gulls looking after their small chicks.

After lunch we made our way back to the main path, we had some wonderful sightings of Golden Plover and Spring Sandwort in amongst the Sugar Limestone, we also saw Birds Eye Primrose, Hoary Rockrose, Butterwort and lots more. We retraced our steps all the way back to the cars. On the way back the day was much brighter and the fields were a blaze of yellow and looked quite magnificent. On our homeward journey we stopped at Bowlees for refreshments and enjoyed the ‘William Smith’ Exhibition, William Smith being the father of Geology.

A good day was enjoyed by all.

Derek Risbey

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Outing to Low Barns
26th May 2018
Leader D.I.Griss.
11 members gathered at Low Barns on a warm sunny day for a quiet informal wander around the reserve. There was plenty to see with flowers out and plenty of insects showing. We called in at all of the hides and although the lake seemed fairly bare were able to see Mute Swan ( on nest), Canada Geese (with young) Mallard (with young), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Reed Warbler, Reed Bunting and Heron. Away from the hides Blackcap, Garden warbler, Chiffchaff, and Willow Warbler were all singing. We saw Small White, Orangetip and Peacock Butterflies. Three species of damselfly (Large Red, Azure and Blue-tailed) were seen as well as Bee fly Black and red Froghopper, Small Magpie Moth, a Scorpion Fly, Carder Bee and Zebra Spider. However there were several comments on the absence of Bees which seems to have been common to other sites this year. A list of 61 flowers and flowering bushes was made including Burnet Rose, Sweet Cicely and an early Orchid.
Lunch was taken in one of the hides and by the time we had visited the Northumbrian Water Hide and examined the Damsel flies there and sauntered on we arrived back at the visitor centre at c15.00hrs. After light refreshment it was time to leave for home, having enjoyed a pleasant and interesting day.

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Report on the visit to Bolton on Swale gravel Pits
22nd May 2018
Leader D.I.Griss.

After some reorganisation caused by road closures 16 members gathered at the start of the lane at Bolton. It was a dull but dry evening cool enough to discourage any insect life.
The first thing to gain our attention was an Avocet feeding on the rain water pool on the first field. This was the first time the leader had seen this species at this site. A bit further along the lane while looking at the smaller of the pools the secretary spotted that a swan sitting in the field was a Whooper Swan a late date for this species. We’ll make a twitcher out of Steve yet! The main party went on to the hide and then walked down to the new screen. Not many ducks were in evidence, some Tufted duck, a few Mallard, 2 Wigeon and a Shelduck compared to what would be present in winter. however the signs of summer were the number of geese, Canada and Gre-lag, leading young and the wheeling mass of Sand Martins, House Martin Swallows and Swifts over the lake. Also present were about a dozen Cormorants which appeared to be breeding here for the first time (? 1 nest). Some time was spent trying to see a singing Reed Warbler but was not wasted as a Reed Bunting appeared.
Jill managed to find 11 galls, 4 snails (Kentish, Garden, Brown lipped, and White lipped) and a Yellow -tailed Moth caterpillar.
Fall managed to find 95 species of plant and we were only there for 2 hours.
The group seem to have enjoyed the evening out even if the weather continues to be unspringlike.
D.I. Griss.

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Field Club trip to the Lake District Sunday 3rd June 2018

Twenty two members and two guests from Cleveland Naturalists went on the coach trip to see the Ospreys at Bassenthwaite Lake. It was a warm day with fair visibility and we arrived at our first stop, Dodd Wood, at 10.30 am. We walked uphill to the first viewpoint where there were a number of telescopes set up and some very knowledgeably and friendly volunteers.
It has been an interesting few months at the site as the female osprey KL has not arrived yet and her mate of the last few years Unring has anxiously waiting for her. Longstreak, a younger female who turned up a number of weeks after him has shown some interest but this has not been reciprocated. Although sadly the window of opportunity for any successful mating has now passed it is hoped that next year if KL does nor arrive Unring will be more accustomed and amenable to Longstreak if she returns. We did have a very good sighting of Unring on his nesting platform as well as a pair of Siskins on the feeders.

We then went on to Whinlatter Visitor Centre for lunch at Siskins cafe followed by an excellent talk by one of the RSPB volunteers. She explained the history of the ospreys at Bassenthwaite and showed us video clips and photographs. Unring and KL produced 3 healthy chicks last year which flew off in August on their migration. They have discovered from satellite tracking that migration patterns can vary from bird to bird and from year to year.
Some of the group then went for another uphill walk through England’s only true mountain forest at Whinlatter whilst it was suspected that others indulged in yet more delicious cake or went on the Go-Ape tree top zip wire! The botanists had a great day out with finds including Borrer’s Fern and Thyme-leaved Speedwell.

We returned home about 5.30 pm all agreeing that we would like to come back next year it had been such a good trip.

Lynne Heslop.

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Field Club visit to Whorlton Village Sunday April 22nd Grid ref. NZ106148

13 members and 2 guests from Cleveland Naturalists’ attended the first field trip of the year on a walk through woodland and beside the River Tees.

It had been a cool rather cloudy morning but the weather gradually improved and by 3.00 pm there was intermittent sunshine.

We started from the village green going down a farm track eastward. On the way we saw a bank of Primroses with a few Cowslips and a clump of False Oxlips. We have notices these plants in this site on previous visits.

We crossed the beck and soon turned on to the path along the top of the wood that finally drops down to the river. The woodland was carpeted with Wood Anemones. A few Bluebells were in bloom and we also saw Red Campion and Cow Parsley in flower. Wych Elm and Ash trees were flowering.

We reached the river bank. Here the river flows over slabs of limestone and is most attractive. On the bank there were Violets. There was discussion about which species were present. Greater Woodrush was abundant. There were shoots of Martigan lilies. Spurge Laurel was in bloom. The beech trees here are magnificent.

We climbed up to the churchyard where we saw a large patch of White Violets. Near the green we saw the tiny red Geranium known as Shining Cranesbill.
90 species of flowering plant were identified including some grasses and 4 species of Dandelion

Birds were singing in the woodland. 21 species were recorded as being seen or heard. They included Greater Spotted Woodpecker,Tree Creeper and Chiff Chaff.

Jo Scott from Cleveland recorded 11 common Lichens.

We finally had tea outside the pub sitting in sunshine

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