News

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It’s amazing how two autumns can be so different!  After the Siberian high pressure weather system and birds of 2016 it was all about Atlantic storms from the west in October 2017.  Despite the shift, there were many wildlife and migration highlights. Rarest sightings include a massive Leatherback Turtle from the south and a Cliff Swallow from North America.  Whilst the surprise invasion of the month prize must go to Hawfinch with one site scoring a massive 68 birds!  Read the full article by Richard Baines from Yorkshire Coast Nature to find out more.

Images clockwise from top left: Vestal by Allan Rodda, Hawfinch by Jo Hood and Redwing by Tim Jones.

The Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union conference was held on Saturday the 8th April 2017 at the University of York on the theme of Yorkshire’s natural history societies – for naturalists, for nature, for the future.  It was attended by 95 members and friends and was a thoroughly enjoyable event!  Our sincere thanks to the speakers, chairs, exhibitors and all the delegates who participated so enthusiastically.  

Presentations (Download Here)

Session 1: For Naturalists

  • Andy Millard, YNU - Introduction 
  • Roger Morris, Hoverfly Recording Scheme - (Keynote Address) A new paradigm for biological recording 
  • Roger Key, YNU - From bug safaris to training workshops: outreach to inspire new generations 
  • Derek Whiteley, Sorby Natural History Society - A survival manual for natural history societies 
  • Wendy English, Whitby Naturalists' Club - Communicating with members and beyond 

Session 2: For Nature

  • Dave Chesmore and Andy Grayson, YNU - Long term monitoring of a habitat creation project 
  • Phillip Whelpdale, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust - In search of conservation evidence 
  • Mark Wills and Clare Langrick, North and East Yorkshire Ecological Data Centre - Monitoring, maps and models: biological records for better local decisions 
  • Helen Kirk, Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum - Inkle Moor: a hidden gem unwarped in time (more information)

Session 3: For the future (quickfire talks!)

  • Richard Baines, Yorkshire Coast Nature (more information)
  • Alice Crosby, Nidderdale AONB - The Wild Watch
  • Nicky Dobson, University of Hull - Capturing our Coast 
  • Sharon Flint, YNU Freshwater Ecology Section - Moth trapping for riverflies 
  • Paula Lightfoot, YNU - Events map on YNU website 
  • Geoff Oxford, YNU - A new photographic field guide to British spiders (more information)
  • Will Watts, Hidden Horizons (more information)

There was a wonderful selection of natural history displays provided by YNU members and affiliated societies.

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The Wild Watch at Nidderdale AONB, an affiliated society of the YNU, have launched an excellent programme of talks for winter 2017-18.  See their flyer below for details and keep an eye on their website for further information.

(13th October 2017)

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September was dominated by westerly airstreams with only one period of easterlies so coveted by birders at this time of year. Despite this, it was a very busy month for wildlife in East and North Yorkshire. Minke whale numbers grew through the month in anticipation of the Herring spawn, whilst scarce and rare birds arrived as diverse as Long-billed Dowitcher from the west and Raddes warbler from the east. The end of the month brought a surge of visible migration with a huge count of birds at Spurn on the 30th.  Read the full article by Richard Baines of Yorkshire Coast Nature for all the details. 

Photos: Minke whale by Richard Baines (top), Convolvulus hawkmoth by Richard Baines (left) and Red-breasted flycatcher by Richard Willison (right)

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For many animals, August is often a classic mix of post-breeding resident species mingling with the first migrants. This year there were many signs that some resident species have had a good year, from good counts of Common Blue butterflies in Northallerton to Swifts passing Spurn.  Migration was also heating up, with some great birds being seen from southern Europe such as Western Bonelli’s Warbler alongside signs of an arrival coinciding with scarce migrant moths.

Read all about it in this month’s blog from Richard Baines of Yorkshire Coast Nature.

 

Pomerine Skua at Staithes by Richard Baines (left) and Scarce Bordered Straw by Allan Rodda (right)