WOLD RANGER RAILWAYS - Railway photography around Yorkshire and the UK

Monday, 3 February 2014

A day to enjoy the sunshine

The attractive red stems of a Dogwood
Yesterday was one of those beautiful late winter days which almost make you think that spring has arrived early, with the strengthening sun making it feel much warmer than the thermometer suggested, especially so in any sheltered suntraps like a walled garden or on the leeward side of a wood. The sunshine also brought out a few insects which crawled or buzzed about the wall top Ivy and part of me even half expected to see my first butterfly of the year but alas it was not to be. I even put the moth trap out last night in hope of attracting something but unsurprisingly come morning nothing was to be found apart from empty egg-boxes and the odd gnat or two.

Kilnwick Percy Hall

The man-made lake

The parkland of this former country estate

In the favoured locations of Wold Garth the Winter Aconites and the Snowdrops are now showing well, particularly the Aconites, while the odd Crocus is also beginning to join them, all welcome signs that nature is beginning to stir as the sun climbs higher in the sky day by day. Birds are also responding to the lengthening days with a few heard singing away this morning, including Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Dunnocks.

Scarlet Elf-cups along the woodland path

King Alfred's Cakes ?

Velvet Shanks ?

What with the lovely weather we decided to have a gentle stroll around the grounds of Kilnwick Percy Hall in the morning, a Grade 2* listed building sitting within 50 acres of grounds which is currently home to the Madhyamaka Kadampa Meditation Centre. My eldest sister and my eldest niece joined us and we spent a pleasant few hours doing a tour of the grounds, walking around the large lake and through the mixed woodland. Apart from a few Reed Buntings and loads of Long-tailed Tits very little was around the lake, but the woods brought some better sightings with Jay, Marsh Tit, and even a calling Nuthatch (Y84), a very rare sound in most of East Yorkshire. The wood is also a good place to look for fungi though my woeful fungi knowledge means I am useless at identifying them apart from obvious ones like Scarlet Elf-cups or Candle Snuff Fungus.

Reeds beside the lake

Elder beginning to leaf

A clump of Snowdrops at Kilnwick Percy

Snowdrops at Wold Garth