Nocturne, Noctule, Noctuid

Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Saturday 31st July 1999

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mites I PICK UP A STONE from the herb bed. On the underside is a patch of about a hundred shiny black pin-heads. I wonder if they are eggs, but then notice that a few of them are scurrying about. They are mites, huddling together in a group.

waspgreen woodpecker We've been eating out for months, but this evening our first wasp arrives, followed by another. They are attracted to the wine and orange juice. We hear a high-pitched repeated cry from the wood, then see a Green Woodpecker fly at tree-top level up the valley.

the meadow in the 1920s The meadow by the stream at the entrance to the woods was saved from a road, bridge and house building scheme three weeks ago, after a year of uncertainty about its fate, after numerous letters and meetings of anxious locals. Councillors on the planning committee voted against the scheme by a big majority. This week the developer put in his new application to build on the meadow.

evening After a hot day we walk out at dusk. As the light fades the colour drains from the landscape and senses other than sight seem to be heightened. There's a fresh warm smell of hay after the harvesting, the tarmac of the lane radiates warmth, while cooler air rolls down the slope. We hear the plop of a frog jumping into the canal.

noctule bats Two Noctule bats fly and dive above a meadow.

yellow underwing moth As I type, a Large Yellow Underwing, a Noctuid moth, flies in the studio window and circles the light.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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