Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Sunday 30th May 1999

ducklings WE SEE two Mallard ducks, each leading a flotilla of at least eight ducklings on the larger marsh and there's another family on the smaller pool.

yellowhammer A Yellowhammer sings from a telegraph wire over a territory of trees, bushes and rough field edges by the canal. This has been a Yellowhammer territory for as many summers as we've been walking the lane.

bittersweet Bittersweet, or Woody Nightshade has just come into flower, the plant clambers amongst tall wayside plants and has purple flowers with yellow anthers (pollen bearing part of the flower), which remind me of potato or tomato flowers. All three plants are in the same family, the Solanaceae.

Water Figwort, a larger relative of the Common Figwort we saw the other day, looks impressive with its stouter, square, flanged, purple washed stalks and its purple flowers.

The garden Robins are feeding their fledglings. Lacking tails, the youngsters have a rapid but rather uncontrolled flight, like the 'buzz-bomb' flight of a Puffin.

wall barley brome Wall Barley is now a feature of waysides. Brome, an attractive oat-like grass with a pendulous head grows in less trampled verges.

Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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