Naturalists’ report

SCARBOROUGH Field Naturalists Society held the first of its meetings at a new venue – the University of Hull Scarborough Campus.

And it would appear that the recent spell of good weather had attracted species which are normally associated with warmer climates.

Ian Glaves, the group secretary, said that visible bird migration had been observed from the Long Nab Coastguard hut, Burniston, flocks of Meadow Pipits, Redpoll, Siskin and Goldfinch passing south.

He added: “A female Red-crested Pochard, normally a Mediterranean species, possibly an escape from a collection, was present at Seamer Road Mere.”

John Hume said there was an abundance of Ladybirds and Mick Carroll said he had seen large numbers of Crossbills in the local forests which indicated there had been a successful breeding season.

John Harwood said that it had been a poor year so far for Dragonflies but Richard Atterby added that Brimstone butterflies were very common this year.

The speaker for the evening was Richard Atterby, who gave an illustrated talk on the Hobby on the North York Moors where he described the field and flight characteristics in detail.

He said that descriptions in books were often inaccurate and the European Hobby had a range as far eastwards as the Kamchatka Peninsula, and northwards to the Arctic Circle.

Mr Glaves said: “They returned from their wintering grounds in south-central Africa in May, timed for the insect and young swallow and martin food items to be at their most abundant.

“The birds had been successful breeders over the last 20 years, spreading northward, with about 200 pairs in Yorkshire. Marshy areas at dusk offered the best chance of a sighting.

l For further information visit www.scarboroughfieldnats.co.uk for details future meetings and recent sightings.