Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Local Nature Reserve

On Wednesday I went for a pollution free drive in our new Zoe and took my camera with me. I stopped off at Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Local Nature Reserve for the first time and had a quiet walk around.

Click for higher resolution images.

There’s a nice variety of vegetation there and I took some photos of some of it. There’s also nettles, brambles, hawthorn and a wide variety of trees where I could hear, but not see Wren, Blue Tit, Dunnock and Chiffchaff. The first photo above is of a white flower that I need to identify – any suggestions please? Edit: Thanks to the Nature Reserve people for the ID and a correction to the Sea Holly ID.

As you get into the nature reserve there is a noticeboard with a map, a list of species seen at the reserve, various notices and a notice mentioning that due to Covid-19 the rubbing posts had been covered with tape to let people know not to use them. The tape had been taken off three of them and, as requested, I let the people of the Nature Reserve know by way of facebook messenger.

Though it was cool there were still quite a few insects around. Quite a lot of Meadow Brown and Ringlet butterflies, dozens of Common Red Soldier Beetles, Damselflies, Small Skipper, and Grasshoppers. If anyone thinks I have got the ID of something wrong please let me know.

Twice I heard birds flying past on the other side of the river and managed to get sight of a flock of geese flying to a better feeding area in the fields across the river. I was also lucky to quickly get the photo of a small flock of Curlew flying along before the trees got in the way.

Several small brownish birds were flying around between the trees and bushes and I was pleased to see a couple of them stay visible and identifiable for a short while. The female Blackcap looked cute reaching out in my direction for the fruit.

Mallard and Moorhen were on the water.

During my wander around I kept hearing Chiffchaff from the tops of trees and spent a bit of time looking for them. Towards the end of my visit I spent some time near a tree listening. I moved from side to side and tilted my head this way and that to get a better idea of where the “chiff chaff” was coming from. I had a pretty good idea and eventually spotted a silhouette at the top of a tree. I moved out from the cover and took a photo. It wasn’t until I got home and brightened the photo that I found that what I had seen was a Goldfinch. The calling Chiffchaff had still eluded me.

We are seeing more Jet2 planes as we get into Summer. I wonder if we will see them more often than pre Covid times because they need more planes to carry the same number of passengers?

Near the entrance to the reserve is evidence of its commercial history – a weighing platform made by Samuel Denison & Son, Leeds. In the building next to it you can still see the balance arm of the weighing machine. Unfortunately I didn’t have a short focal length lens to get a better composed more focused shot of the platform maker’s mark.

3 Replies to “Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Local Nature Reserve”

  1. Some very good photos there. I like that reserve – usually very quiet. I must have driven past 100’s of times before I discovered it was there.

    1. Thanks. I will be calling there again soon. I have also put Sun Lane, Burley in Wharfedale on my list of local places to have a wander around.

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