It’s almost exactly 70 years since the Yorkshire Naturalist’s Union held one of their annual excursions in Ainderby. The report on what they saw is a fascinating document on how things have changed in the parish. In part to mark this ‘anniversary’ the Botanical Society of the British Isles held a field meeting in the village today. We started in the Magic Garden and heading down to unlock the gate I saw my first Ringlet of the year along with three or four Speckled Woods.
In the garden a Little Grebe was sitting on eggs and at least one Reed Warbler was still singing away.
We later walked over to the ‘rich ditch’ and I flushed a Green Sandpiper from the residual flood pools in this field. This was a new species for the year and my first ever June sighting. Was it a very late migrant or an early returning non-breeder? I also had two ‘hawkers’ here, a large unidentified dragonfly and a Hurricane from the Battle of Britain flight en route from Leeming.
The plant list was good and we re-found a number of the species mentioned in the 1946 report albeit in isolated pockets. Pick of the sightings though was this Opposite Leaved Pondweed (Groenlandia densa)…
This was mentioned as being seen in Ainderby in a Victorian flora so it was very gratifying to find it still clinging on. Linda Robinson is the botanical recorder for Vice-county 65 (North-west Yorkshire) and this was the first one she had ever seen in her recording area.