Stanley Ferry Flash

The same view of Stanley Ferry Flash, near Wakefield, taken by Richard Brook on Sunday, 9 September, 1973 (above), and on Friday, 24 January, 1986 (below). The colliery spoil heap in the background, from one of the Stanley Collieries, perhaps Stanley Deep Drop, has grown, or at least been reshaped in the intervening years. Part of […]

Swan Feeding at Fairburn Ings, 1966

One of the pleasures of archiving Richard Brook’s slides of West Yorkshire wildlife habitats of half a century ago is being reminded of familiar places from my earliest birdwatching expeditions. Already in 1966, Fairburn Ings was establishing a reputation for itself as a nature reserve. At that time, if I remember rightly, it was managed by […]

Leventhorpe Lagoon 1973

I’ve been making a start on archiving a collection of colour slides taken by Richard Brook (1943-2017), for many years the Conservation Officer of the Wakefield Naturalists’ Society. He photographed the East Ash Lagoon at Leventhorpe from the lagoon’s northwest corner on Sunday, 2 September, 1973. Pulverised fly ash was pumped from power stations into lagoons […]

Banded Demoiselle

A pair mute swans on the canal have reared four cygnets; we’re told that they started with five, but rearing four out of five is pretty good going. As they sit together on the bank preening, they’re all making elegant swan-neck movements, like the warm-up for a ballet rehearsal; the two principle dancers flanking the corps de […]

Askham Bog

11 a.m.: Orange tips and green veined white butterflies are attracted to the flowers of jack-by-the-hedge which grows in swathes along the edge of the swampy woodland at Askham Bog Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve, southwest of York. Its white flowers have also attracted a longhorn moth Adela reaumurella, a metallic green micro moth, less than a centimetre in […]