Tuesday, 1 January 2013
YWT Little Beck Wood - 1 January 2013
On to Little Beck Wood near Sleights just off the Whitby Road. This was my first proper use of Discover Yorkshire's Wildlife and the directions were spot on. It is a very steep descent down to Little Beck and the numerous grit bins suggest it is treacherous in snowy or icy conditions. Fortunately, today was a balmy 6 degrees so we had no problems with traction, despite the heavy load of Christmas-food-stuffed passengers and dog!
Despite the glorious sunshine, the wood sits in a valley bottom and so the sun was not reaching us as we ambled up the sloping rocky path. Before the first bend in the path, we enjoyed a small waterfall along the beck. There are Dippers round here - we didn't see or hear any, though it does look good for them. The woods are truly magnificent with some really tall Ash and other trees. Lots of Holly and Cherry in the understorey too, plus a bit of Honeysuckle. Among the plants noticed were Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage and Wood Sorrel, still recognisable in the depths of winter. There were a lot of impressive ferns, a group I am rubbish at identifying - maybe I will learn them this year! I did recognise the large clumps of Hart's Tongue Fern by the entrance however - see the second photo - above. Not sure what this one below is though!
Bird-wise, quite quiet as you would expect at this time of year, but Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Marsh Tit all noted, plus the usual common woodland stuff. At the top of the slope we warmed ourselves in the weak sunlight and had a squidge in the mud. Amazingly, nobody fell over in it, though Willow got filthy. She washed off in the beck by the car though, so was quite happy.
Posted by - at 09:31