Nosterfield Quarry NR
Owned and manage d by The Lower Ure Conservation trust
Recorders: Emma Higgs Distance 3052m Altitude 41m Walk Time 40mins
S1 is an old fields system with the usual grassland species and Orange Tip
S2 has by far the highest counts and is partly woodland edge and abounds with Ringlet, Speckled Wood and a few Vanessids particularly Red Admiral and occasional Holy Blue and Orange Tip
S3 we pass between the two lakes with exposed Limestone and good number of Brown Argus Brimstone Comma and even Small Heath and Wall are seen.
S4 also has Brown Argus and Brimstone S% is similar with small counts
S4 is good for grassland species and damp areas favour Green viened white an dringlet
Total counts are somewhat down this year by 24% and we can guess the drought and heat has had quite an affect. Our dryer sites certainly seem more affected thatn woodland or mineral soils. However teh trends show a good degree of similarity with the rest of Yorkshire. In many sites all the whites were down but the Orange tip was pretty universally up as here. Its good to see teh White letter Hairstreak and smal coppers this year whiel they were absent last year. Brown Argus on Rockrose did not have such a good year and the drought seems to be the major factor. In contrast on many sites teh migratory Cranebill form had an exceptional year appearing on many new sites in addition. Great to see Common Blue for the first time. and Holly Blue as with universally all sites had a boom year although the summer generation was somewhat lower.
The vanessids had a universally poor year apart from Comma that bounced back to have one of its best ever years. We think that poor nettle quality in teh heat and drought caused them not to produce a second summer gneration and opt to go straight into hibernation. Comma in contrast prefering shady nettles had a huge summer generation and then a smaller second generation.
Amongst the browns Meadow brown was up as on many sites but teh more damp loving Ringlet on thsi site was quiet a bit down.
Its great to have such a good start with Brown Argus recorded in large numbers on a lowland site which is almost unheard of so the Rockrose has established well and this species is using it in preference to Cranesbills which the migratory form of Brown Argus much prefers. Its also great to see both Wall and Small Heath; both species are making a bit of a come back with Small Heath in particlar booming in teh last few years and Wall appearing in low numbers in many more locations in lowland north of York.