The temptation of the ring-necked duck at Tophill was too much for me, and the bizarre allure of a hybrid scaup x tufted duck was too much for James. So we headed out for a cloudy day. Before venturing forth to squint at distant ducks we decided to make a visit to a patch of a fellow leaguer. So we stumbled around Driffield’s Keld Pond for a couple of hours and helped her tot up some new species, the highlight of which was a calling willow tit. I also identified some lichens while James’ mentioned how he doesn’t trust me when I identify lichens. I don’t trust myself either but chicks dig lichenologists.

At Tophill we headed straight for D-res. Realistically there isn’t much to be said about it that hasn’t been said before. So google it and see pictures and more spirited descriptions.


After finding out only the day before, I scrambled to make plans to attend an event being held the East Yorkshire Bat Group near Market Weighton. Luckily, Senor James was available to escort me across the county.

After meekly standing by a group of people in hard hats we mustered the courage to enquire if they were the bat people (I believed this involved us shuffling up and just saying “Bats?”). Whilst we waited for things to kick off we say some resplendent red kites knocking about, being massive and awesome.

I think it’s far to say we were rather giddy at the prospect of seeing bats close up. We weren’t disappointed. After half an hour of us randomly poking corners with torch light we heard through the clammy grapevine that one had been found. It was a myotis species, either brandt’s or whiskered.  While a shame it wasn’t identified to full species level it was more than enough to see any small mammal so close and for such a prolonged period of time.

Equally delightful was the spiders. Big chunky bastards at that. While we discussed what they could be a gentleman (whose name I didn’t catch) informed was that they were Meta menardi, the cave orbweaver. He knew this as he had introduced the spider into the cellars. Which was pleasing as its not often one gets to meet the person who introduces a species to an area while with the species in question. Apparently they are the only Meta menardi in East Yorkshire. They are also the size of an angry chestnut.

Meta menardi

The Herald