Monday, 16 June 2014

A meadow in the heart of Hull

I had intended to visit this site in the summer for a while, and, although the weather wasn't brilliant for butterflies and bees, I still paid a short visit today, staying until the dew had seeped up half way to my trousers and the water inside my shoes made little waves inside them.
 Just as I was leaving the foot path tunnel from Argyle street, a pair of Kestrels hovering near each other greeted me. The Kestrels continued hunting during my visit, moving onto different areas of the site. The site is limited by a triangle of railway lines, with the KC stadium to the west, Hymers College to the north and the Infirmary car part to the south side. Despite the area appearing encroached by railway lines, it raises a couple of meters over the landscape around it, offering great views of city features (above). Although there are a few scattered trees, a hedgerow on the south side, and a very small ditch with a few reeds, most of the site is a meadow, crisscrossed with paths.
 There were many flowers in full bloom, Field Scabious, Meadow Vetch, Clovers, Brambles and Knapweed, but worryingly, all the perimeter of the site and a few patches inside are walled by imposing Giant Hogweeds and there is also a patch of Japanese Knotweed to the west side. There were some Purple Comfrey patches on the south of the site, which also had Hedge Woundwort, and some non-native Iris sp.
 The tell-tale short grass with clear ground in a circle, hoof prints and dung showed that at least occasionally horses are tethered and graze on the site.
 Bird wise, there were a pair of crows, with a recently fledged young that kept begging. One of them had caught a bird, and was feeding on the grass, quite oblivious to my presence. Later the young crow begged from a tree, and an adult flew down and fed him. Lesser Black-backed gulls searched the site from the air. At least three singing Whitethroats were present, a pair becoming quite agitated as I approached a patch of brambles and giant hogweed. On one of the few hard surfaces, a partly buried stone, there laid evidence of it being a Song Thrush anvil, with Brown-lipped and Garden snail shell fragments about. I watched a Song Thrush with food in the bill, and heard a singing male. A male Linnet sung from the railway fence.
 I heard squeaking noises and movement on the grass probably from a rodent, and the presence of Kestrels suggests that the site must have a thriving rodent population. Rabbit droppings are plentiful.
Female Kestrel
Entrance to the site from Argyle street
Giant Hogweed in bloom
Field Scabious
 Tufted vetch
Common Knapweed
 Dead Hoverfly killed by entomophagous fungus.
Alarmed Whitethroat on Giant Hogweed
 A view of the site looking towards Anlaby road
Kestrel hovering, with the Royal Infirmary as background
Song thrush anvil and rabbit droppings
Male Linnet on railway line
 Iris sp.
Iris sp.
Roe deer bed?
Begging Carrion Crow fledgling
The fledgling being fed by an adult

Location map
Some parking available on Londesborough and Kimberley street, by the entrance signalled KC Stadium.

Bird list
  1. Blackbird
  2. Carrion Crow
  3. Chaffinch
  4. Collared Dove
  5. Dunnock
  6. Goldfinch
  7. Greenfinch
  8. Kestrel
  9. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  10. Linnet
  11. Song thrush
  12. Starling
  13. Swift
  14. Whitethroat
  15. Woodpigeon
  16. Wren

Post a Comment