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by Gill Smith

2006 was a strange year, with a wet spring, a heatwave followed by an August monsoon and a very long, warm autumn. This may be part of the local expression of global warming, and it will be interesting to see how it affects Ryedale’s wildlife in future years. The various Recorders’ reports touch on this, with records of mammals in particular being down.

This issue carries reports of the year’s excursions which varied from a very early morning trip to Kirkdale to hear the dawn chorus, through more conventional field trips to a day’s outing to Spurn Point. One innovation was a “workshop” on plant identification – we may run further workshops in 2007 if members wish.

There are also three very interesting papers on invaders: the very attractive Camberwell Beauty butterfly which turned up in Slingsby; a small daisy-like flower native to New Zealand that was found growing on Rudland Rigg; and the Asian-American Harlequin ladybirds that are approaching from the south. You are urged to report any sightings of these colourful but potentially harmful insects to Don Smith. Don would also like to hear of sightings of yellow centipedes.

I am delighted to report that we received more reports from members this year, and I encourage everybody to submit records and observations. As I said last year these do not have to be of rare or unusual species: information on all our plants and animals, lichens and fungi, their habitats and behaviour is welcome. What is commonplace now may not be so in the future and it is interesting and valuable to have up to date observations. Please send your records either to the relevant Recorder or to the Editor.


February 2007

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Cover photo of Camberwell Beauty © Bob Polley 2006

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