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We welcome you to come spot animals with us! This copy is all about wildlife that lives in and around the water. This includes creatures that live around rivers, streams, reservoirs, canals, ponds, and lakes. How the book works. The book features a series of animals which can be found throughout Yorkshire, with the most common animals at the beginning, running through to the most uncommon. Will you be able to spot them all? To help with your search, there are selections of wildlife reserves in the area where many of the creatures can be spotted. So you can keep track of what you have seen, there are also pages for you to fill in the places you have been and the

animals you have spotted. If you are lucky enough to spot a creature that is not in this book, use the pages in the back to draw it!

If you see this icon it not okay to approach the animal. If it does not, please do not get too close to the creature because you might disturb its home or its babies. Remember to be respectful of the water and the animals that live in and around it. Good luck spotting! Common Uncommon Rare

and

happy


Best places and walks for water wildlife spotting (Yorkshire) 1. Woodhall Park, Calverley, Leeds

11. Goit stock Waterfall, Cullingworth

2. Kirkstall Abbey 3. Fewston, Swinsty reservoir 4. Fairburn Ings 5. Fountains Abbey

11b. Hewenden Reservoir, near Cullingworth 12. River Ure, Ripon, and Newby Hall 13. North Stainley pond, near Ripon

6. Dobb Park Bridge, Washburn Valley, near Otley

14. Lumley Moor reservoir near Ripon

7. Lindley Reservoir

15. Hackfall Woods, Grewelthorpe

8. Ilkey Tarn

16. Errwood Reservoir, Goyt Valley, near Buxton

9. Five Rise Locks, Bingley, canal 10. Harewood

17. Stocks Reservoir, near Settle


Mallard (Duck) The resilient ducks can make their home in any wetland habitat, including drainage dykes or fast-flowing rivers. This is largely due to the mallard’s uncanny ability to adapt to almost any diet. Plants, berries, insects, shellfish, even potatoes are all fair game for this bird.


Canada Goose They can be seen throughout the UK and at all times of the year. Canada geese love water so lakes, reservoirs, canals and rivers are great places to spot them, as well as parks. They have been renamed the cackling goose.


Mute Swan These birds can be found year-round on most of our lakes, slow-moving rivers and canals, both in open country and in busier towns and cities. Mute swans display little fear of humans in Britain where they have long been domesticated.


Frog Outside of the breeding season, frogs spend most of their time on land. They can be spotted among tall plants in meadows and woodland. On warm, damp evenings, they come out to hunt insects, which they catch with their long sticky tongues.

In the spring, frogs become aquatic. They breed in any area of still, shallow water, including puddles, ponds, streams, lakes and canals.


Coot They show a preference for shallow, still or slow-moving water, including reservoirs, canals, rivers, ponds and lakes. Passers-by can easily tell the coot from other water birds by way of its distinctive black feathers, white bill and white ‘frontal shield’.


Heron They typically breed in woodland areas that are close to the water and can be spotted around lakes, ponds, rivers and even coastal marshes. Herons are adaptable birds and will feed in any water be it fresh, salt, clear or muddy. Herons can stand for several minutes with their necks tensed, waiting for an unsuspecting fish to swim into reach, then dart down and spear the prey with a long dagger-like bill.


Kingfisher The native kingfisher makes its home in dense cover near slow-flowing fresh water such as canals, lakes and rivers in lowland areas. It will perch patiently, on the look out for any tell-tale fish movements in the water below.

When it spots a fish, the kingfisher dives, bill-first, into the water. With eyes closed and beak half-open, the kingfisher seizes the slippery prey and carries it back to his perch.


Water Vole They prefer lowland areas and spend most of their time within two metres of their burrows and tend to occur in rural areas rich in dense vegetation.

Water voles burrow into canal or riverside banks to form a complicated system of underground tunnels.


Slow-flowing, deep water such as canals, lakes and streams suit the voles.


Grass Snake The grey/green grass snake is a placid, sun-loving creature that enjoys basking on grassy banks on warm summer days. If frightened, the grass snake will either turn and run or ‘play dead’, an impressive performance that can involve the snake writhing onto its back and lolling its tongue out of its mouth.


Hazel Dormouse They hibernate for six months of the year, or sometimes even longer if the weather remains cool. Their name comes from dormeus, which means sleepy.

The dormouse will often take refuge in the hedgerows alongside canals where there are a large number of berries, insects and space to travel.


White Claw Crayfish Crayfish are more abundand over limestone areas inhabiting rivers, streams, canals and lakes. Tree roots, rocks in the banks provide shelter. Juveniles shelter in vegetation such as watercress and river grasses.


Eurasian Otter Happily the UK population is showing healthy signs of growth after its sad decline in the 1950s. Lakes, rivers and rocky or coastal areas are the otters’ natural habitats, and they can also be spotted hunting their prey in quiet stretches of the canals.


Otter territories are vast, covering up to 25 miles (40km) of watercourses and dense vegetation or wooded areas, which they use for resting purposes and for breeding holts. However, otters are timid and not often observed by humans.


Bumblebee Our waterway network, with is hedges, grassland and scrub can provide excellent foraging habitat for a whole range of nectar-feeding insects, including bumblebees. It is essential that we retain wild flowers along our networks.


Butterflies many different and vibrant butterflies that feed along the edges of our towpaths.


Dragonflies During the breeding season they stay close to waterways such as canals, rivers and ponds. The reed fringes of many of our canals and rivers provide excellent breeding sites and hunting grounds for dragonflies


Damselfly Damselflies are delicate and very thin and fold their wings back over their bodies at rest. You can sometimes spot clouds of them flitting over the water surface and amongst reeds on sunny days. They feed mainly on mosquitoes, midges and larger insects.


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