There’s a nice variety of vegetation there and I took some photos of some of it. There’s also nettles, brambles, hawthorn and a wide variety of trees where I could hear, but not see Wren, Blue Tit, Dunnock and Chiffchaff. The first photo above is of a white flower that I need to identify – any suggestions please? Edit: Thanks to the Nature Reserve people for the ID and a correction to the Sea Holly ID.
As you get into the nature reserve there is a noticeboard with a map, a list of species seen at the reserve, various notices and a notice mentioning that due to Covid-19 the rubbing posts had been covered with tape to let people know not to use them. The tape had been taken off three of them and, as requested, I let the people of the Nature Reserve know by way of facebook messenger.
Though it was cool there were still quite a few insects around. Quite a lot of Meadow Brown and Ringlet butterflies, dozens of Common Red Soldier Beetles, Damselflies, Small Skipper, and Grasshoppers. If anyone thinks I have got the ID of something wrong please let me know.
Twice I heard birds flying past on the other side of the river and managed to get sight of a flock of geese flying to a better feeding area in the fields across the river. I was also lucky to quickly get the photo of a small flock of Curlew flying along before the trees got in the way.
Several small brownish birds were flying around between the trees and bushes and I was pleased to see a couple of them stay visible and identifiable for a short while. The female Blackcap looked cute reaching out in my direction for the fruit.
Mallard and Moorhen were on the water.
During my wander around I kept hearing Chiffchaff from the tops of trees and spent a bit of time looking for them. Towards the end of my visit I spent some time near a tree listening. I moved from side to side and tilted my head this way and that to get a better idea of where the “chiff chaff” was coming from. I had a pretty good idea and eventually spotted a silhouette at the top of a tree. I moved out from the cover and took a photo. It wasn’t until I got home and brightened the photo that I found that what I had seen was a Goldfinch. The calling Chiffchaff had still eluded me.
We are seeing more Jet2 planes as we get into Summer. I wonder if we will see them more often than pre Covid times because they need more planes to carry the same number of passengers?
Near the entrance to the reserve is evidence of its commercial history – a weighing platform made by Samuel Denison & Son, Leeds. In the building next to it you can still see the balance arm of the weighing machine. Unfortunately I didn’t have a short focal length lens to get a better composed more focused shot of the platform maker’s mark.
Having had a pleasant time on Baildon Moor on Sunday I tried it again on Monday. This time I didn’t get rained on.
Again there were plenty of Meadow Pipit around. They often feed along the paths. I expect this is to catch the flies that swarm around the horse poo that is often along there.
I could also hear Goldfinch flitting around. In a few weeks time there will be hundreds on the Thistle down. I did manage to spot one on a thistle that has already gone to seed.
I noticed many more butterflies than I did the previous day. I was lucky to spot the Large Skipper but there were several pale brown butterflies flying around each other. It wasn’t until they settled that I was able to identify them as Ringlet and Meadow Brown butterflies.
Often by this time of year I have been on Baildon Moor many times and I would have seen and heard Lapwing and Curlew. On Monday I heard a Curlew a couple of times but it was a very short song. I didn’t hear any Lapwing but I did get a quick glimpse in the distance of one trying to chase off a Red Kite and I also managed to get a rather blurry photo of it. The Red Kite flicked its tail and wings a couple of times and drifted away from the Lapwing.
Well this is the last in the Day in our garden series. It was started at the time of lockdown and was about what I was seeing in our garden during that period. The photos and words in this posting take us up to 4 July 2020. On 5 July 2020 I had a trip out on to Baildon Moor with my camera, and I have already created a blog post for it here, so now it is time to end the Days in our garden series.
New things are still showing themselves in the garden. We have a pink Hydrangea flower on a bush where all other flowers are blue. Strange! The Courgettes in the vegetable plot are sprouting tiny Cougettes and flowers. And in the back garden yet another variety of Clematis is in flower. This one is Purpurea Plena Elegans. It looks like the top soil that was used in the landscaping of the front garden had a few seeds in it from somewhere. I don’t remember seeing these little Wild Violas (see header image and above) in our garden before. They are tiny and need a Macro lens to do them justice. The Buddleia is also coming into bloom. Let’s hope we get plenty of butterflies on it.
I will continue to show things from our garden but they will not be part of this series. Though I have no idea what I will use as a heading/title.
As expected there were a few Meadow Pipits around and this one is flying along with food in its beak showing that young are still being fed. It is still important for dogs to be on leads at this time and it was good to see a family put their dog on a lead as they entered a field heading towards Golcar Farm. Skylark nest in the tufts of grass on the edge of the golf club fairways so it is a good idea to keep dogs on a lead there too.
Flying low along the slopes and along the walls, almost with the Meadow Pipits, were quite a few Swift. Swift are normally quite high in the sky but I guess they go where the insects are. It was very windy and rain was rolling across from the West.
With its lack of a tail, slightly fluffy appearance and spots rather than stripes on its belly I am going to say that this Reed Bunting is a juvenile rather than an adult female, and so evidence of more successful breeding on Baildon Moor.
Soon after this I saw the hills starting to be hidden by rain so I headed back home.
June 30 is Day 99 in this series. There has been a gap in my postings, the one before was for Day 83. There are a few new things for this post but one of the things I have spent a bit of time doing is watching and taking photos of Wood Pigeons, Jackdaws, Crows and Black birds eating the cherries. It will probably be a few days before I do another post for the series.
The header image is of a bunch of cherries that are starting to look tasty. They continued to darken and look softer. That was when we started to get many more birds in the tree. The cherries didn’t last long then.
At one time I counted 6 Jackdaw in the tree helping themselves to Cherries, I would not have been surprised if more were in the tree. Often when something spooked the birds more would fly out than I had seen. The Jackdaws tended to pick off a cherry and then hold it under foot on the branch and peck at it, eating a bit at a time.
We also got Crows in the tree eating cherries. I never actually saw how they ate them. They either flew away or hid themselves so I couldn’t see them.
The real performers though were the adult and juvenile Wood Pigeon. They were greedy. The photos above are of adult Wood Pigeon taking cherries down whole. You can see the bulge in the neck as it goes down into the crop. It took a bit of neck stretching sometimes to get the stalk down.
It was quite amazing to watch the juvenile Wood Pigeon eat the cherries. They are probably a lot lighter than the adults but have their feathers fluffed up more so that they look about the same size as adults. Once they had got a cherry in their beaks the gape would open up behind the cherry and down it would go. Their crop soon became large as they kept forcing more down their throats.
And of course they occasionally got two cherries at a time. Watching the juvenile cope with that was amusing.
I assume it managed to shake it off eventually, or perhaps get hold of it properly to swallow that one too. If nothing else the one in its crop would come off the stalk once it had been in there a while and it would be able to let it go.
The this female Blackbird pecked at a cherry and ate some of it before making an attempt to swallow too much. It didn’t fit. What I did see a female Blackbird drop cherries. I don’t know if it was the same bird but a little later one of them was pecking at the cherries on the ground and collecting juicy bits of cherry in its beak before flying off, probably to feed chicks one or two gardens further up.
New things not posted before in this series are:-
Hydrangea flowers that started of cream and then progressed to blue.
Ribwort Plantain in the grass.
Rambling Rose growing through the Hawthorn and Viburnum and tangling in with the Clematis and Honeysuckle in the back garden.
Runner Beans flowering in the vegetable plot.
Red Pelargonium that was supposed to be pale pink
Calibrachoa that has flowers of different colours on the same plant
Perle d’Azur Clematis that is just opening up.
This section is all things that have been seen before but as they have still been growing I thought it worth showing new photos of them taken over the last day or so.
For Day 83 we have a new plant (weed) for the series but I think we are going to let them grow. The header image is of Tortoiseshell Butterflies. I posted a photo of one of these on Day 1 but it looks as though they are putting in another appearance as they mate.
The flower/weed is, I think, Hawkbit, a member of the Dandelion family; it looks rather nice.
These photos are all things that have been seen many times. The Blackbird is sunning itself. They do this to help spread the oils on their feathers and to help get rid of parasites.
The Dog Rose is teeming with Honey Bees that have their saddlebags full of pollen.
After a long absence we now have had Small Tortoiseshell butterflies back in the garden. This time it was two flying around together, or one chasing the other, and they landed in the front garden for a few seconds.