I have now put together some photos that I took on 10, 11 & 12 June 2018. As usual the photos themselves are on Flickr and by clicking on any of the images (other than the header/featured image and the Coat of Arms – which will take you to an article on Baildon Wiki) will take you to the photo on Flickr within the album. Alternatively if you are only interested in the photos within the albums you can go straight to Flickr – use this link for the full album or this link for just the Baildon Moor photos.
Several nest boxes in local gardens have been in use this Spring. One of ours had Great Tits nesting in it. This is one of the adults looking quite good considering how hard it has been working.
And this is one of the noisy juveniles it has been feeding.
The two photos above were taken on 10 June in our garden. The rest of the photos, with the exception of the two following, were taken on 11th & 12th on Baildon Moor……
The notice about lambs and ground nesting birds is still near the car park.
Skylark, a ground nesting bird, and sheep were obviously important enough to Baildon for them to feature in the Coat of Arms that the Urban District Council petitioned for in 1952. Baildon Moor is now important to Skylark. Changes in farming practice have significantly reduced the availability of areas where Skylark can nest and so moorland areas are increasingly important to them. In their preferred habitat of farmland, skylarks declined by 75% between 1972 and 1996. Read more on the RSPB Skylark threats page here. For several reasons the farmers with grazing rights on Baildon Moor no longer exercise those rights
This dog? Is it sniffing out where other dogs have been, or is it sniffing out the nesting places of Skylark? It’s probably not getting the scent of Meadow Pipit, they tend to nest a little further into the long grass.
I have not spent much time this year looking for butterflies or moths. I remember going on a Green Hairstreak hunt back in 2013 with several others on Baildon Moor; I have not seen one this year. This Small Heath butterfly kept flitting along the path in front of me then settling before I caught up with it again.
Oystercatcher can often be seen or heard on Baildon Moor. This one was digging on the fairway of the 3rd hole. I have recently seen one of them chasing off a Redkite which suggests that there is an Oystercatcher nest nearby.
Slightly further North on Baildon Moor, where there are a few wetter patches were several Nothern Marsh Ordhids….
and Common Spotted Orchids. If I get any of these names wrong, or bird IDs, please let me know.
Several of the huts on the edge of Baildon Moor have bird feeding stations. This Reed Bunting was on the fat balls of the hut to the West.
Brown Hare are normally out in the early morning/evening. This was just before 9:00 in the evening. It looks as though the grass it will have been hiding in has now been cut. It will now have to make or find another “form” for it to nestle into.
This Snipe was first heard before I managed to spot it on the post. This was around mid-day on 12th June. I am still hoping to get a decent photo of a Snipe thrumming with its tail feathers as it dives through the air.
The same field has sheep and lambs wandering around eating the grass. Somehow the Curlew, Snipe, Redshank and Lapwing manage to keep the hooves off their eggs and young. Though Springwatch has shown some interesting video of sheep eating eggs.
I’m going to stick my neck out a bit and say that this is a Small Skipper. But I have now heard from the Yorkshire branch of Butterfly Conservation who say it is a Large Skipper. The reason I was not sure was that I thought they had more of a point to the outer corner of their fore-wings. Everything else is typical of a male Small Skipper.
This photo above, according to an on-line search, is quite definitely one of a Red & Black Froghopper. Up until this point I thought Froghoppers were the small jumping insects, usually pale brown to green that came out of cuckoo spit. They are, but I didn’t know that the same family had ones this big.
Heading back to Bingley Road along what I think is the 13th fairway a couple of Curlew seemed to be getting a bit agitated.
One of them certainly looked as though it was not best pleased with me.
One or other of them would launch into the air and fly around me or the people on the 14th tee before settling in the long grass again.
After one of these times one settled in some lighter grass not too far from the 14th tee and then I was gob smacked to see a dog launch itself from yards behind its owner, race past her and into the patch of grass. When it got there two birds flew up into the air, one of them the adult Curlew.
The two adults then looked even more agitated with continuous circuits and constant calling.
By this time I was in one of the lay-byes on Bingley Road and several minutes later I just happened to look up the road to see this Curlew chick try to cross the road, South to North, it got part way across before cars started coming down the road and it ran back into cover. A few minutes later I saw it try again, 50 yards further up the road. This time it slipped across in front of a cyclist, cars still coming the other way. This is obviously the one that was scattered by the dog.
Soon after the chick crossed the road the fuss from the adults seemed to calm down. A minute or two later I saw what could have been the chick slip behind a clump of grass that was next to a shallow drainage ditch. This was quite close to the adult shown above, near to the 14th fairway. The chick would have been able to walk along the ditch and stay out of sight.
It is possible to take a dog for a walk on Baildon Moor with it on a lead.
This dog looks as though it is on the path, which is good. The area down there is where I would expect there to be Meadow Pipit nests and even Snipe though they will be better hidden than Skylark, so by sticking to the paths the birds should be ok. Adults and juveniles might get disturbed as they look for insects along the paths but they are quite capable of getting out of the way then. Grasshopper Warbler have also been seen and heard in the Brambles down near those walls but I think there main predator would be the Weasels or Stoats – both of which I have seen on Baildon Moor. Back in 2011 I saw an Albino Stoat with 3 youngsters of normal colouring.
This was the first time I have ever seen a Curlew chick and I wish it had not been in these circumstances, but it looks as though it got to safety.