Photos from 10, 11 & 12 June 2018 (Garden & Baildon Moor)

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.

Great Tit, Garden

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.

Juvenile Great Tit, Garden

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……

Nesting Bird sign

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


Dog trying to sniff out something

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.

Small Heath Butterfly (Coenonympha pamphilus)

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

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.

Northern Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza purpurella)

Slightly further North on Baildon Moor, where there are a few wetter patches were several Nothern Marsh Ordhids….

Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

and Common Spotted Orchids. If I get any of these names wrong, or bird IDs, please let me know.

Reed Bunting at Baildon Moor huts

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

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.

Snipe

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.

Lamb, Glovershaw

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.

Large Skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus)?

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.

Red & Black Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata)

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.

Curlew landing

Heading back to Bingley Road along what I think is the 13th fairway a couple of Curlew seemed to be getting a bit agitated.

Curlew giving me the look

One of them certainly looked as though it was not best pleased with me.

Curlew trying to distract from their young

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.

Curlew trying to distract from their young

The two adults then looked even more agitated with continuous circuits and constant calling.

Curlew Chick running back into the grass verge

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.

Curlew on the golf course

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.

Dog on a lead

It is possible to take a dog for a walk on Baildon Moor with it on a lead.

Dog off the 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.

Blue tits and Great Spotted Woodpecker at Shipley Glen

Early June I went to Shipley Glen again to look at the nests I had seen before on the guided walk from Bracken Hall Countryside Centre.

Blue Tit adult

There was still activity at one of the Blue Tit’s nests I had seen. This one has a convenient landing strip in front of it.

Blue Tit adult

It was quite narrow getting in but it had plenty of head room.

Blue tit adult and faecal sac

And of course the adults came out with faecal sacs from the chicks.

Blue Tit adults. Queuing to feed

Both adults were busy feeding and had to sometimes wait for the other adult to leave the nest before going in themselves.

Blue Tit adult

The adults didn’t need the landing strip when leaving the nest. They were happy to just launch themselves into the air.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker with Food

The Great Spotted Woodpecker nest was also busy. This is the male bringing in food.

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker with Food

The female with Mayfly for the chick(s)

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker with Food

The male with Mayfly

Great Spotted Woodpecker chick calling

The chick(s) kept up a constant “Chip, Chip, Chip” while I was watching. I sounded loud from where I was so it must have been almost deafening in the confines of the nest.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding chick

Feeding the chicks looked a risky business. The chick sometimes lunged out with open beak for the food and the adult had to quickly retreat or get a sharp peck.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker feeding chick

When I have seen other birds being fed either their beaks were short or looked soft yellow openings. The Woodpecker chicks though seemed to already have a beak capable of chipping away at wood.

Ducklings

Mallard ducklings on Cragg Hebble Dam on Loadpit Beck at the bottom of Shipley Glen. There were also dozens of Azure Damselflies all paired up to lay their eggs. Last year I also saw several Grey Wagtails catching the damselflies but not on this visit; only a Jay jumping about on the edge mostly hidden by branches so no photo.

Nuthatch

Heading back up to Bracken Hall Green I first heard and then spotted a Nuthatch.

Speckled Wood Butterfly

There were several Speckled Wood Butterfly flitting about but few of them landed so that I could get a photo.

As usual you can click on any of the images within the text to view them on Flickr or simply view the album with a few more images on Flickr.

Denso Marston Nature Reserve Celebration Day

The Friends of Denso Marston Nature Reserve had their annual fun day celebration on Saturday 9 June 2018. It had a good turnout, and was fun. 🙂

Early on in the Celebration Day

This photo, where a couple of the games were setup, was taken early on before the hordes arrived. The Reserve Warden, Steve, is on the left.

Getting busier

In addition to the games there were also stalls for numerous organisations- Baildon in Bloom, Friends of Denso Marston Nature Reserve, RSPB. The long grass on the right of the photo is where Steve mows the grass in a particular shape. You can see the shape of a Dragonfly in the grass cutting on Google satellite view.  Behind me when I took this photo was a demonstration of bird ringing.

Music and Pond Dipping

Over by the pond were Baildon Ukulele Group, Fiona from Bradford Rights of Way, Richard Perham from Bradford Countryside Service, Yorkshire Dragonfly Group and people helping identify the creatures from the pond dipping.

Dragonfly Larva

In addition to the small trays for the people doing the pond dipping there was also a big drum/tank for some of the specimens like this Dragonfly.

Newt

And this Newt.

Pair of Large Red Demaselflies

When the sun was out you could see it shining on lots of Azure Damselfies and a smaller number of Banded Demoiselles flitting about. Quite a few of the Azure Dameslflies were paired up as were these two Large Red Demselflies

1 adult Moorhen + 3 chicks from 2 broods

A few times Moorhen showed themselves on the pond seeming to ignore the people. This is thought to be two chicks from an earlier brood and one chick that hatched more recently with one of its parents.

Moorhen Chicks

This is the two older ones.

Moorhen chick being fed a tadpole

And here the newer one is being fed a tadpole by the adult.

Female Goosander + 3 juveniles

It’s a nature reserve so a couple of times I went looking for wildlife. Here’s a female Goosander with 3 juveniles. Later on I saw this family out of the river on rocks.

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Also later on I saw a larger family, in this case seven juveniles. Two are not in this shot they are further over on rocks to the right. Note that most of them are on a large sheet of plastic.

Bike and pipe and sundry rubbish

There is a lot of rubbish in the river and on its banks including shopping trolleys, trailers, rope, cable, pipes and, as shown above, bikes.

Roe Deer

Even with all the rubbish Roe Deer can be seen, usually on the opposite bank

Roe Deer

This male didn’t seem too worried by me taking its photo.

Roe Deer

It strolled along the river bank eating various plants as it was going.

Roe Deer + rubbish

It then picked its way through sheets of plywood, sheet metal, drain pipes, washing machine drums and then climbed the bank and disappeared. In amongst the vegetation is where you might expect to see Roe Deer – not stepping through all the rubbish left around by us.

Pike

Back at the pond I kept my eye on what looked very much like a submerged branch but I noticed that it was very slowly getting closer to some of the plants. Using my camera and focusing beyond the surface of the water showed that it was a Pike.

Hedgehog

Heading back along the river to the entrance to the reserve I spotted this Hedgehog snuffling across the path to disappear in the hedges.

As usual the photos are on Flickr so you can click on any of them to view them within the album that has several other photos from the day within it.

Red Grouse, Red Kite on Baildon Moor 1 June 2018

Another great walk on Baildon Moor. Red Grouse, Red Kite, Wall Brown, Small Heath and more.

Red Grouse Mum

One of the first things I heard were Red Grouse. I slowed my pace and started looking for heads in the tops of the grass but then there they were, walking towards me along the path. This is a female Red Grouse. She very quickly slid into the longer grass. Every few seconds a head would come up and then disappear.

Red Grouse Dad

Dad went off into the longer grass quickly.

Red Grouse Dad

Later on he watched from further up the slope.

Red Grouse chick

I then spotted a couple of chicks running off to the side into the longer grass.

Red Grouse, Mum and chick

But another chick didn’t seem to get the hang of hiding. It turned round and walked away from me along the path and Mum came out again as if to guide it along and keep between me and the chick.

Red Grouse chick

After standing up on this stone the chick disappeared into the longer grass

Red Grouse Mum

Mum also went into the longer grass and worked her way around behind me, presumably trying to bring her brood back together. So I carried on along the path and didn’t hear or see another Red Grouse.

Red Kite being mobbed by Lapwing

I did hear Lapwing make their strange call and fly around as a lamb or crow got too close to nest or young. But then it suddenly got a lot louder and a dozen or so Lapwing were in the air making a racket. And this was why – a Red Kite was hovering around.

Red Kite being mobbed by Lapwing

They repeatedly dive bombed it and drove it off. Soon it was a dot in the distance.

Skylark

I am not the best at bird ID but with evidence of a crest on its head I’m going to say this is a Skylark. Most of the time during my walk I could hear one of more Skylark in the air singing away.

Skylark juvenile

Now is this a juvenile Skylark or Meadow Pipit? I’m going to say Skylark.

Meadow Pipit with food

This Meadow Pipit has food in its beak so it is feeding young somewhere. I expect it to spend a bit more time catching things until no more will fit in its beak.

Meadow pipit

This Meadow Pipit was not making any noise so I assume it had its beak open like that in an attempt to cool down.

Meadow pipit

It then raised a leg and scratched the side of its head – and fell over. It was immediately back up again but it looked very strange.

Large Red Damselfly female

On the return walk one of the trees had a couple of Large Red Damselflies around it. This female…

Large Red Damselfly male

and a male.

Wall Brown butterfly (Lasiommata megera)

I was also quite pleased to spot a Wall Brown butterfly (Lasiommata megera) with its wings open.

Wall Brown butterfly underside (Lasiommata megera)

and its wings closed.

Small Heath butterfly

Several Small Heath butterflies were also flying around and one of them kindly settled on the path in front of me. Tiny things.

Nesting Bird sign

On the way home I checked that the nice a simple sign was up. “Dogs on a lead” and “Keep to the footpaths”. Simples.

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But everyone has to put their own interpretation on it. This lead is probably 30 or 40 metres long. So long that the dog has no problems running into the heather and over the wall into the next field. The woman then had to clamber to the wall to get the ribbon untangled.

Great Spotted Woodpeckers in Ferniehurst Dell 31 May 2018

Today I went into Ferniehurst Dell playing Ingress and heard lots of wildlife, the most exciting of which was Great Spotted Woodpecker. I could hear the rapid chirp of juveniles so I went home to get my camera.

Juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker

With the noise that they make it is easy to find the tree but it can take a few seconds to find exactly where the nest is. This juvenile was helpful in being both noisy and showy.

If you want to see the nest go into the Dell from Baildon Road, follow the path and then when you can take the left turn and go up towards Baildon Wood Court. The path bends to the left and in front of you, on the right of the path, are  a couple of trees. As you come out from under leaves look up at the trees. You should be able to see several nest holes but you need to tilt your head back. A photo below shows more of the tree so you might recognise it.

Female Great Spotted Woodpecker

The adults can be very wary and have a knack of hiding themselves around the back of trees and branches. I had come prepared though. I set my camera up on a tripod with it slightly hidden from view by foliage. I then used my phone to see what the camera was looking at and perked on my own tripod, a 3 leg camping stool, out of sight of the nest and birds on the tree. (Mine chair is different to the one linked to, mine doesn’t have enlarged feet so it easily sinks into the ground and the seat is now ripping.)

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Quite soon the adults came to feed the juvenile(s). The first to show was the male. You can identify the male because he doesn’t have a red patch on the back of his head.

Male feeding juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker

The female, with the red patch on the back of her neck, also came along with plenty of food. Notice that the juvenile has a red patch on the top of its head.

Male and juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker

We had about 30 or 40 minutes when not much was happening at the nest because a rather noisy petrol mower and leave blower were brought in. The adults kept out of the way and the juvenile(s) kept their heads inside the nest.

Male Great Spotted Woodpecker

After the workers had gone the female spent a while moving up and down the tree and seemed to be peering into some of the other holes that had been nests in the past.

Tree with Great Spotted Woodpecker nests and juvenile

You can see several holes with the currently occupied on at the bottom. Below the branch that you can see at the bottom right corner of the photo was another sheltered hole. This was being used by Blue Tits but it was too sheltered for me to get any photos of adults flying in, they were just too quick.

If I get time I will head back to Shipley Glen to see how the Great Spotted Woodpeckers I wrote about before are doing.

As usual the photos are in an album on Flickr. Click on any of the images to see them larger on Flickr or view the album.