River, Canal & Buck Mill

I have been down to the river Aire with my camera a couple of times this month. On the first trip I managed to spot Kingfisher, Bullfinch and a few other birds, plenty of Mallard and a few Goosander. The second trip was earlier in the day because I wanted to get to Buck Mill with the sun a bit higher in the sky but when I got down to Denso Marston Nature Reserve I decided to take the long way.

As usual you can click on the images below to view them and others within the album on flickr.


At one of the bird feed stations at the reserve rats were the most frequent visitors. They have made several tunnels under one of the feeding tables.


Robins, like this ringed one, didn’t seem too put off by the rats.


Nor did the Dunnocks. Up in the trees were quite a few Longtailed Tit flitting along.


While watching a few moving through the trees I heard a pair of Goldcrests so I spent a bit of time watching and trying to get a photo. They just do not stop moving so it is not easy.

This one, and another two in the album on flickr, are rotated left by 90 degrees. For some reason the photos didn’t look natural with the bird stuck on the side of the branch.

Ex Package Air Conditioning

When I said I took the long way I meant that I walked along the river to Lower Holme, Baildon and crossed the river behind Wickes onto Dock Lane and onto the canal bank. On the opposite side of the canal there used to be a company called PACE (Packaged Air Conditioning Equipment). It is now a housing development with their back gardens dropping down to the canal.


This part of the canal is where Swans have been known to nest. Let’s hope that the canal bank grows back and allows them to nest and breed again.

Soon after passing Metalbox along the canal you can see evidence of where bulldozers have ripped through the ground between the canal and the river. There appears to have been a lot of clearing done under the electricity pylons and a new timber supported, presumably lower voltage feed branched off. The route of the new one has meant gouging a chunk out of the side of the river valley. This leads down to and over the footpath between the river and canal at the end of Buck Lane and through the site of Buck Mill. Some of the ruins of Buck Mill have been disturbed. Hopefully there will be no more damage, a point reported on by the T & A.


This is the view from under the pylon at Buck Mill.

Buck Mill Ruins

With some of the clearing that has been done it is easier to see some of the Buck Mill ruins

Buck Mill Ruins

The route of the goit can be seen.

Buck Mill Ruins

Many of the building’s stones are covered with a thick coat of lichen.

Buck Mill Ruins

This is the remains of one of the walls at right-angles to the canal.

Buck Lane Bridge

After wandering about the ruins for a few minutes I then walked across the bridge and home.

December Dipper

I took my camera for a walk along the river yesterday. When I got back I uploaded the photos to my computer. I store my image files in folders for each month and was a little surprised to see that I have no folder for November 2018.

I went down to Denso Marston Nature Reserve. It was after 2 o’clock and the Sun was already lowish in the sky so I knew I wouldn’t have long to take photos with my long lens before it got too dark for hand held shots.


The river was quite high and fast and making a bit of noise but quite a few birds could be heard. Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Greenfinch and Blue Tit like the one above.


This female Chaffinch posed for a second showing that its legs have not been affected much by what is probably Fringilla papillomavirus.

Common Dipper

What I was very pleased to see though was a Common Dipper. This was a little further up river from Denso – near the back of Charlestown Cemetery.

Lost Canoe

This canoe was trapped in the trees across the other side of the river. I did scan the area to see if there were any paddles or bodies around. I assume it had been washed down river. I later saw two men high up on the river bank. They were going to try to get to the canoe.

River View

A little further on I decided it was getting a bit too dark for long lens wildlife photography so I took this photo looking up-river towards Shipley and then headed home.

Sharpen Edges in GIMP

This is a quick note of how to apply image sharpening to the “edges” of an image. One reason for creating this post is so that I have somewhere to find the steps involved when I need them. The steps described are for GIMP. It is likely that you can follow a similar process in other image editing software. It might already be part of how sharpening is done in other application.

Sharpening is usually one of the last things you do to an image before saving it.

With the image loaded into GIMP

  1. Create a duplicate layer.
  2. Apply sharpness to the duplicate layer. Feel free to apply more sharpness that you normally would.
  3. Add a layer Mask to the duplicate but select “Grayscale copy of layer” as you do it.
  4. Right click on the layer mask and select “Show Layer Mask”
  5. Go to “Filters” > Edge-Detect > Edge > OK (I haven’t seen any benefit from making any selections from the Edge dialogue)
  6. While viewing the layer mask go to Colors > Curves and pull “darks” down and “lights” up. i.e. increase the contrast. Part of the idea here is to make areas where you don’t need to apply sharpening black. If you do apply sharpening to some of these areas they can get “pixelly”.
  7. If there are areas you don’t want or need to apply sharpening you can paint those areas black on the layer.
  8. Go to Filters > Blur > Gaussian Blur and apply a small amount of blurring to spread the area that the sharpening will be applied over.
  9. Return to the image i.e. no longer show the layer mask. Right click on the layer mask and un-check “Show Layer Mask”.
  10. Adjust the opacity of the duplicate if required to give you the image you want.
  11. Right click on the duplicate and Merge down to a single image.
  12. Save the file. Go to File > Overwrite…

When I have more time I might add some screenshots of this process.

Red Admirals

With the trees and houses around our garden we only seem to get sunshine on part of our Buddleia at a time during this time of year but when we do it can suddenly get busy with butterflies – I guess it isn’t called Butterfly Bush for nothing.

Red Admiral

During one sunny interval yesterday I managed to count 9 Red Admiral on the bush at one time. There were probably others that I didn’t spot.

Red Admiral

The Red Admirals still have to share it with other flying insects like this Bee Hoverfly.

Red Admiral

Some of them looked very fresh with no creases on their wings. This one just has a few on its right wings.

Red Admiral

This one has a rather ragged left wing but it was nowhere near the worst.

Red Admiral

The wings of butterflies are beautiful and to see them on flowers or flitting about in sunlight is great. But I get a bit uncomfortable when looking closely at their heads. It always looks as though there is one dark spot on the eye looking straight at you.

As usual the images are on Flickr and you can see a couple of other photos within the album.

Baildon Moor 24 September 2018

Today was quite pleasant and I made use of the reasonable sunshine to go up onto Baildon Moor. There should be a few passage migrants but I think the wind was in the wrong direction for them.


One of the first things I saw was a Redkite. As usual it drifted effortlessly past and a few seconds later was a dot over towards Shipley Glen.


Quite a few Meadow Pipits were still flitting around as were flocks of Goldfinch still feeding on the seed heads of the thistles in the field near the path leading down to Golcar Farm.


Further round near the tree plantation before the huts were a few small birds flitting between the bushes by the wall into the bracken. They were calling not singing so I wasn’t quite sure whether they were Willow Warblers of Chiffchaffs. Fortunately I managed to get this shot and decide that it was a Chiffchaff. The call didn’t have the extra half syllable on the end so hopefully I will know in future.


Several times I saw a Kestrel hovering over the grassy areas but always too far away to get a photo. But then all of a sudden one was above me. The header images shows it scratching its ear.

Looking West

Over the afternoon clouds kept forming and then disappearing. Some of them let rain fall but only for a few seconds. When the clouds cleared the sky seemed to be criss crossed with vapour trails. At one point it looked as though you could play celestial tic-tac-toe.

Click on an image to see it in the album on flickr. There are a few other photos in the album.