Le Tour de Yorkshire

Stage 3 of le tour de Yorkshire had its ceremonial start in Bradford and then went round a few streets in Saltaire before heading down Otley Road, Baildon for the official start of the race. That is just far enough for me to be worn out before the race has even begun.

Plenty of areas were organising events for the day and Saltaire, of course, was no exception. Various activities were going on in Robert’s Park, the car park on Victoria Road had several stalls – Cap and Collar, and Edward St. Bakery and All Terrain Cycles┬á– and Victoria Hall was open.

At the last minute I decided to go to Saltaire to see if I could get some photos. I had no idea how many people would be turning up to line the routes. The crowds at Saltaire were several deep on Victoria Road so I was pleased I had decided to take my long lens.


I wonder why this one gets to lead? All the other cars with bikes on top came along after the riders.


I think this is probably the easy bit for the police. Once the riders start pushing it a bit they will have their work cut out to keep the roads clear. They are using a rolling closure so they have to get ahead, stop the traffic, let the riders pass then get on to the next section.


And here they are.

PM7_8629They are all squashed up together until the race proper starts at the bottom of Hollins Hill on Otley Road.


And here are all the spare bikes. It is much easier to have a complete spare bike than to bother with a repair/replacement of parts. Do they repair the “old” bike as they go so there is always a spare?




And the helipcopter keeping an eye on things.


And a few seconds late the “End of the Race”


Now, where’s the fun?


Does this colour suit me? I hope so since I am a Yorkshire lion (!!??)

It’s this weekend

You might have heard that some cyclists are going to be touring around Yorkshire this weekend. Many places are going to be hosting events.


Robert’s Park is one of them. I guess this is partly intended for helicopters. The route takes them through Baildon along Otley Road.

Edit: 3 more photos ­čÖé

And here’s 3 more photos from Robert’s Park┬átaken in the last few days.

Bird Cherry blossom

Another shot of the Bird Cherry blossom near the bandstand.

Cricket pitch with geese

Robert’s Park cricket pavilion with only a few geese on the grass. There have been some mornings when I have seen of 80 of them in the park.

River Aire

I quite like the esses of the path, wall and river.


Here’s another quick Ingress trip out. This time in October to Oldham.

Oldham was one of the boomtowns of the Industrial Revolution and it’s prosperity was based on the cotton and textile industries with particular prominence in cotton spinning.


This history is remembered in some of the art works around the town….


and in that the shopping centre is called The Spindles.

But I think it’s claim to fame is on George Street.


Wino’s Wine Shop.


I think the windows look great…




but inside is another world. Bottles everywhere.



Even some I think I could almost lay claim to. Rather interestingly, for Ingress players, the company have there other outlet in Uppermill. The Saddleworth Wine Vault website covers both places.


The book shop next to Wino’s was closed but it looks as though there are one or two books in there.


Apparently a fire destroyed much of Oldham in 1901 so this is perhaps why they have a Phoenix and Phoenix House.


In my Ingress wanderings I have now seen several of these cast iron bollards. I have mentioned them before but they have probably only become noticeable to me since one of them in Bradford became a portal in the game.

Ingress with a camera and wildlife

On Saturday I went on a small Ingress expedition and took my camera and then on Sunday I had a purely wildlife walk with camera. So here are a few photos from this weekend. Some of them should have the #visitbradford tag.

As usual you can click on any of the images to see them larger on Flickr.

The Sculpture Trail of Ferniehurst Dell, Baildon is a mission within Ingress so I went to capture and field the portals, something I have done on many occasions but it is always good to walk through the Dell. Sorry, but that portal link will only work for Ingress agents.

While walking through the Dell and capturing the portals I heard and saw many Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Jay, Blue tit, Great tit, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Squirrel and at least one Great Spotted Woodpecker.


But at the top of the Dell is a bowling green and football pitch with Hawthorn hedges and a stone wall covered in Ivy running along a couple of the sides. In between them is a dusty gravel track. I interrupted my Ingress and spent some time watching the House Sparrows there. According to the RSPB the Sparrow population of the UK has declined significantly over the last 40 years. It is a bit difficult for me to confirm because I was brought up in Lincolnshire where over our back wall were wheat fields and a disused airfield with hangers full of seed. There was a lot of seed spillage and plenty of Sparrows to feed on it. I then moved to a very different environment around Bradford so you would expect to see fewer Sparrows. Farming practice and seed storage has changed a lot over the years so it seems reasonable to expect this to hit the Sparrow population. There are places you can see and hear them and some that I know of are the hedges along Glenaire Primary School, the hedges along Cliffe Avenue playground, the hedges by Ferniehurst Bowling Green, and in May/June along the Leeds Liverpook canal towards Hirst Lock.


Above is the dusty gravel track between the bowling green and the football pitch with 10 or so Sparrows having a dust bath.


This male Sparrow is trying to get covered in dust. Apparently Sparrows are one of the of the more frequent dusters.

Tortoiseshell Butterfly

This Tortoiseshell Butterfly was near the fruit trees next to the Trim Trail of the Dell. I also saw a Hollt Blue but it was too quick to get a photo of it.

I then moved on to Golden Acre Park in Leeds and did some more Ingressing. This is a link to one of the portals there.

Peacock butterfly

This Peacock Butterfly was on the edge of one of the paths in the park. One thing that was very noticeable about the bare paths through parts of the park was the number of little holes in the ground along the edges of the path. Most of the holes had a dusting of grit/sand around the entrance where it had been dug out by the mining bees. I saw several grey and black bees near the holes that I am pretty sure were Ashy mining bees. These are solitary bees that dig small holes with several brood cells for their eggs and young.

Pair of Tufted Ducks

Quite a few ducks, geese and Swans were on the lake at Golden Acre Park including this pair of Tufted Ducks.

Mistle Thrush

On the way back to the car this Mistle Thrush hopped up onto the fence but soon noisyly flew off again.

That is Saturday done. Sunday was a walk along the River Aire at Denso Marston Nature Reserve. It is a great place to visit and enjoy the river.

Orange Tip Butterfly

There were quite a few Orange Tip Butterfly flying up and down the banks of the river. I also spotted a Brimstone butterfly but couldn’t get a photo.


Robins were quite obliging though.

View of the river Aire looking to Shipley

This shot of the river, looking towards Shipley, was taken from the footbridge over the river just across Otley Road from Midland Road.

Orange Tip Butterfly

Another of the many Orange Tip Butterflies. This time with orange tips.

Comma Butterfly

This Comma Butterfly was also flying along the river bank. I also spent some time by the ponds.

Water Snail

This water snail was slowly working its way across on of the large stone just below the surface.


There was a family of ducks on the pond, mum and 5 ducklings paddling around.


A Wren was keeping itself tucked away in the reeds on the edge of the pond.


On a couple of occasions while I was there the whole brood came out of the pond to spend a couple of minutes under the feeders and then back they would waddle.


Just behind the pond, next to the fence were a couple of Goldfinch. I do think that is a rather stern expression. There seemed to be several small flocks flitting between some of the trees but these were feeding on something on the ground.

Pond Skater

Water Skaters were zooming about the pond surface coming close enough for me to get some photos.

Male Goosander

Towards the end of my visit these 2 Goosander paddled up river. I was on my way out but I wandered back again because of the varied bird song I could hear, and I am pleased I did because…..

Large Red Damselfly

I think I was pretty lucky to spot this Large Red Damselfly at the reserve. I was near the stone seat at the time listening to Blackcap, Blackbird, Blue tit and Bullfinch singing. I let the Steve, the warden of the reserve, know that I had seen it because I know he has a bit of rivalry with Rodley Nature Reserve to see which has the first appearance. Steve let me know that the first time he saw one on the reserve this year was on Friday.


There were quite a few Jay flying around making a lot of noise. This one perched in a tree long enough for me to take a photo.


A Moorhen by the river looking very brown.

Dogbane Leaf Beetle

One of the last things I saw on the way back to my car was this small iridescent green beetle. I am no expert but I reckon it is a Dogbane Leaf Beetle.

April in Robert’s Park

We haven’t had to wait months for these photos to appear. They are from today. As often happens I had a walk round Robert’s Park today and along part of the Leeds Liverpool canal.

Jay with nesting material

This is one of a pair of Jays seen in Hirst Lock Nature Reserve at lunchtime. They were both collecting nesting material .

These following photos were taken on my way through the park after work.

Greylag Goslings

Here’s nine little Greylag goslings on the canal at the end of Vistoria Road.

Robin with food

This Robin has a few scratty looking insects in its beak obviously taking them off to a young one somewhere. I think the nest was in the low bushes between two of the paths.

Flower head, Robert's Park

Bellis perrenis

Flower head, Robert's Park

Bellis perrenis

Blossom, Robert's Park

The flowers and blossom in Robert’s Park are quite spectacular at the moment.