Last Sunday (18th June 2017) near Moorside

These are now the last of the photos from that weekend. These are from the stretch from Moorside down towards Birks Wood and Gill Beck. I had a decent walk over Baildon Moor between the first and last but those photos have been shown in other posts. Look here for the Roe Deer. Or here for Wren chicks. Or look through the history for Kingfisher, Moorhen nest etc.

Oak Galls

These “apples”, or “Galls”, on the Oak tree will contain the eggs and larvae of a Gall Wasp. The eggs and larvae release chemicals that cause the Oak to grow around them. Amazing stuff.

2 Willow Warbler parents

There were plenty of Willow Warblers around both adult and juvenile. Here’s two adults with food. Perhaps they are trying to decide if I am something to be wary of. Should they approach their young when I might be watching.

Swallow in Flight

This is one of my better attempts at getting a Swallow in flight. These birds are quite a bit smaller than the Swifts I was trying to photograph the day before, they dart about a bit more too.

Willow Warbler with food

Here’s another Willow Warbler, there were quite a few of them around.

Male Chaffinch with food

A little further down this male Chaffinch was waiting to go into the Hawthorn and feed its young.

Swallow waiting to be fed

This rather smart looking Swallow was seen perching on the wires on my way back after walking over the Moors a bit, five hours later than the photo of the Chaffinch.


And this one is a Chiffchaff. A little plainer than the Willow Warbler and with less of a line over its eye. And I know it is a Chiffchaff because I could see its beak and chest moving in time with the chiff chaff I could hear. 

Sunday 18th June

Sunday was not as busy picture-wise as Saturday so not many posts to be done; this is the first, and the period I enjoyed the most.

During my wandering around I had been thinking that I had not seen many Reed Buntings so I decided to concentrate on spotting them. I had seen a few either in the distance or flying away because they had seen me first. This meant scanning across the tops of the bracken looking for little birds.

Roe Deer

But instead of little birds and Reed Bunting I spotted little ears instead.

Roe Deer

A couple of clicks of the camera shutter got the ears to start swiveling.

Roe Deer

Then up popped the head they were attached to.

Roe Deer

It didn’t seem too worried that I was pointing my camera at it and it went on with eating Hawthorn – yes, that stuff with thorns.

Roe Deer

It kept an eye on me.

Roe Deer

But was still happy to go on eating.

Roe Deer

and reaching for a few tasty leaves. I don’t know how it manages to eat it with those thorns on it.

Roe Deer

But then it quietly wandered off with its ears still just visible.

Back to Saturday 17 June at Denso Marston Nature Reserve

For this Saturday we have had a few posts to my blog to get the photos for you to see. I think this is the last one for Saturday. Hopefully the next posting will be for Sunday.

During the Saturday I was walking along the river hoping to see Dippers. No such luck, as you know I did manage to see a few other things, and I did keep hearing Wagtails. Most of the time they were either flying away from me or up under tree cover.

Grey Wagtail

But I kept my eyes and ears open and saw a juvenile below me on some rocks. A cute little thing.

Grey Wagtail

A little later I saw more of a family, 2 juveniles and 1 adult. Here the adult is saying “See that over there? Pay attention.”

Grey Wagtail

“This is how it’s done. Are you watching kids? You will want to do this soon, please.”

Grey Wagtail

And very aerobatically it picked an insect off the water.

Grey Wagtail

But all the youngsters could say was “Feed me! Feed me!”

Grey Wagtail

“Feed me too!”

Grey Wagtail

But then when the adult turned to face them – “Hey! You’ve eaten it! That was ours.”

Saturday Evening on Baildon Moor

I have not finished posting details of Saturday 17 yet and I have not started on Sunday 18th but here are some from yesterday – the evening of Saturday 24 June 2017. The first is slightly unusual but the others I’m quite pleased with.

A few years ago I remember pointing out to someone, who was just letting her dogs out of her car, that it was ground nesting season and that the dogs should be under close control. I pointed to the sign giving details. The dogs were immediately sticking their noses into every clump of grass around them but would, of course, “not disturb anything” and the woman asked “Why can’t they nest in trees like other birds?” One of these days I might try to make a list of birds that nest in trees and those that don’t. Ah – Google anyone? Grouse, Turkey, Pheasant, Plover, Avocet, Sandpiper, Curlew, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Snipe, ducks, geese, Swans. And that is not listing those that nest in bushes just a few feet above ground.


I am pretty sure that the bird above is a Skylark – in a tree. It seemed to be making the right noises for one.

If this is a Skylark then perhaps they are getting the idea; but twisting a few blades of grass around on the edge of the fairway is a bit different to building a nest in a tree. It can be quite amusing watching doves, pigeons, jackdaw etc trying to get long twigs through small gaps, so it is obvious that many birds have yet to perfect the technique.

Barn Owl

But after seeing the Skylark I was thrilled to see this Barn Owl flying towards me. It was tilting its head down listening to the noises in the grasses below it.

Barn Owl

It drifted to one side.

Barn Owl

and back round again

Barn Owl

making a very slightly zig-zag path across the field

Barn Owl

it certainly wasn’t quartering the field and then it flew off out of sight. I waited for, perhaps, 25 minutes with the noise of Blackbird, Meadow Pipit and Goldfinch around me but I didn’t see the owl again.

The images looked OK in camera but once I had got them home I admit to being quite pleased with them.

Wren and chicks from Saturday

Here’s another set from Saturday. I often hear Wrens, they are noisy things for their size, but spotting them can be tricky, and spotting them with young is even harder.

Wren with food

This was the first one I saw, with food. So I kept my eyes and ears open for more.

Wren parent looking for food

When I first took this shot I assumed this was an adult Wren looking for food. But now, looking at its beak, I think it is a juvenile. The beak is a lighter yellow and the lighter shade goes further back to make the bright gape of the hungry mouths. I don’t know if the webs are from spiders or caterpillars. Probably spiders.

Wren Chick

A juvenile calling for food.

2 Wren Chicks

And then 2 juveniles calling for food.

2 Wren Chicks + parent

And now, between them we have a dutiful parent with food.

2 Wren Chicks + parent

Which to feed? The one that shouts the loudest or the one that looks as though it needs feeding up?

Wren parent with food

This parent has some food with skinny legs…

Wren Chick open wide

what’s the best thing to do with a beak full of legs?

Wren Chick being fed

Push it into the nearest gaping mouth. It doesn’t surprise me that juvenile has its eyes closed.

Wren Chick, parent flying off

Then with a jump and ….

Wren Chick, parent flying off

a flap off goes the parent for more food.