Baildon Toilets? Spice? Fish & Chips?

I believe that once upon a time there were toilets in the car park behind Glendale House.

Raj’s’ Spice Hut

They then became Raj’s Spice Hut. I guess I don’t go into the car park by Glendale House very often. That’s my excuse anyway.

I used to think I went about with my eyes open but I recently went by that way and noticed that the sign on the building was unreadable. As of early 2018 it is unused. It is obviously no longer Raj’s Spice Hut.

The unused sign flipped

But a bit of playing about with contrast and flipping the image shows Mo’s Fisheries. What have I missed? How many other incarnations has the building had? Was it actually Mo’s Fisheries? If I do a Google search for Mo’s Fisheries they all seem to be in London.

And rather interestingly the sign has a similar layout with the fish on the left.

Blue Tit Checking Out the Nest Box

Here’s just a few photos of a Blue Tit checking out one of the nest boxes we have in the garden.

Sping Blue Tit

It spent a bit of time having a look round the hole and pecking at the edges. I don’t know if this was to check out how strong it was, or getting a few tiny insects or to smooth off a few of the edges. Or perhaps so it can say to its mate “Look what I have just made for us.”

Sping Blue Tit

I imagine it is quite dark in there when your body blocks off the only source of light.

Sping Blue Tit

I hope the view is acceptable.

Sping Blue Tit

There’s a nice step to help with the climb out.

Sping Blue Tit

And plenty of branches around to perch on.

I wonder if I will see this bird later in the spring, looking rather frazzled, as it flies back and forth feeding young in the box.

As usual you can click on any of the images to see them larger on flickr. There are also a couple of others in the album on flickr.

Ring-necked Parakeets

We had a knock on the door this afternoon from our neighbour to let us know that 2 parakeets were in their garden.

I quickly grabbed my camera, put the long lens on it and pushed my way through some of our bushes and got as close as I could to our fence….

Ring-necked Parakeet

and there they were, on the peanut bird feeders. I didn’t see this one reach through to get any peanuts…

Ring-necked Parakeet

and the shape of their beaks meant that they really struggled to get anything through the holes in this feeder .

Ring-necked Parakeet

According to the RSPB the male should have a pink collar – hence the name, Ring-necked Parakeet, but I couldn’t see anything like that so perhaps they are not a breeding pair.

The first full weekend in April

On Saturday I spent a few minutes building some small layered Ingress fields at Ferniehurst Dell; I also took my camera. In the Dell, in the past, I have seen Woodpecker, Jay, Blackbird, Robin, Mistle Thrush and a few others. But one of the interesting things next to the Dell are the hedges – the ones near the bowling green.

When you were younger I bet you saw House Sparrows all the time, and by younger I mean all those where it means a little further back than last week. Between 1977 and 2008 the numbers of House Sparrows fell be 71% so now, to see them, you have to know where to look. Some of you may be lucky enough to have Sparrows in the garden but for many that is no longer happening and believe it or not the House Sparrow is now a Red listed bird according to the RSPB and is a protected species.

House Sparrow

The back garden wall of the house I grew up in looked out over a disused airfield where a couple of the hangers were used to store grain. As a result Sparrows were plentiful. The hedges at Baildon Bowling Green and the hedges next to the playing field on Cliffe Lane West are places where you can see Sparrows now.

House Sparrow

Sparrows like to have dust baths and water baths and the path behind the bowling green is an excellent place for that. Some of the sparrows looked clean and well groomed while others looked decidedly grey.

On Sunday I walked up to the centre of Baildon to have a talk with the Neighbourhood Policing Team who had set themselves up in the car park of the Co-op. I took my camera.

Part of Baildon Neighbourhood Policing Team

They are a friendly bunch but I am sure they can put the charm to one side as the need arises. We talked about home security and the need to report things that are seen. 999 for a crime actually in progress and 101, or on-line, to report things. They often have patrols out but if things are not called in then they can’t respond appropriately.

Part of Baildon Neighbourhood Policing Team

We also talked about some of the things that are a bit more obscure for a neighbourhood team, things such as the protection of nesting birds on Baildon Moor, some of which are Schedule 1 listed, and the flying of powered craft on the moors.

On the walk back home I spotted a couple of things that made me think it would have been nice to have my long lens with me, but walking around Baildon centre with it would have been silly.


I was a little surprised to spot this mouse poking its nose out of the wall of the path going down to Flower Mount. I don’t mean surprised that it was there but surprised that I managed to see it and even more surprised to get a shot of it. And “Yes”, there is a mouse in the centre of the photo, honest, but you have to look closely.

Wren with nesting material

And then on the wall near the back of Crowtrees Cottage I spotted a Wren with nesting material. The Wren is still the most common UK breeding bird. Given the numbers of flocks of Gold Finch, Green Finch, Long Tailed Tit and Jackdaws I see around this surprises me. Spotting a Wren is not easy. You can see now why it would have helped if I had my long lens; I was probably closer to them than I was to the Sparrows on Saturday.