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.