These are some photos from a few trips up to Baildon Moor in mid May. Some are from the extended walk I took after going on the guided walk along Shipley Glen
One of the brief visitors to Baildon Moor are Wheatear who drop down onto the upper West corner to feed up before heading off again. I think this one is a little late, most have already been through.
Over by Golcar Farm it was nice to catch sight of this Tree Sparrow (differentiated from male House Sparrow by the very top of its head being brown. The male House Sparrow has a grey top to its head.). I have seen them at Fairburn Ings and spotted one in our garden four years ago. Tree Sparrow numbers fell by 93% between 1970 and 2008 and House Sparrow numbers fell 71% between 1977 and 2008. Both are on the RSPB Red list as globally threatened species. Male and female Tree Sparrows look very similar whereas male and female House Sparrows are noticeably different.
While I was over by Golcar Farm this little rabbit hopped towards me so I must have been part of the natural scenery. One of the features of my new camera body is that it has a “quiet” mode so it doesn’t clatter as much when taking photos.
This Kestrel was having a taste of its prey. I can’t be sure whether it is a small rodent or a small bird but I would put 50p on it being something like a Lapwing chick. Given that the Kestrel has not landed to eat its prey it is likely that it is just preparing it as a meal for young. Who knows, perhaps it is going to take it back to Salts Mill to the nest I have watched over a number of years.
This Willow Warbler, in the top of a tree near the 12th tee, was in full song.
On the other hand this Grasshopper Warbler was very quiet in comparison. Even though I was reasonably close to it I had trouble hearing it. It was unusual to see it before I heard it.
The usual place to see Reed Buntings on Baildon Moor is at the tops of bracken, small bushes or grasses. This one was higher up in a tree calling away.
One of the common sights on Baildon Moor at this time of year is the Meadow Pipit. They can be seen and heard flying around or perched on walls before dropping down into the grass. These two look like a pair. They make their nests in clumps of grass and the edges of Baildon Moor look like the ideal place for them at this time of year.
An interesting visitor to Baildon Moor at this time of year is the Snipe. They have a call that I think is more like “chucka, chucka” than the “chipper, chipper” mentioned in some books.
But the rather amazing noise they make is when they do their display flight. They fly around calling and then dive with two of their tail feathers out. This makes quite a loud thrumming noise. So far this is my best photo of one diving.
It is rather pleasing to see Redshank back again this year. There seem to be several pairs around and we had evidence of them breeding last year.
I bought my new camera and lens at the 2018 Photography Show at NEC on 20 March and 2 months later this photo of a Redshank is the 10,000th taken with it.
It is amazing how the ground nesting birds manage to survive when several of the fields that they nest in have sheep and lambs. Lapwing and Curlew can be heard calling to keep other animals away.
Curlew have a very long beak that can be used to probe into soft ground or into the bottom long grass.
The beak also helps to make a good silhouette as they come into land in the evenings.
I am hoping to hear Oystercatcher along the river at Robert’s Park this year as they fly back and forth to the Tax Office feeding their young. This one is just on the edge of the 11th green on Baildon Golf Course.
Lapwing are very protective of their young and I guess this Pheasant is too close to a nest or young for these Lapwing to tolerate it. One of the Lapwing looked as though it was whacking the Pheasant round the head with its wingtips and the other dived in looking as though it was trying to grab the Pheasant’s tail in its claws. The Lapwing kept attacking from all directions so the Pheasant was going round in circles it therefore took ages for them to drive it away. It would have been better if they flew in from just one direction to drive it in the required direction.
This rabbit, sticking its head up in the evening, looks more like an escaped pet than a wild rabbit. A few metres to the left was a black and white cat watching from the long grass.
Morning and evening is the time to see Hare. The evening sun is catching this on.
The evening sun is catching this Lapwing as it marches up and down on its vantage point.
The adults keep watch as their young chicks wander about the field eating what they can. A call from the adult and the chicks duck down out of sight or quickly disappear into/behind clumps of longer grass.
And then in the evening they snuggle under the wings of an adult. It is not easy to see but this is a photo of 2 chicks pushing their way under the wings of the adult.
The wind turbines are over at Ovenden but the Heron is much closer and heading off towards the river at somewhere like Hirst Wood.
The photos are on Flickr and each can be viewed larger there or you can navigate through the album there.