Red Admirals

With the trees and houses around our garden we only seem to get sunshine on part of our Buddleia at a time during this time of year but when we do it can suddenly get busy with butterflies – I guess it isn’t called Butterfly Bush for nothing.

Red Admiral

During one sunny interval yesterday I managed to count 9 Red Admiral on the bush at one time. There were probably others that I didn’t spot.

Red Admiral

The Red Admirals still have to share it with other flying insects like this Bee Hoverfly.

Red Admiral

Some of them looked very fresh with no creases on their wings. This one just has a few on its right wings.

Red Admiral

This one has a rather ragged left wing but it was nowhere near the worst.

Red Admiral

The wings of butterflies are beautiful and to see them on flowers or flitting about in sunlight is great. But I get a bit uncomfortable when looking closely at their heads. It always looks as though there is one dark spot on the eye looking straight at you.

As usual the images are on Flickr and you can see a couple of other photos within the album.

Baildon Moor 24 September 2018

Today was quite pleasant and I made use of the reasonable sunshine to go up onto Baildon Moor. There should be a few passage migrants but I think the wind was in the wrong direction for them.


One of the first things I saw was a Redkite. As usual it drifted effortlessly past and a few seconds later was a dot over towards Shipley Glen.


Quite a few Meadow Pipits were still flitting around as were flocks of Goldfinch still feeding on the seed heads of the thistles in the field near the path leading down to Golcar Farm.


Further round near the tree plantation before the huts were a few small birds flitting between the bushes by the wall into the bracken. They were calling not singing so I wasn’t quite sure whether they were Willow Warblers of Chiffchaffs. Fortunately I managed to get this shot and decide that it was a Chiffchaff. The call didn’t have the extra half syllable on the end so hopefully I will know in future.


Several times I saw a Kestrel hovering over the grassy areas but always too far away to get a photo. But then all of a sudden one was above me. The header images shows it scratching its ear.

Looking West

Over the afternoon clouds kept forming and then disappearing. Some of them let rain fall but only for a few seconds. When the clouds cleared the sky seemed to be criss crossed with vapour trails. At one point it looked as though you could play celestial tic-tac-toe.

Click on an image to see it in the album on flickr. There are a few other photos in the album.

Denso Marston Nature Reserve June 2018

We might well be into September now but I am still catching up with making some of my photos from earlier in the year available. These are from a walk along the river at Denso Marston Nature Reserve.

Juvenile Grey Wagtail

One of the cute things spotted on the walk along the river were several juvenile Grey Wagtails.

Juvenile Wagtail

One of them was calling out to be fed, bobbing about and making a racket. The above image is a link to a video of it babbing and calling.

Adult Grey Wagtail

The adults were busy catching insects and feeding their young.


Blackbirds were both on the ground pushing leaves away to get at insects and also up in the trees eating berries.


There also seemed to be a couple of Jay families around. This one is waiting patiently to be fed


but could raise its crest and demand to be fed when an adult was around.

Grey Heron being attacked by Crow

I think this Crow is trying to convince the Grey Heron to move on and not be near its youngsters,

Grey Heron

It’s amazing that Herons can get quite big fish and other animals down a throat that thin. I think that is looks could kill then that Crow would be smouldering by now.

Crow & Grey Heron

But it looks rather slick and healthy.


On the far side of the river I spotted a female Mandarin Duck with 3 almost fully grown youngsters – nice to see. There was also a family of Goosander. Here is a photo of 2 of the young.

As usual you can click on an image to see it in an album on Flickr. You can see the album here.

Finningley Airshow 1972

Back in the dim and distance days of my youth I was interested in aircraft and used to bike up to a gate next to the taxiway of Binbrook aerodrome and watch English Electric Lightnings. I also went to several airshows at RAF Finningley. I think these photos are from 1972 but I am happy to be told otherwise.

Concorde fly by

Concorde fly by.

Concorde fly by

Concorde had yet to enter service. Scheduled flights did not start until 1976.

Concorde fly by


Jenny Lane & Tong Park Dam, Aug 2018 (Butterflies, Little Grebe & Stoat)

At the end of August 2018 I decided to have a walk around Tong Park Dam and I was very pleased with the Butterflies, Little Grebe, Stoat and Pike I saw.

Painted Lady on Valerian, Jenny Lane

In the corner of the car park at the end of Jenny Lane was a small Valerian bush which had a surprising number of butterflies on it.

Painted Lady with wings closed.

Painted Lady on Valerian, Jenny Lane

And a Painted Lady with wings open.

Small Tortoiseshell on Valerian, Jenny Lane

There were probably 8 or so Small Tortoiseshell on the plant. And some on the warm stone wall behind the plant.

Comma butterfly on a over-ripe blackberry

Walking down to Willy Wood there were quite a few Brambles with ripe berries. I sampled a good many of the ripe ones. The flavours varied from simple sweetness to quite tart. This Comma was sampling some of the over-ripe ones.

Red Admiral butterfly on a over-ripe blackberry

Red Admirals were also feeding on the over-ripe berries.

Speckled Wood

Speckled Wood butterflies were also flitting about in the same area.


Blackthorn Sloe berries

A Blackthorn in the hedgerow had bunches of Sloe berries looking nicely ready for Sloe Gin.


In the woods it looked as though water had washed the soil away from around the roots of some of the trees. Quite a tangle.

G_Ba, part glass bottle

On the path around the top of Tong Park Dam I spotted one of the old, black, lemonade bottle stoppers. After scraping away the soil I managed to un-earth the neck of a bottle. The moulding on the glass looks like “G Ba…” and the stopper says “Barraclough, Bradford & Baildon”. It is most likely that the bottle was for “G Barraclough” that had a mineral water factory in Cutler Heights Lane as early as 1830, they later moved to Westgate Hill and currently have a factory off Tong Street. Did the bottles used to get mixed up and used by the different companies?

Red-Green Carpet moth larva

Coming back around the path I noticed this caterpillar for a Green and Red Carpet moth (Chloroclysta siterata)

Thistle seed

Many of the thistle heads were bursting with seeds but I didn’t see any flocks of Goldfinch feeding on them. I did hear a few but only in the tops of some of the trees.

Little Grebe

Getting round to where I could better see the water spread out in front of me there were Swans, Mallard, Moorhen but best of all was this Little Grebe.

Little Grebe & Moorhen

This adult Moorhen was rather aggressive. I couldn’t see anything it was protecting. It gently swam towards whatever was the nearest bird and then when it was within a few metres it would speed up and chase them off – as it did with the Little Grebe.

Juvenile Moorhen

It also chased off this juvenile Moorhen on more than one occasion.

Little Grebe & Mallard

The other birds seemed to get on well enough with each other.


This is a shot of the two swans preening after a bit of excitement. At one stage a large dog chased the swans off one of their resting places and as they got away, flapping their wings, every bird around the dam gave off a loud alarm call. The sound was all around me and made me realise that I could only see a small proportion of the birds that were there.


I then saw some movement on the eastern edge of the water. A Stoat.


The Stoat disappeared under a tangled mound of soil, roots and metal and then popped out of a hole at the top of the mound and looked around.


After quickly looking all around the mound it scampered off around the water’s edge.

Little Grebe

It then seemed that all the Mallards and the Little Grebe turned to the North East corner as if listening to the progress of the Stoat around the edge.


It was about time to be heading home but I then spotted this fish, a Pike? I would say it was at least 70 cm long (2 1/2 feet) it looked massive.


I thought Pike tended to be long and thin but this one looks quite chunky to me. It was just lazily moving around quite close to the surface.

Teasel seed heads

Around the edge of the water were several Teasels but, again, no Goldfinch feeding.

Tong Park Dam

A beautiful place.

As usual the image files are on flickr where, after clicking on them, you can see larger versions. There are several other photos within the same album so it is worth having a look at them on flickr.