Dalton Bank Nature Reserve

I had my first walk around part of Dalton Bank Nature Reserve on Monday. I had driven past its small entrance on several occasions but this time I had some spare time, and had my camera with me. I had no idea what was in there but did know that is was sloping up from the road and there were a lot of trees in the area. I have since had a look at a satellite view of the place. It is a decent size and I will have to go back to explore some more. As part of this trip out I also had some decent views of Emley Moor transmitter with its temporary and flimsy looking partner. I intend to get some more photos of Emley Moor tower but the circumstances have yet to present themselves.

As usual please click on the photos to see a better quality image. Where there is more than one image in the set you can look through each of them by using the arrows. This also gives you a bit of information about the camera settings.

When I got up the first major slope of the reserve to the open grassed area I spent some time watching the butterflies. There were quite a few Oak trees and because of the slope the grassed area was a great place to look at the upper parts of them. I spent a while looking at the tops of the Oak trees and eventually spotted a small butterfly flying. Even though I thought I had seen where it landed it still took some spotting but I did manage a slightly fuzzy photo of a Purple Hairstreak.

The other butterflies were much easier to spot but still not easy to take a photo of. Are they quantum creatures – there until you try to get a good look at them.

The photo of the Chiffchaff was taken from the parking area a couple of minutes before I left. I had heard plenty of them around and saw them flying from one patch of Brambles to another but they were always tucked well in until this one flitted about a Gorse bush and was visible for a second. Its head and body look a bit scruffy so it looks like a recent fledgling, but the length of its tail ? does that say otherwise? It could be an adult that is just too busy feeding young that it has not had chance to smarten itself up.

Yeadon Tarn

I had a little trip out to Yeadon today. I took the car out and plugged it into a charger at Library and topped the battery up while I played a little Ingress and walked around Yeadon Tarn.

The header image is a rather smart looking male House Sparrow. The birds and butterflies were not the only things flying around. Several Jet2 aircraft were taking off and landing at the airport. I hope the holiday makers manage to get back without too much difficulty.

Lots of small looking white butterflies were flitting around. The ones that were still enough for me to identify were Green Veined Whites. There were also several Willow Warblers around. It was nice to get a half decent photo showing the yellow tinge to confirm that the two syllable “tweet” I had heard was Willow Warbler and not Chiffchaff. I did not notice the weak and wheezy call of Bullfinch so I was surprised to spot this one but it was brought to my attention by a Willow Warbler flitting about in the bushes right next to it.

Caterpillar, Butterflies and Hoppers

Guess what? I have been to Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits again. Thanks to someone paying attention (not me) I had better mention that the header image is of a Cinnabar Moth caterpillar on Ragwort.

There was a slight wind most of the time during the visit but when it settled for a few minutes with the sun shining there were plenty of white butterflies around. Several Meadow Brown were around. I did not see any Gatekeepers by the path between the lagoon and river that I had done on my previous two visits. A Peacock butterfly was quite obliging.

These three birds were spotted from pretty much the same place. The Chiffchaff and Dunnock were in the lichen covered tree and the Kingfisher across the other side of the river but taken from by the bench.

On the lawns I could hear grasshoppers that were leaping out of the way as you put a foot down. Lots of blue leafhoppers could also be seen jumping around. Looking close at little things can be nice, but sometimes you see things that you wonder about – that Ichneumon fly is a bit unnerving when you get up close.

Getting more general photos of plants and trees allows for them to be identified and means that the little creepy crawlies can’t be seen. When you get up close, like on what I think is a Pignut flower, you can see a black insect lurking.

Fish Pass at Saltaire/Robert’s Park Weir

In between the showers today I went down to Robert’s Park to see what is happening at the weir. Progress is being made with the fish pass.

It looks as though there is quite a bit of water having to be pumped out of where they are working. I wonder if that is because they have uncovered places where water is coming into the river from across Thompson Lane? I can’t say that I have noticed the archway in the wall of the river bank before.

It also looks as though the Herons are not letting the work interfere with their stalking of fish. In the second of the three photos of the fish pass work you can see an area of grass in the river just right of centre of the photo. Getting a closer look at it shows a Heron quietly watching what is going on, as seen in the header image.

Quite close to the work, just next to the footbridge is a tree with two of several Bradford No. 1AA Private Fishing Permit signs fastened to it. This is something I have kept an eye on since I first noticed it in 2002. There are two signs fastened to the tree because one of them, as of 2020, is almost completely covered by the tree. The second photo shows what it was like in 2002. There was only one sign on the tree at that time.

Something else I have kept half an eye on since it was built is the graffiti wall in the play ground of Robert’s Park. It acts as a separator between the play equipment and the skate park. I have taken several photos of it over the years and you can see an entry I created for it on Baildonwiki here.

I also went to have a look at Salts Mill where I used to work. Above the entrance there is now a Commscope sign but there is still an Arris sign just to the right of the door. Pace were one of the first companies to move into Salts Mill after it was opened by Jonathan Silver. Pace was acquired by Arris in January 2016 and Arris was acquired by Commscope in 2019. The other photo of the mill shows what looks like newly repaired and partly painted water tanks on the roof of the mill.

The last photo is of a complex array of scaffolding around the pipe bridge over the river. It can be seen from the end of Tennis Way off Coach Road. I have no idea why it is there.

One thing that I am taking away from the visit today is that it is going to be a while before I feel confident going out. I was amazed at the number of people that stopped within touching distance to talk to people they knew. Some of them standing and talking in the middle of the path to, over and from the footbridge. A couple of times I had to do U turns to avoid passing within inches of strangers, some of them could be heard coughing, and one group of youngish men, with one of them coughing and spitting, admittedly with some skill, but still! I think I will stick with trips up to Baildon Moor or Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits Nature Reserve where it is easy to maintain safe distances.

Gravel on a Sunday

Another visit to Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits. 🙂 26 July 2020.

Click on the images below for higher quality images, especially if you are viewing on a PC.

On each visit recently I have been looking out for Cinnabar Moth caterpillars on the Ragwort and this Sunday was the first time I have seen them. Some of them a still very small. On a couple of plants I saw some caterpillars but after a walk around the reserve none could be seen on the plant on my return. Perhaps they drop off and go looking for another plant.

In one part of the reserve I did spot a Gatekeeper on each of my circuits. I have no idea if it was the same one. As mentioned in previous blog posts there were plenty of white butterflies around, both Large and Small White.

If my bird ID is ok then there are still some Chiffchaff in the reserve though the only photo I got on this visit was one hidden by branches.Quite near the noticeboard is a space where the low bushes recede slightly to reveal a lot of twisted branches. I had often spotted a bird fly back into the bushes from there but today I was a little slower at approaching the area and noticed a Dunnock and Blackbird with the feathers spread. These birds like to rest with their feathers and wings spread to catch the Sun’s rays. This is thought to help them control pests. The Blackbird has just stood up after noticing me but its feathers are still ruffled.

On numerous occasions I had heard flocks of Long Tailed Tits flitting through the trees but it was only today that I got a decent sight of some of them. They had been staying quite well hidden even though you can tell from the sounds that they are moving through the trees.

I also, yet again took some photos of plants and insects and on this visit a couple of Fungi, one of which I think is Orange Grisette.

I will have to create a Places page for the gravel pits to go with the others.

Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits 24 July 2020

I have made yet another visit to Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits, partly because I like driving my new car, partly because I have been able to top the battery up free of charge, but mainly because it was a sunny day and I still want to get a good photo of a flying Brown Hawker – yet to be achieved, but I include a shot here.

The photos above are of things seen within the nature reserve. Again, on this visit, there were lots of what looked like Large White butterflies flitting around but they seldom stayed still.

With the water treatment works across the road on one side and the river with fields on the other there were Cormorant, Oystercatcher and Lapwing easily visible from the more open areas of the reserve.