September Butterfly Bush

This is a mixture of some recent photos so the title is a bit misleading but since I have said September Butterfly Bush lets start with the butterflies.

A month or so back the media contained several reports of the number of Painted Lady butterflies, saying that this was a once in every 10 year occurrence, with higher than usual numbers of the butterflies around. Back on August 5 I posted again about More Painted Ladies. But even in September our buddleia, when the sun was on it, had good numbers. The third one in the gallery above shows a Painted Lady and a Bumble Bee looking as though they are sipping from the same flower.

Several Peacock butterflies were around at the same time and most of them had very raggedy wings.

What was noticeable, not in the same numbers as the Painted Ladies earlier in the year, but still worth a mention, were the Red Admirals.

Some of the Rd Admirals were looking very fresh.

Tortoiseshell and Small Whites were also around during September.

While taking photos of the butterflies I could also hear several Goldfinchs and Blackbirds in the Hawthorn and Elderberry. I could see the small branches moving but couldn’t see any birds until this one suddenly hopped into view. I still kept seeing birds fly into and out of the trees but once in they mostly kept hidden. On a couple of the shots above you may have noticed that the sky has been very blue.

In the clear blue sky ‘planes flying over were showing bright with long vapour trails. The first shot above is at 600mm, the same lens I used for the Goldfinch. I have shown the image uncropped – as taken. The second image is the same photo but heavily cropped to 800 pixels wide. The reason for this is to give some scale to the next set of photos.

These were taken just a few seconds before the one of the plane and are cropped the same amount to give an idea of relative size. The object was heading North (ish) and changed shape slightly. I have rotated the images slightly so that the line is top to bottom. The Sun was to the left. I was shooting handheld and so the angle of the camera could have changed between the shots. At the time I started the SkyView app on my phone and it told me that the International Space Station was in a similar compass direction but well below the horizon. I don’t know how accurate SkyView is for things that move across the sky at the rate this was moving but I can’t think what else it could be. The data from the camera says it was taken on 21 Sept at 14:48:40 BST. Checking the camera now shows that it is running about 10 seconds slow so the correct time was 14:48:50. I wonder if it is possible to find out where ISS was at that time?

During September I went down to Denso Marston Nature Reserve a couple of times. I heard, and got glimpses of Kingfisher. A Grey Heron saw me before I saw it and was already flying away but these Goosander were a little less panicked.

I often hear Chaffinch, Robin, Wren, in the front garden and sometimes hear Goldcrest in the trees. On this particular time, when I was out near the garage, it sounded a little lower and closer than it often sounds so I went to have a look. After spotting it I went in and got my camera with macro lens fitted, I was hoping it would come nice and close. I could see it deep in the tree but it was well hidden so taking a photo was not on, but it was working its way around the tree. After waiting patiently it came around to my side and I managed to get a few shots of it. So tiny!

I have spent a bit of time recently helping out at Baildon Community Link on Cliffe Avenue, refitting cupboard doors and similar such things. On leaving one day I thought this view of the park next to it looked rather good after the grass had been cut. On the walk home I saw someone that was going a little further than I normally do to get a decent view of things. One of the problems of being surrounded by trees is that your view can be obstructed. 🙂

Harley Tanks 2018

I remember creating the collage of Harley Tanks from the 2018 rally and sharing it on a facebook group but it looks as though I didn’t add it to my blog. So here it is, rather late I know.

This one has 64 tanks in it. It was raining on the day so bikes may have been tucked out of the way and I might not have put too much effort into finding them. Also there had been the risk that the rally was not going to take place. For a rally that closes off public roads there are many things that need to be done. Each task may be reasonably straight forward but there’s a lot of them and miss one of them and the event does not happen. Until social media and the community got behind the event to support the organisers there was a risk that it was not going to happen. I think there is a valuable lesson to be learnt there – if there are things that we enjoy taking part in don’t expect others to put all the hard work in just so we can have fun.

The 2019 rally was the 40th and I got 214 tanks in the collage.

The 2017 rally collage was 133 tanks

The 2012 rally saw me find 59 Harley tanks.

At the 2013 rally I added 43 new tanks.

I also have photos from 2002, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014. I might put together a little history sometime.

Harley Rally 2019

This August Bank Holiday was the 40th Harley Davidson Rally in Baildon. And the sun shone! This year was also the 50th anniversary of the formation of The Wrecking Crew, a Harley Davidson club, of which the Shipley branch plays a massive part in keeping the rally going year after year.

An amazing job had been done by the organisers of the rally (see Shipley Harley Rally) in getting all the necessary people involved so that the event could actually take place – no mean feat. The event itself was enjoyed by all. And then the clean-up took place. Fantastic! I have seen photos of the aftermath of the rally and they have made people wonder “Did it actually happen?”.

A massive thank you to the organisers, the bikers, the people working, the volunteers, the businesses and the public. And the weather.

Though the whole weekend is great fun we shouldn’t forget that one of the reasons for the rally is to be charitable. As usual toys, books, pens, pencils etc have been collected for the Children’s Ward at the BRI. In the past money has been donated to such things as a Youth Development fund and Riding for the Disabled. Keep an eye on the Shipley Harley Rally website where I expect they will give an update on the charities involved.

There are some social media sharing buttons at the bottom – feel free to share with your friends.

The centre of Baildon looked great. The Farmer’s Market was held on Saturday morning and during that there were not too many bikes around. In the afternoon Northgate started to fill up and old friendships were rekindled. A new Rock was also introduced – Baildon Rocks.

With the sunshine and blue skies the view from the campsite at the rugby club was beautiful. The warm weather also brought out the grasshoppers. This one was on the wall between the two fields.

The rally is not limited to Harleys but most of what was around was not your mainstream means of transport.

The main event for the public is at 1:00pm on Sunday when Northgate fills with the bikes and they ride off down Browgate. In the past they used to then ride up Otley Road to Harewood House, I’m not sure where they go now. I think many ride round in a big circle and come back to the campsite.

With it being the 40th rally, and the town pulling together last year to make sure the rally continued, and with the good weather the turnout was good. The above “posters” show 214 Harley or Indian tanks that were at the rally – I know there were more around. I have watched a video and counted 332 “bikes” going down Browgate for the ride out.

After the ride out Northgate stayed closed which allowed the fun to continue.

River and Canal Friday

On Friday I went for a walk along the river, the canal and through Hirst Wood – with my camera of course.

I kept my eyes peeled for a sight of the Great White Egret that had been around but no luck.

Boaters, bikers and walkers were out enjoying the sun.

I also expected to see a Grey Heron but the edges of the river were free of them though a fair number of Canada Geese were leisurely paddling along.

The weir at Hirst Mill is a lot different now following the damage during the floods of 2015. The change in height is now over a greater distance and it is strewn with rocks – a place to sometimes see Grey Herons but in this case a Grey Wagtail was perched on one of the stones looking for insects.

So if you don’t see a Grey Heron on the river or canal why not…..

… look on the nearby walls. Or…..

… up in the trees.


In the air flying by.

But then if you want to see more than one why not look up into the fields?

Adel Dam on Wednesday

Though it was raining I went along to Adel Dam Nature Reserve on Wednesday.

At the first hide the feeders were busy with Nuthatch, Blur Tits, Great Tits, Woodpeckers, Mandarin Duck, Magpie and Chaffinch with Moorhen quietly messing around near the water. A Kingfisher went pee-peep and perched on a branch for a second before flying off.

At the 2nd hide one of the birds I spent a bit of time watching was a Little Grebe. It was frequently diving and coming up with small fish. It is not until I saw it near ducks that I was reminded of how little they are. I had spent quite a bit of time watching the Little Grebe before I realised that there were two of them and they were taking it in turns to sit on a nest.

On several occasions I heard and then saw bits falling from high up in one of the trees. I looked over the tree with my binoculars but it was probably the forth time that I saw bits falling that the squirrel was finally showing itself as it snipped off and tucked into the nuts on the tree.

Other visitors that added yo the interest were a Bank Vole, Kingfisher (which flew a few circuits of the water but kept quite hidden when perched) a Chiffchaff and a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

I think the noise of the rain and the splashes on the water helped make the afternoon relaxing. The Mandarin Ducks didn’t seem to mind it either and it looked as though they swam out onto the water when it was at its heaviest instead of staying under the cover of some of the overhanging trees.

Kingfisher missile


On a recent visit to Denso Marston Nature Reserve I noticed what I thought was yet another bit of blue plastic on a branch.

But on a closer look it was a Kingfisher. The usual sighting of a Kingfisher on that part of the river is as it flies away having seen you first or flies past just above the water.

This one didn’t seem too worried by me taking photos of it from the other side of the river.

But then I heard the call of another Kingfisher and it looks as though this one did too as it took to the air.

It looked as though it got to the air just in time as another Kingfisher flew along like a dart looking as though it was aiming for the one perched.

It flew onto the next branch only a short distance away while the other one now looked back from the next tree down river.

These are not brilliant photos but it is great to see Kingfishers and they tell a bit of a story. You can click on an image to see it larger.