22 July in our garden

This is just a few photos of some wildlife in our garden late Thursday afternoon. I spotted what was either a Meadow Brown or Small Heath butterfly, I could only see the underwing, but I wouldn’t have expected to see any of them in our garden. So went to get my camera but of course it had gone before I got back. Since I had my camera out it only seemed right to take some photos.

We have two Buddleia in our garden. The Tortoiseshell was on the one near the back door and the Comma on the small one at the bottom of the garden. I am hoping to see lots more butterflies on the large one over the next few weeks. I saw a Holly Blue flitting through, one of these days one will land.

Most days we have a number of Goldfinch twittering away and flying to the tops of the trees along the back of the garden. We also have flocks of Long Tailed Tits that work their way along the trees from garden to garden. There seems to be quite a few juveniles amongst them, they have survived the Magpies. Last year our neighbour had a Long Tailed Tit nest and as each bird fledged the Magpies swooped and took them.

July 2021 Wanders

This is a collection of photos from several trips out. As with a few recent trips one of the reasons for the places I went was for Ingress uniques.

The first set are from around Tong Park Dam, then along a tiny part of the Welcome Way and then on to Baildon Moor, South of the Trig Point on top of Baildon Hill. This was on 2 July. I am not often over that side of Baildon Moor but was pleased to see and hear a number of Skylark and Meadow Pipit. I was also a little surprised at the number of people with dogs off the lead. In several cases the dogs were running into the longer grass to scare off the Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Reed Bunting etc. completely unchecked by their owners.

Oystercatcher, River Wharfe near Addingham

This next photo of a resting Otstercatcher was taken on the River Wharfe next to Ilkely Road between Ilkley and Addingham. This was on 4 July.

This set are from a quiet time through part of Trench Wood, Trench Meadow and at the Hirst Mill weir next to Bradford Amateur Rowing Club on 9 July. I am not at all confident about my butterfly identification skills. Please let me know if I have got any wrong.

Below the weir it is possible to get to the water’s edge and look up river at the same level as the water above the weir. A couple of Black Headed Gulls looked as though the were displaying to each other. In their normal stance their wings are not stuck out in that manner. It was amusing to watch.

While I was watching I could hear a couple of very loud Wrens in the trees around me. For a few seconds one was in the tree close by and was there long enough for me to get a photo.

I was also watching a Grey Heron standing amongst some tree roots on the river bank just at the bottom of the weir. I don’t think it could see into the water and the fish it caught must have been on the surface amongst the froth and bubbles.

And then a large dog jumped into the river quite close to the Heron which then flew to the other river bank. The dog was owned by someone getting fishing tackle out of their car so they were probably happy for the dog to keep the Heron away.

The photo of the discarded fishing line was taken from the path by the river just up river from the railway bridge and Nab Wood Cemetery. Just to the left the fishing line is tangled in the trees.

These photos are from a walk around Yeadon Tarn on 11 July. The young Black bird near the bandstand was being fed by a male Blackbird. Pulling up worms and then pushing them into the open beak. The male then appeared to just pass the worms to it so the youngster had to get hold of them and toss them back itself. The adult then stood in front of the youngster and ducked its head down and touched a worm with its beak. It did this several times until the youngster ducked its own head down and picked up the worm. I can imagine the adult feeling a bit of relief. “Right, at last! You can feed yourself from now on.”

Several Swans were at the Tarn. Some of them looked as though they were getting their adult white plumage and were spending most of their time preening, rolling right over in the water and spreading their wings. As they spread their wings it was noticeable that some had much more developed flight feather.

During part of this “outing” I went to Golden Acre Park, Adel and Allwoodley. I spotted Red Kite on several occasions and got out of the car with my camera. This Red Kite was spotted as I was driving down The Quarry off Allwoodley Lane.

Field Mouse in our garden

On Tuesday I spent some time in the garden. I noticed an area of Herb Robert twitching in a way that didn’t seem to be caused by the wind. I set my camera up and waited. Different parts of the plant twitched. I kept seeing movement in the shadows and occasional glimpses of brown. Was it a mouse or was it a Wren? When it showed itself I could see that it was grabbing hold of the seedheads on the Herb Robert with its little pale feet and eating them.

I had also cleared a lot of Forget Me Nots near the Herb Robert and a Robin kept flying in to get the insects that had been uncovered.

Saturday at Rodley Nature Reserve

Even though the enclosed hides at Rodley Nature Reserve are shut it is still worth a walk around the place. I went there with my camera (and phone for Ingress uniques) on Saturday. If you click on an image you are usually presented with a better quality view of it.

Before heading there I had my first walk around Parkinson’s Park in Guiseley. It was quiet in terms of wildlife but I might head back there in a week or two when I would expect to see more butterflies. On the way back to Netherfield Car Park from Parkinson’s Park I spotted the owl on the edge of a house roof. I don’t know if it is a disguised video camera or there to scare away other birds and rodents or purely decorative.

The Nest Bank of the Lagoon is being used by Sand Martins again. Quite a few of them could be seen swooping about and chasing each other. The island of the Lagoon had a couple of Herons standing on it looking a bit like old men.

A little further round the walk, near the Wet Grassland I heard a Buzzard and looked up to see one being hounded by a Crow. The two of them circled around for a couple of minutes with the Crow diving in to to make the Buzzard think that it could do better elsewhere. It then drifted off up river and started circling above another field.

There were many Damselflies around. I am not the best at ID but I think I have photos of Blue Tailed, Common Blue, and Azure. The path edges and grassed areas, all being grown to suit wildlife, were worth keeping an eye on.

Near the Scrub Woodland, in the top of a tree, a bird was signing. Its song was quite distinctive and I knew I had heard it before, but it wasn’t until a while later that I was round the other side of the tree and managed to spot the Reed Bunting singing. I later saw one collecting insects in its beak.

Before going back to the carpark I went out onto the bridge and watched three ducks creating quite a fuss. The female was being chased by male which frequently tried to cover it. The other male that had yet to develop its full colour seemed to be trying to protect the female and fight the other off. At one time the female was almost completely submerged with one male on top of the other with both on top of the female.

During my visit I had heard several Chiffchaff but they were all out of sight at the top of trees. It wasn’t until I had got back to the car park that I managed to spot one.

Uniques along the river

Yet another venture out looking for local Ingress uniques where I took my camera with me.

The photos from this walk were all taken on the River Aire near the Bradford Amateur Rowing Club. In between some of them we had a walk up river to Dowley Gap and a walk through Hirst Wood but I have put them all together.

We noticed a lot of Damselflies with the Banded Demoiselle being the most conspicuous, with several of them mating. In several places cuts in the river bank were teeming with small fish (fingerlings?). I don’t know the variety. And in one space, after trying to spot where a small fish had gone I finally focused on really tiny Fry – about half the size of a match-stick. The Heron on the river bank would have no problem filling its stomach with fish.

I took the photo of the Crow because it just seemed to be posing for us.

Photos from Sunday at the canal and river

I went out on Sunday again combining photography, walking and Ingress. Click on an image to see it at a better quality.

Just near the Beer Plaque in Ingress (on Saltaire Brewery) along the Leeds Liverpool Canal at Cygnet Way were some Cygnets. It’s nice to see them nesting along there. The Cob was keen to see off any of the Gosling chicks if they wandered too close. Along the sloping gardens of the houses of Cygnet Way were dozens of Canada Geese – nice in small doses but I bet they can get a bit noisy at times. The Goslings look as though they have full/bulging crops.

Some of the access to view the weir at Baildon Bridge has now been fenced off by the small businesses there. The only access is by the side of the bed shop. I heard a Peep, peep of a Kingfisher but didn’t see it but a Heron, Mallard and Black Headed Gull were on the weir. I couldn’t get a better view of the rubbish to see what name was on the bag.