I decided to go to the one at 11:00am

I tweeted and posted on Facebook about the Multi Story Water theatrical tour with links to their WordPress blog here. I did say that I was thinking about going on the 4:30pm tour but I decided to get off to the 11:00am one instead. It was fun and well worth following the act through Saltaire, Shipley and Baildon. Actors played the parts of local people past and present.

We started off in Robert’s Park with “Martin Bijl” (manager of Robert’s Park) telling us about the park (“No primary colours to be found here!”) and “Neil Morrison” telling us about the plans for micro-generation of electricity at the weir and how it will save our future. We then moved on to the pavilion at Saltaire Cricket Club where we listened to “Billy Ricketts” tell us about changes over the time he has been the volunteer looking after the cricket ground. What made this a bit more interesting was the Billy was there. He is the man in the pale blue tee shirt and red floppy hat.

Tales from Billy

As usual you can click on any of the images and see them larger on flickr.

Further West along the river we heard about the discussions between Salts, Baildon Urban District Council and Shipley Council on the plans and building of the Coach Road estate. With mention of the political, social and engineering challenges of the site.

Salts v Baildon v Shipley

We also heard from some of the residents of the estate – people who had moved into the houses when they were built and are still living there.

Billy Glover and daughter

It was great to see the actors put on their characters as they put on the different clothes.

We were encouraged to take in the views with frequent reference to how high the water was during the floods of November 2001. I am sure that the actors referred to the floods of October 2000 but I am pretty sure it was November 2001.

Here (below) the actor has just been telling us that the water was up to the top of his stick when he held it straight up.

The river Aire

I work at Salt’s Mill and below is one of the photos a colleague took during the flood. The water had been higher earlier. In this photo you can see that the trees on the mud bank had not yet been cleared for the refurb of the park.

Robert's Park taken from bridge towards cricket pavilion

At the Hirst Mill weir we also heard about why the Bradford Rowing Club is on the North bank and not the South.

Hirst Mill

Several people then had a relaxing trip in a canal boat through Hirst Lock down to Shipley. The rest of us walked along the tow-path.

Hirst Lock

After all joining up again the tour took us through Victoria Mill

Victoria Mill

and then down onto the river were we saw a few more of the sculptures on the Aire Sculpture trail.

Aire Sculpture Trail

The tour then took us further along the river to Lower Holme Mill were local residents told us of support from the local MP when organisations would not take responsibility and how the residents also did things for themselves. It is a shame that the developers are not taking on their social responsibility and replacing the solid fencing with something that would give the residents a better view out of the front windows.

The tour ended at Lower Holme Mill with a welcome bottle of chilled Saltaire Blonde courtesy of Saltaire Brewery.

The day after the FoBM BOG walk on 22

On the Sunday after the Friends of Baildon Moor and Bradford Ornithological Group walk I decided to go up to look for Whitethroat near the Scout camp. I heard Whitethroat but didn’t manage to see any. However I did hear plenty of Willow Warblers, and eventually, after being quiet for a while, I got sight of a Willow Warbler chick

Willow Warbler chick, Baildon Moor

And even caught sight of them being fed.

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After moving trying to get sight of Whitethroat I did see this moss which I am told is Polytrichum commune

Polytrichum commune, Baildon Moor

and an Oak tree with these Oak apple galls growing on it

Oak Apple Galls, Baildon Moor

In the same area there were also several Orchids. There are not many of these around and so some would say that I should nor publicise that they exist but I think that if people know that there are several plants on Baildon Moor that are rare then they are lees likely to want to pick them and threaten their existence.

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I then went looking for a particular shot of Swallows but that didn’t come to pass. To get to the place I was thinking of I followed the same route as on Saturday and saw Goldfinch on Sconce Lane again.

Goldfinch, Sconce Lane

Further round the walk, near Weecher Reservoir,I was able to spend more time watching the Oyster Catchers and Curlew

Oyster Catcher, near Weecher Reservoir

Curlew near Weecher Reservoir

Curlew and Oyster Catcher near Weecher Reservoir

Oyster Cathers over Weecher Reservoir

Oyster Catcher on Weecher Reservoir

And then on the way back I got sight of Willow Warbler chicks again

Willow Warbler chick

I spent quite a few minutes quietly watching and listening for the birds in the trees and gorse when a woman walked past and asked me if I was all right. Was she questioning my sanity or physical health? I told her I was OK but at the same time I was thinking that with a pair of binoculars round my neck and a long lensed camera over my shoulder it was evident what I was doing. I didn’t mention that only a few minutes before this I had serious doubts about her well-being as she walked round in small circles, took a few paces forward and then back, appearing to ignore her dog as she talked loudly, sometimes shouting, waving her arms about and then going through the whole thing again. I assume that the little black thing plugged into her ear was a USB headset and she was talking on the phone to someone, but that was just a guess.

Some June wildlife photos at Saltaire

I have seen single Cormorants flying along the river before and had a shot of one on the top of New Mill but the other morning when walking across the bridge at Robert’s Park I saw these 2 sunning themselves, wings open and their backs to the Sun.

Cormorants, Robert's Park

Quite a few people saw them, which was good. But on a recent lunch-time walk there were a lot of people that did not see this Grey Heron just the other side of the canal from the tow path were loads of people were walking, jogging or cycling. If they don’t move it is so easy to just pass them by.

Grey Heron

At this time of year the sides of the canal are busy with Sparrows and I hope you have seen my photo of one catching a Mayfly here.

This male Sparrow has caught a Mayfly and is perched in one of the saplings springing out of the side of the canal.

Male Sparrow with Mayfly

One thing I have missed this year is the nesting Kestrels in Salts Mill. I have heard them on several occasions and have been past to see if they were nesting but saw nothing. I am told by people working in the outdoor clothing shop in Salt’s Mill that they have had chicks and that they have fledged. I missed it all. This is a male Kestrel in one of the holes next to the one they have used for nesting in the past. At least I think it is male. The male has a blue/grey head, as this one has, but also has a grey tail.

Male Kestrel, Salts Mill

Locals may be aware of the proposal to build an Archimedes screw electricity generator at the weir. This photo is of a team using rather accurate equipment to measure the height and shape of the weir. After accurately getting a datum position, the equipment they use then records the position of the pole to within 30mm. After the person on the front of the boat has placed the pole in the desired position on the weir the person on the bank then pressed a button to record its position.

Surveying the weir