On Friday afternoon I had a walk along the river at Denso Marston Nature Reserve.

Over the years I have wandered along the river from Dowley Gap to Esholt and along every part I have seen or heard a Kingfisher at some time. The river on Friday was no exception.

With a pose like that this Kingfisher, if turned to black and white, looks like a Corvid, except that it is about a quarter the size.

In this shot the length and shape of the beak means there is no chance of confusion even if those gorgeous colours had not already shouted “Kingfisher” at you..

This bird was a pleasant surprise for me, a Pied Flycatcher, a first for me. They are Summer visitors to the UK and seeing one at this time of year is a bit on the early side. I think Baildon is on the edge of where you can expect to see them. They can be spotted on the coast as they pass through to areas West of Baildon, another reason to be chuffed to have seen it. It appears to have been ringed at some time.

Edit: I have now heard from Steve, Reserve Warden, that this Pied Flycatcher is a first for the reserve. 🙂

Other interesting sightings were a detectorist (?) and someone hiding from the sun.

Other things spotted were Mandarin Ducks (above and featured image) Goosander, Mallard (+chicks), Crow, Jay, Blackbird, Wood Pigeon, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Bullfinch, Kestrel, Chiff Chaff, Wren, Mistle Thrush, Magpie, Grey Heron, Moorhen (+chicks), Canada Goose, Frog, Orange-tip butterfly, Comma butterfly, Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, Brimstone butterfly

As you know it is the breeding season for birds and today I saw that Mallard and Moorhen have hatched their young along the river and at the reserve. One Mooorhen pair at the reserve has 6 little balls of black fluff that float around with little pink/red beaks stuck out. A Canada Goose is also breeding there. Steve has very sensibly put some extra signs up about the need for dogs to be on a lead in the Nature Reserve. Not only is their a risk of dogs scaring the adults away from nests (a Moorhen nest was lost last year due to this) but the geese will be very protective of the nest and young and will attack anything invading its space in a rather noisy and alarming manner. These are not pets.

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