Recent sightings on Baildon Moor

Baildon Moor is an important area for several ground nesting birds, some of which are on the RSPB’s red list – such as the Skylark. Areas right next to Baildon Moor are used by other ground nesting birds also on the red list – such as the Lapwing.

I have been up on to the Moors a few times recently. I have already blogged this Spring about Curlew, Pied Wagtails, Peacock butterflies, Chaffinches, Willow Warblers, Meadow Pippits, Wheatear, Green hairstreak butterflies, Lapwing chicks and Snipe in the following

This is quite a long posting but I hope you stick with it to the end. On my latest visits I have come across Curlew and Red Grouse

Curlew and Red Grouse

Meadow Pippit with a mouth full of food for its young

Meadow Pippit with food for young

and Snipe perched on a post. I realise this is similar to previous postings but I have yet to get a good shot of one diving with its thrumming feathers deployed.

Snipe

A more recent visit started off great. I decided to follow one of the narrow paths North up the hill from Bingley Road, not too far from the junction with Glen Road. The intention was to look for Skylark along the edges of the fairways. However quite soon I was surprised to see this little thing skulking about in the grass. A Red Grouse chick. Hopefully more of them will come over to escape from the shooting on Bingley Moor.

Red Grouse Chick

Parents were not too far away though.

Red Grouse

Red Grouse and Chick

Soon after that there was a loud commotion across the other side of Bingley Road. Two Pheasants (I think) were kicking up an awful racket. They were not just calling and flying away, as often happens, but calling and flapping and moving around. They were not keen on having their space invaded but seemed reluctant to leave. The Pheasant are difficult to see. One is just below the black dog and the other is towards the bottom of the shot below the golden dog.

A pair of Pheasants shouting at dogs.

At about the same time I spotted a Curlew on the fairway.

Curlew

This Curlew was quite happily digging for worms and insects while golfers were leaving the Tee and walking towards the same fairway.

Curlew on the fairway and golfers in the rough

As we know Baildon Moor is quite a busy place,

A busy Moors

So it is surprising that it is used by ground nesting birds that have to feed their young with all the traffic around. This is a Skylark that nests in the tufts of grass quite close to the fairway. One of the fun challenges of the Spring and Summer is to spot the Skylark high in the sky as it sings away.

Skylark with food for young

I know I might post lots of photos of birds but the Moors are called that as much for the plant life as anything.

Tormentil and ???

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This Green hairstreak on a emerging frond of Bracken may give you an idea of the size of these little butterflies.

Green Hair Streak on a Bracken Frond

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All these insects on the Moors are what supports the bird population that includes

Pied wagtails

Pied Wagtail

and Meadow Pippits

Meadow Pipit

and Reed Buntings. Though they have a short beak they eat both seeds and insects. This male Reed Bunting is singing away on a dried bracken frond.

Male Reed Bunting

Other interesting sightings on my recent walks have been

flocks of Starlings

Starlings

Willow Warbler

Willow Warbler

Egg shells (Please let me know what bird this might be from)

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Lichen

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and sap leaking out a severely pruned money puzzle tree. For those Guardian readers this is otherwise known as Araucaria araucana

Monkey Puzzle tree stump

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