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
- Spring on Baildon Moor
- Wheatear, Baildon Moor
- Green Hairstreak Butterfly and
- Lapwing Chick and Snipe.
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
Meadow Pippit with a mouth full of food for its 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.
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.
Parents were not too far away though.
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.
At about the same time I spotted a Curlew on the fairway.
This Curlew was quite happily digging for worms and insects while golfers were leaving the Tee and walking towards the same fairway.
As we know Baildon Moor is quite a busy place,
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.
I know I might post lots of photos of birds but the Moors are called that as much for the plant life as anything.
This Green hairstreak on a emerging frond of Bracken may give you an idea of the size of these little butterflies.
All these insects on the Moors are what supports the bird population that includes
and Meadow Pippits
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.
Other interesting sightings on my recent walks have been
flocks of Starlings
Egg shells (Please let me know what bird this might be from)
and sap leaking out a severely pruned money puzzle tree. For those Guardian readers this is otherwise known as Araucaria araucana