I had a very pleasant walk along the River Aire today at Denso Marston Nature Reserve. There was lots of bird song but I am not good at identifying it but I did recognise Blue tit, Great tit, Blackbird, Robin, Long tailed tit, Jay, Jackdaw, Wren.
As usual you can click on the image to see a larger version on flickr, and with these you can find a few other photos too.
Quite soon I heard, and then saw 2 if not 3 Nuthatch signing and chasing each other around a few trees.
A family of Goosander were paddling down river.
There were also quite a few Grey Wagtail. I did not see any Dippers. 🙁
I did hear Woodpecker chicks and spent a while walking up and down 10 yards or so of the path trying to work out exactly where they were. I did see several holes that looked likely candidates but no little heads peeping out. I did see parents with food for them but they didn’t let me see where they were taking the food.
I saw Kingfisher flying along the river and one of them looked as though it might have been carrying a small fish. I decided to rest on one of the benches and keep an eye/ear out for more Kingfisher. Across the river a patch of earth looked to be in the shape of a deer – then it lifted its head and looked at me.
I quietly followed it along the river for a while and was rewarded with being able to watch it eating leaves.
At the same time a Buzzard (or is it Kestrel?) was circling overhead. I decided on Buzzard because of its size but the wing shape and colouring is more Kestrel like. Buzzards should have a dark patch at the inner front of the wing and dark tips to the wing feathers. I have spent hours watching Kestrels and it didn’t say Kestrel to me, but I am happy to be persuaded. Ok. Edit… I have been persuaded. The fingers and feet did it. It’s a Kestrel. Thanks Andrew.
The Deer gave me one last look before going further up the river bank out of sight.
I then spotted some movement and from the colour and size thought it might be a female pheasant until I got a closer look at it. Another Deer. This one with antlers.
A couple of weeks ago I saw 3 male Mandaring Duck further down the river near Esholt but this male and female were near the West entrance to the Reserve.
As was this male Goosander.