Saturday at Rodley Nature Reserve

Even though the enclosed hides at Rodley Nature Reserve are shut it is still worth a walk around the place. I went there with my camera (and phone for Ingress uniques) on Saturday. If you click on an image you are usually presented with a better quality view of it.

Before heading there I had my first walk around Parkinson’s Park in Guiseley. It was quiet in terms of wildlife but I might head back there in a week or two when I would expect to see more butterflies. On the way back to Netherfield Car Park from Parkinson’s Park I spotted the owl on the edge of a house roof. I don’t know if it is a disguised video camera or there to scare away other birds and rodents or purely decorative.

The Nest Bank of the Lagoon is being used by Sand Martins again. Quite a few of them could be seen swooping about and chasing each other. The island of the Lagoon had a couple of Herons standing on it looking a bit like old men.

A little further round the walk, near the Wet Grassland I heard a Buzzard and looked up to see one being hounded by a Crow. The two of them circled around for a couple of minutes with the Crow diving in to to make the Buzzard think that it could do better elsewhere. It then drifted off up river and started circling above another field.

There were many Damselflies around. I am not the best at ID but I think I have photos of Blue Tailed, Common Blue, and Azure. The path edges and grassed areas, all being grown to suit wildlife, were worth keeping an eye on.

Near the Scrub Woodland, in the top of a tree, a bird was signing. Its song was quite distinctive and I knew I had heard it before, but it wasn’t until a while later that I was round the other side of the tree and managed to spot the Reed Bunting singing. I later saw one collecting insects in its beak.

Before going back to the carpark I went out onto the bridge and watched three ducks creating quite a fuss. The female was being chased by male which frequently tried to cover it. The other male that had yet to develop its full colour seemed to be trying to protect the female and fight the other off. At one time the female was almost completely submerged with one male on top of the other with both on top of the female.

During my visit I had heard several Chiffchaff but they were all out of sight at the top of trees. It wasn’t until I had got back to the car park that I managed to spot one.

Aug-Sep 2020. Out with my camera and phone

I have mentioned before hearing noisy Crows and seeing youngsters being fed.

I did think that by the middle of September that all that would be finished with but a noisy youngster was still shouting to be fed; this time on a neighbour’s chimney. The one on the left was fed by the adult and it looks like a risky business; shoving a hard beak into each other. No harm was done, but the youngster on the right, after making a bit of a fuss, was seen off by the adult in quite a rough way.

On one of my visits to Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits someone mentioned Gallows Hill nature area in Otley so I paid it a visit and even though it was a damp and grey day it was quite a pleasant walk. One of the things I have started doing again is playing a bit of Ingress so submitted a couple of new portals from the nature area.

As part of Ingress I have been looking at the map again and saw the opportunity to create a few blue triangles between Beamsley Beacon not so far from Addingham, the Elephant Mural on the A6033 between Oxenhope and Peckett Welland places in Barnoldswick.

These are just a few photos from a walk around Barnoldswick after having created the Ingress fields.

These two photos were taken on a outing where I have made yet another attempt at a photo I am trying to get. I will be making other attempts and will hopefully have something to show for my repeated efforts. The Buzzard was quite noisy.

On Saturday I had another look at the Ingress map and set off for Fewston Cemetery. It was strange to be there during the day. The last time I had been there it was dark and late and I was quizzed by two big armed policemen. Fortunately, at the time, I had finished what I wanted to do so I was happy to “move on”. I then went back gown to Otley and made some triangles.

As part of this drive around I had my camera with me and was very pleased I did. When on Hardisty Hill I spotted a Buzzard on a fence post. It took me a few minutes to find somewhere I could safely stop the car so I could get out with my camera. The Buzzard posed for a few minutes before flying down to the tree in the heather. At the same time I heard another Buzzard behind me, this one flew along some trees before settling in one of them.

A few minutes later I spotted some Red Kites over a field. This time there was a place to stop the car safely. I watched them and realised that they seemed to be staying in the same area so I got my camera. A tractor was working in the fields cutting and turning the grass for hay. I reckon that there were 5 or 6 Red Kites. Buzzard also spent a while hovering and calling loudly. The Pheasant walked along in the grass at the edge of the road behind my car happily ignoring me. Perhaps it was too busy watching the birds in the sky?

I decide to pay Weeton Station a visit in Ingress and was a little surprised to see a Buzzard and several Red Kite circling quite low. They appeared to be flying along behind the trees at the station at about rooftop height along Kingsway. Perhaps something was dead along there?

As part of the zig-zag Ingress way home I stopped off at one of the entrances to Harewood House at the end of Wike Lane. The view of Harewood House is impressive.

Shipley Glen to Golcar Farm

Saturday 20 Apr 2019 was another Bracken Hall Countryside Centre walk guided by local birder Paul King. 1:30 in the afternoon might not be the best time to start a birding walk and Paul spent some time talking about what to look and listen for during early morning or evening walks. However we did well.

We could here Robins and Crows but one of the first birds to be spotted was this Harris’s Hawk. It is most likely to be an escapee from a falconry, they breed in the Americas, so according to Paul it is only worth half a tick in your birding book. I quite like it and it doesn’t have any jesses on so it gets a full tick in my book.

The Hawk was being bothered by a Rook. The Hawk was a little late in flipping on to its back, which is probably just as well for the Rook. I know I wouldn’t want to be grabbed by those talons.

I was tempted to edit the relative positions of the birds to make it look more dramatic but that would be cheating.

Walking North along Bracken Hall Green, in amongst the Robins we could hear the distinctive call Willow Warblers. They will have only recently come back from Sub-Saharan Africa. They appeared to be spaced out along the trees so have already been setting up their breeding territory.

Further along Glovershaw Beck gave good views of a couple of Rookeries. It looked as though most of the nests were occupied with another adult nearby. This is a view of the nearer nests.

After crossing the road this Common Buzzard flew over, circled a few times before drifting off.

We had seen a few Swallows flying around. They will have recently returned from the Southern hemisphere to breed in and around our barns and outbuildings. This one posed nicely on a wire for me.

On the moors things were very quiet. A couple of Curlew were heard. A few times a Snipe could be heard. In the fields there were a fair number of Lapwing on nests which means that not many have hatched yet.

A week ago I almost stood on a Lapwing nest containing three eggs. It was in the middle of a track made by the golf club maintenance vehicles and very close to the busy path. I did not expect it to survive. I was surprised to see an adult lapwing still near where the nest had been and surprised again when I saw a chick. And even more surprised when I saw two more at what I think had been the nest. All the eggs had hatched!

This is the adult keeping a very close eye on one of the chicks. I have never been so close to Lapwing chicks before. In previous years I had been amazed at how you could get a glimpse of a chick and then with a call from an adult it would disappear from view. These new ones were sometimes hiding and sometimes walking towards the adult. Perhaps that was because we were so close.

I no longer embed the images from flickr but I have uploaded these, plus a few others, to an album on flickr that you can see here.