December Dipper

I took my camera for a walk along the river yesterday. When I got back I uploaded the photos to my computer. I store my image files in folders for each month and was a little surprised to see that I have no folder for November 2018.

I went down to Denso Marston Nature Reserve. It was after 2 o’clock and the Sun was already lowish in the sky so I knew I wouldn’t have long to take photos with my long lens before it got too dark for hand held shots.


The river was quite high and fast and making a bit of noise but quite a few birds could be heard. Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Greenfinch and Blue Tit like the one above.


This female Chaffinch posed for a second showing that its legs have not been affected much by what is probably Fringilla papillomavirus.

Common Dipper

What I was very pleased to see though was a Common Dipper. This was a little further up river from Denso – near the back of Charlestown Cemetery.

Lost Canoe

This canoe was trapped in the trees across the other side of the river. I did scan the area to see if there were any paddles or bodies around. I assume it had been washed down river. I later saw two men high up on the river bank. They were going to try to get to the canoe.

River View

A little further on I decided it was getting a bit too dark for long lens wildlife photography so I took this photo looking up-river towards Shipley and then headed home.

Wren and chicks from Saturday

Here’s another set from Saturday. I often hear Wrens, they are noisy things for their size, but spotting them can be tricky, and spotting them with young is even harder.

Wren with food

This was the first one I saw, with food. So I kept my eyes and ears open for more.

Wren parent looking for food

When I first took this shot I assumed this was an adult Wren looking for food. But now, looking at its beak, I think it is a juvenile. The beak is a lighter yellow and the lighter shade goes further back to make the bright gape of the hungry mouths. I don’t know if the webs are from spiders or caterpillars. Probably spiders.

Wren Chick

A juvenile calling for food.

2 Wren Chicks

And then 2 juveniles calling for food.

2 Wren Chicks + parent

And now, between them we have a dutiful parent with food.

2 Wren Chicks + parent

Which to feed? The one that shouts the loudest or the one that looks as though it needs feeding up?

Wren parent with food

This parent has some food with skinny legs…

Wren Chick open wide

what’s the best thing to do with a beak full of legs?

Wren Chick being fed

Push it into the nearest gaping mouth. It doesn’t surprise me that juvenile has its eyes closed.

Wren Chick, parent flying off

Then with a jump and ….

Wren Chick, parent flying off

a flap off goes the parent for more food.

Thursday at Denso Marston Nature Reserve

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.

Goosander Chicks

A family of Goosander were paddling down river.

Grey Wagtail

There were also quite a few Grey Wagtail. I did not see any Dippers. 🙁

Great Spotted Woodpecker with food for young

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.

Roe Deer

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.

Roe Deer

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.

Roe Deer

Roe Deer

The Deer gave me one last look before going further up the river bank out of sight.

Roe Deer

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.

Roe Deer

Pair of Mandaring Duck

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.