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.

Bluetit

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.

Chaffinch

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.

Nuthatch

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.

Buzzard

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.

Goosander

As was this male Goosander.

Ingress with a camera and wildlife

On Saturday I went on a small Ingress expedition and took my camera and then on Sunday I had a purely wildlife walk with camera. So here are a few photos from this weekend. Some of them should have the #visitbradford tag.

As usual you can click on any of the images to see them larger on Flickr.

The Sculpture Trail of Ferniehurst Dell, Baildon is a mission within Ingress so I went to capture and field the portals, something I have done on many occasions but it is always good to walk through the Dell. Sorry, but that portal link will only work for Ingress agents.

While walking through the Dell and capturing the portals I heard and saw many Blackbird, Robin, Wren, Jay, Blue tit, Great tit, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Squirrel and at least one Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Sparrow

But at the top of the Dell is a bowling green and football pitch with Hawthorn hedges and a stone wall covered in Ivy running along a couple of the sides. In between them is a dusty gravel track. I interrupted my Ingress and spent some time watching the House Sparrows there. According to the RSPB the Sparrow population of the UK has declined significantly over the last 40 years. It is a bit difficult for me to confirm because I was brought up in Lincolnshire where over our back wall were wheat fields and a disused airfield with hangers full of seed. There was a lot of seed spillage and plenty of Sparrows to feed on it. I then moved to a very different environment around Bradford so you would expect to see fewer Sparrows. Farming practice and seed storage has changed a lot over the years so it seems reasonable to expect this to hit the Sparrow population. There are places you can see and hear them and some that I know of are the hedges along Glenaire Primary School, the hedges along Cliffe Avenue playground, the hedges by Ferniehurst Bowling Green, and in May/June along the Leeds Liverpook canal towards Hirst Lock.

Sparrows

Above is the dusty gravel track between the bowling green and the football pitch with 10 or so Sparrows having a dust bath.

Sparrow

This male Sparrow is trying to get covered in dust. Apparently Sparrows are one of the of the more frequent dusters.

Tortoiseshell Butterfly

This Tortoiseshell Butterfly was near the fruit trees next to the Trim Trail of the Dell. I also saw a Hollt Blue but it was too quick to get a photo of it.

I then moved on to Golden Acre Park in Leeds and did some more Ingressing. This is a link to one of the portals there.

Peacock butterfly

This Peacock Butterfly was on the edge of one of the paths in the park. One thing that was very noticeable about the bare paths through parts of the park was the number of little holes in the ground along the edges of the path. Most of the holes had a dusting of grit/sand around the entrance where it had been dug out by the mining bees. I saw several grey and black bees near the holes that I am pretty sure were Ashy mining bees. These are solitary bees that dig small holes with several brood cells for their eggs and young.

Pair of Tufted Ducks

Quite a few ducks, geese and Swans were on the lake at Golden Acre Park including this pair of Tufted Ducks.

Mistle Thrush

On the way back to the car this Mistle Thrush hopped up onto the fence but soon noisyly flew off again.

That is Saturday done. Sunday was a walk along the River Aire at Denso Marston Nature Reserve. It is a great place to visit and enjoy the river.

Orange Tip Butterfly

There were quite a few Orange Tip Butterfly flying up and down the banks of the river. I also spotted a Brimstone butterfly but couldn’t get a photo.

Robin

Robins were quite obliging though.

View of the river Aire looking to Shipley

This shot of the river, looking towards Shipley, was taken from the footbridge over the river just across Otley Road from Midland Road.

Orange Tip Butterfly

Another of the many Orange Tip Butterflies. This time with orange tips.

Comma Butterfly

This Comma Butterfly was also flying along the river bank. I also spent some time by the ponds.

Water Snail

This water snail was slowly working its way across on of the large stone just below the surface.

Duckling

There was a family of ducks on the pond, mum and 5 ducklings paddling around.

Wren

A Wren was keeping itself tucked away in the reeds on the edge of the pond.

PM7_8226

On a couple of occasions while I was there the whole brood came out of the pond to spend a couple of minutes under the feeders and then back they would waddle.

Goldfinch

Just behind the pond, next to the fence were a couple of Goldfinch. I do think that is a rather stern expression. There seemed to be several small flocks flitting between some of the trees but these were feeding on something on the ground.

Pond Skater

Water Skaters were zooming about the pond surface coming close enough for me to get some photos.

Male Goosander

Towards the end of my visit these 2 Goosander paddled up river. I was on my way out but I wandered back again because of the varied bird song I could hear, and I am pleased I did because…..

Large Red Damselfly

I think I was pretty lucky to spot this Large Red Damselfly at the reserve. I was near the stone seat at the time listening to Blackcap, Blackbird, Blue tit and Bullfinch singing. I let the Steve, the warden of the reserve, know that I had seen it because I know he has a bit of rivalry with Rodley Nature Reserve to see which has the first appearance. Steve let me know that the first time he saw one on the reserve this year was on Friday.

Jay

There were quite a few Jay flying around making a lot of noise. This one perched in a tree long enough for me to take a photo.

Moorhen

A Moorhen by the river looking very brown.

Dogbane Leaf Beetle

One of the last things I saw on the way back to my car was this small iridescent green beetle. I am no expert but I reckon it is a Dogbane Leaf Beetle.