Denso Marston Nature Reserve & Buck Wood

On Saturday I took my camera (and phone to play Ingress) down to Denso Marston Nature Reserve.

As expected there were lots of Azure Damselflies near the pond and Moorhens on it. Several Chiff Chaff could be heard and I heard, then saw, a Kingfisher flying low along the river. I didn’t spend long there because I was really out to play Ingress and the italics below indicate locations in the game, many of which were first time visits for me.

After Denso I crossed the river using Baildon & Idle Bridge AD 1889 and turned left into Buck Wood. I stayed on the path near the canal. I know midday is not the best of times for bird spotting but it was quieter than I expected. I then turned up one of the main paths in Buck Wood to visit Latin Stone Carving, carved Stone Rabbit, Stone Squirrel, Stone Carving, Carved Stone, Buck Wood Stone spiral, Buck Wood Archaeological Site, Thackley open air school site, School stone carving, Woodland vent shaft, Thackley Entrance to Thackley Skills Park, Buck Wood trail, Deer carving on rock, Buck wood information board, and Ventilation shaft. Then on to Park Road for the Community hall foundation stone and back round and down Thackley Road for Friends of Buckwood Information Board and another Ventilation shaft and across the canal and river back into Baildon.

When I came out of Buck Wood onto Ainsbury Ave a Speckled Wood settled on the notice board. For a while I had been hearing a chain saw and at the bottom of Thackley Road I finally got to see what was happening. This link to Google Streetview shows the tree, if this is being viewed much later than 2021 Google may have been round again so change the time back before 2021.

The long distance views from near the canal were clear so I decided to try again for the photo of Emley Moor transmitters but the heat haze meant the view was not as good as I had hoped. I then plugged the car into the charger at Aireborough Leisure Centre in Guiseley and wandered around turning a few Ingress portals from green to blue. I then headed home with more miles in the battery than when I set out. Unfortunately free charging is set to end in September.

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.

Rodley Nature Reserve

I admit that one of the reasons for going out today was to deploy a few more resonators for the Magnus Builder Architect (sorry to those that are not my G+ followers and Ingress agents) but I did take my camera with me. Another reason to go out was to get my car on a ramp to find out how much of an exhaust system was needed. The back box had decided to part company with the rest of the exhaust the previous day. Those that are not the least interested in Ingress please skip on.

My phone warbled at me while I was at Rodley Nature Reserve and the screenshot above is what it was trying to tell me. It had finally caught up and worked out that I had earned the medal.

However more important things were going on in Rodley Nature Reserve. A Bufflehead Duck had been spotted and people with £1600 binoculars and £8000 camera lenses were turning up. However I left them to it and walked round looking for birds that I might know the names of.

Man made sand bank

The photo above is of the man made sand bank. It looks a bit different to how it did a couple of months back; and for those that can’t remember….

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This is from a visit on 12 March.

Female Whitethroat

This, I think, is a female Whitethroat. The male has a head that is more grey. The song sounded right but given that I can’t tell the difference between the theme for Star Wars and Indiana Jones that is not saying much.

Kingfisher

I did catch sight of a couple of Kingfisher and had a chat with a couple of other appreciative visitors. Another visitor wanted to know what we were looking at and was disappointed when I said Kingfisher – he was suitably twitchy and wanted to see the renowned Bufflehead duck.

Long tailed tit

There were a few Long Tailed Tits around and this one obligingly stopped for a second. There were also lots of Swallows, Gold Finch, Crows and a few Lapwing.

Female Reed Bunting

Reed Buntings were also around. I have often seen these on Baildon Moor but this is the first time I have got reasonably close. The one above is a female…

Male Reed Bunting

and this one is a male.

Male Reed Bunting

And male again. On Baildon Moor they are often perched on a strand of Bracken that is slightly high and of course many yards away from the path. But that does go to show that is is important to stick to the paths and keep dogs on the path. If you keep to the paths the birds will next say 20 yards away. If dogs, or people, wander of the paths then this can widen to many yards and, if we are not careful, the birds then have no where to nest.

Pair of Crested Grebe with chicks

These Crested Grebes were well away from the paths though. You can just see that each has a chick or two on its back, keeping them warm and saving them from all the paddling.

Common Tern

This Common Tern was having what was probably a well earned rest from its flying.

Birds. Prior to the Dragons on Saturday

On Saturday, before going down to Robert’s Park to see the Dragon Boat Festival, I went on a short Ingress adventure for Magnus Builder but took my camera with me.

Mandarin Ducks

Driving along the narrow Esholt Lane I got a quick glimpse of what looked like a Mandaring Duck on the river so I quickly pulled off the road, of sorts, and got my camera out and found a way to see through the bushes. Not one but 3! I have seen Mandarin Duck on the canal in the past and very occasionally on the river but never 3 together.

Sparrows

I also called in Ferniehurst Dell for Ingress and spent some time watching Sparrows dust bathing.

Sparrow

This one looks as though he has crash landed.

Sparrows

They like stirring it up a bit.

Sparrows

The one on the left is a juvenile. You can see it still has the gape around its bill.

Juvenile Sparrows

And here it is a bit closer.

It is difficult to count the Sparrows. At one time there were 12 on the track bathing. 7 or 8 on the wall. 3 or 4 on the fence. 3 on the roof. Song coming from at least 3 places in the hedge. 6 or 7 in the Ivy on the wall behind me. 4 or 5 at the foot of the wall. 5 or 6 on the other side of the wall when I walked round. 7 or 8 on the other side of the track near the fruit trees. So at a conservative estimate there were at least 40 Sparrows. around.

There are also Sparrows at Cliffe Avenue play ground, and in the hedges at Glenaire Primary School.

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.

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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.

3rd Ingressiversary

I received the invitation to Ingress on 12 Dec 2013 and started playing the following day so this is my 3rd ingressiversary. Erica said it would last 3 months. I’m still going, perhaps not as enthusiastic as in some periods, but still going.

Ingress Invite

I’ve met a lot of people in that time and had some really good fun. I’ve worn out several pairs of trainers and broken all 4 springs on my car suspension.

I’ve got a few badges that are not too far off the next colour so I still have some work to do but that is now having to fit in more with me returning to my hobbies of photography and ornithology instead of them taking the back seat.

I’m quite proud of some of the figures in my stats:-

  • > 29,000 links created
  • > 18,000 fields created
  • > 10,000,000 MU captured single handed
  • 11 recruits
  • > 6,000 km walked