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.

Join the Conversation


    1. Thanks. I know the shading to the wings doesn’t look right but it was a lot larger than a Kestrel. The wing shape is more like a Kestrel too. But the size and the way it circled wasn’t like a Kestrel.

  1. Kestrels can circle and soar: I’ve watched them do that a lot over Reva hill and Rombald’s Moor, and it’s well documented. As to size, it’s one of the most difficult challenges with raptors, judging size when looking up at a flying bird – again I’ve several times got it wrong initially when watching them on the moors and elsewhere. As you say, it’s the wing shape and underwing plumage of a Kestrel (although Buzzards are notoriously varied), but also the lack of fingers, the shape of the head, the position and size of the feet (Buzzard feet trail behind the body under the tail, and are larger), the length of the tail in relation to the body. I have to say, it’s only possible to look at some of these so closely because it’s such a good picture.

    1. Ok. You have convinced me. I have edited the post. 🙂

      Did you look at the photo full size on flickr?

      1. Yes I did. Have to ask – what kit do you use? Aside from the fact that I love the composition (that’s the photographer!), I’m impressed at the resolution on pictures such as the common tern at Rodley, having tried taking very similar pictures recently. And shooting at a moving bird skywards…

        1. I have a Canon 7D and many of my wildlife photos are taken with a Sigma 150-500 zoom. You can read a lot of that info in the EXIF data that flickr can display.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: