Wednesday at the Gravel Pits

On Wednesday I took my camera down to Ben Rhydding Gravel Pits. I didn’t see the caterpillar the allthingsmothy had posted about but is was still worth the visit.

The photos of Hoverfly and Bumblebee were taken on the walk through. All the others were taken from the bench at the top end of the reserve.

The Kingfisher looks as though it was carrying fish for its young. Instead of the fish head being towards its throat, as they do when they are going to swallow it, the head is towards the tip of its beak. This would put the fish in the right position for putting it down the thraot of a youngster. The last Kingfisher photo is way out of focus but shows the number of flies on the river.

The Red Kite, when I first saw it, did not look like a Kite. It looks as though it has lost some of its outer tail feathers and so it did not have the characteristic “vee” nick in it.

The sharp eyes of Steve spotted the Brimstone Butterfly and I am surprised the photo came out so well, it was quite a distance away.

The Green Veined White (am I right?) was in our garden on Thursday. I first spotted it on the garden table and it seemed to be there for ages. I finally decided to get my camera but, of course, it flew off as soon as I opened the door. I watched where it flew to and managed to sneak up on it.

Early August Butterflies

This is a few photos of a busy couple of days on the Buddleia in our garden.

When the sun is on it the Buddleia is teeming with Bees and sometimes Butterflies. This is the first time I have seen a White-Letter Hairstreak, thanks allthingsmothy for the ID confirmation. After the masses of Painted Ladies from a couple of years ago it was good to see a nice smart example again.

Baildon Peace Garden and Bracken Hall Farm in July

After the building of the new Baildon Community Link and the demolition of the old decontamination centre that had been used the space was turned into a Peace Garden. On Sunday I had reason (Ingress) to be near there and I just happened to have my camera with me fitted with a macro lens. You should be able to click on the images to view them, better quality, in their gallery.

The plants in the Peace Garden are what you would expect of a wild patch that is mown occasionally to encourage the wild flower variety. In the past it had been sown with wild/cottage garden varieties but I guess it is more sustainable now. Lots of long grass , Ragwort, Thistles, Scabious with Meadow Brown, Ladybird, Tortoiseshell, Small Copper, Ringlet and Small Skipper. I also found a few small Cinnabar Moth caterpillars.

During this trip out I also called in Roberts Park and noticed a Black Headed Gull on Sir Titus Salt.

On Monday, after snapping a sunny Tortoiseshell in our garden I took my camera out, this time I spotted several butterflies in a patch of Thistle, grass and Ragwort next to Bracken Hall Farm and The Welcome Way. Tortoiseshell, Meadow Brown and Small Copper. Checking on the Ragwort showed Cinnabar Moth caterpillar that were much bigger than the few I found at the Peace Garden.

I then went along Glen Road towards Bingley Road and spotted a Red Kite gliding along. It landed in the field at Glovershaw. Not something I often see. Looking through my long lens showed something on the ground near it. The Red Kite was soon being mobbed by a Black Backed Gull and a couple of Crows. It jumped up a couple of times to fend them off but then decided to fly off. The Black Backed Gull landed and started pulling at what was on the ground. It soon became apparent what it was – a dead Rabbit. It was watched by a couple of Crows and totally ignored by the Sheep.

Given that I have seen Black Backed Gulls pulling chunks off dead Seals, swallowing Rabbits whole and similar antics I was a little surprised that all the bird seemed to be able to do was pull bits of fur off. I suppose its persistence would be rewarded but I didn’t stay around to find out.

22 July in our garden

This is just a few photos of some wildlife in our garden late Thursday afternoon. I spotted what was either a Meadow Brown or Small Heath butterfly, I could only see the underwing, but I wouldn’t have expected to see any of them in our garden. So went to get my camera but of course it had gone before I got back. Since I had my camera out it only seemed right to take some photos.

We have two Buddleia in our garden. The Tortoiseshell was on the one near the back door and the Comma on the small one at the bottom of the garden. I am hoping to see lots more butterflies on the large one over the next few weeks. I saw a Holly Blue flitting through, one of these days one will land.

Most days we have a number of Goldfinch twittering away and flying to the tops of the trees along the back of the garden. We also have flocks of Long Tailed Tits that work their way along the trees from garden to garden. There seems to be quite a few juveniles amongst them, they have survived the Magpies. Last year our neighbour had a Long Tailed Tit nest and as each bird fledged the Magpies swooped and took them.

July 2021 Wanders

This is a collection of photos from several trips out. As with a few recent trips one of the reasons for the places I went was for Ingress uniques.

The first set are from around Tong Park Dam, then along a tiny part of the Welcome Way and then on to Baildon Moor, South of the Trig Point on top of Baildon Hill. This was on 2 July. I am not often over that side of Baildon Moor but was pleased to see and hear a number of Skylark and Meadow Pipit. I was also a little surprised at the number of people with dogs off the lead. In several cases the dogs were running into the longer grass to scare off the Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Reed Bunting etc. completely unchecked by their owners.

Oystercatcher, River Wharfe near Addingham

This next photo of a resting Otstercatcher was taken on the River Wharfe next to Ilkely Road between Ilkley and Addingham. This was on 4 July.

This set are from a quiet time through part of Trench Wood, Trench Meadow and at the Hirst Mill weir next to Bradford Amateur Rowing Club on 9 July. I am not at all confident about my butterfly identification skills. Please let me know if I have got any wrong.

Below the weir it is possible to get to the water’s edge and look up river at the same level as the water above the weir. A couple of Black Headed Gulls looked as though the were displaying to each other. In their normal stance their wings are not stuck out in that manner. It was amusing to watch.

While I was watching I could hear a couple of very loud Wrens in the trees around me. For a few seconds one was in the tree close by and was there long enough for me to get a photo.

I was also watching a Grey Heron standing amongst some tree roots on the river bank just at the bottom of the weir. I don’t think it could see into the water and the fish it caught must have been on the surface amongst the froth and bubbles.

And then a large dog jumped into the river quite close to the Heron which then flew to the other river bank. The dog was owned by someone getting fishing tackle out of their car so they were probably happy for the dog to keep the Heron away.

The photo of the discarded fishing line was taken from the path by the river just up river from the railway bridge and Nab Wood Cemetery. Just to the left the fishing line is tangled in the trees.

These photos are from a walk around Yeadon Tarn on 11 July. The young Black bird near the bandstand was being fed by a male Blackbird. Pulling up worms and then pushing them into the open beak. The male then appeared to just pass the worms to it so the youngster had to get hold of them and toss them back itself. The adult then stood in front of the youngster and ducked its head down and touched a worm with its beak. It did this several times until the youngster ducked its own head down and picked up the worm. I can imagine the adult feeling a bit of relief. “Right, at last! You can feed yourself from now on.”

Several Swans were at the Tarn. Some of them looked as though they were getting their adult white plumage and were spending most of their time preening, rolling right over in the water and spreading their wings. As they spread their wings it was noticeable that some had much more developed flight feather.

During part of this “outing” I went to Golden Acre Park, Adel and Allwoodley. I spotted Red Kite on several occasions and got out of the car with my camera. This Red Kite was spotted as I was driving down The Quarry off Allwoodley Lane.

Field Mouse in our garden

On Tuesday I spent some time in the garden. I noticed an area of Herb Robert twitching in a way that didn’t seem to be caused by the wind. I set my camera up and waited. Different parts of the plant twitched. I kept seeing movement in the shadows and occasional glimpses of brown. Was it a mouse or was it a Wren? When it showed itself I could see that it was grabbing hold of the seedheads on the Herb Robert with its little pale feet and eating them.

I had also cleared a lot of Forget Me Nots near the Herb Robert and a Robin kept flying in to get the insects that had been uncovered.