Mid May on Baildon Moor and in our garden

Mid May on Baildon Moor and in our garden

I have been neglecting my photography outings but with the nice weather I decided to go for a wonder on Baildon Moor on Saturday. Being retired I sometimes think I should leave Baildon Moor at the weekend to those that work and limit my visits to during the week. I’ll save it until near to the end before I say whether I might stick to that.

We seem to be hearing a lot of grim news about many things so I was pleased to hear Skylark in the sky. I spent a while looking towards the sound but didn’t spot one. I didn’t wander onto the golf course so I didn’t see any feeding along the fairways either.

Please click on an image to see it in better quality in its gallery.

What I did hear early on in my visit was Willow Warbler. It sounded as though there were several around, each in their own tree, singing along and then suddenly tailing off as though they had lost interest. Meadow Pipit were around but not in the numbers I had expected. I did spot them on fence posts and on the stone walls looking towards the sun and the field beyond. Often during my walks I would see them call and take to the air from the footpath in front of me, perhaps there were people going along the paths too frequently for that to happen. Reed Buntings were also around.

I managed to get a few photos of other things but they are here only as proof of what was there. They are rather fuzzy . Curlew could be heard making their eerie call as they glided into land. I didn’t spot any Curlew chicks but did see several adults strutting around with their massive curved beak.

Lapwing were also noisy with their “peewit” call whenever anything threatening flew over them, like this Red Kite that several Lapwing mobbed.

Every few minutes there would be a loud call from a male Pheasant as it flapped its wings to ward off any rivals. Several of them could be seen. I spotted a flat light-brown feathery thing in the short grass. It seemed to flatten itself and spread out. It then started moving towards longer grass and I realised it was a female pheasant guiding its young towards safety.

I also spotted another light brown flattened animal, but this time furry. From the black tips to the ears and its brown colour I am going to say it is a Hare. Hare will tend to flatten themselves into the ground to hide whereas Rabbits will run for the burrow. Its other features are rather Rabbit like but at a guess it is a Leveret.

On several occasions I heard a bird go “Chucka, chucka, chucka.” I admit that I didn’t know whether this was a Snipe or a Redshank, both of which I have seen in the area. Eventually I spotted a Snipe in the distance. I have since listened to recording of both birds and can confirm that It was Snipe I was hearing. I need to get up there in the evening so I can watch them doing their display flight and thrumming with their tail feathers.

In the warm air there were quite a few Orange Tip butterflies around. I also spotted this Wall Butterfly. It’s a bit fuzzy, but still identifiable.

The egg that I spotted, by itself, on the edge of the path is of a Pheasant, I think. From this angle it looks intact but the other side is all broken, bloody and messy. I assume a dog or crow had picked it up from a nest but had then been disturbed.

I did say I would leave it until towards the end before saying any more about which days I walk on Baildon Moor. I am going to keep away at weekends. My enjoyment comes from the quietness and wildlife so I don’t like seeing dogs lolloping along the paths where the well behaved ones only go a few feet off the paths, sticking their noses into tufts of grass. This will be to hunt out mice, voles, birds etc. that will now be forced further away from the paths. And then there are the drones and powered model planes. Sometimes they fly down over the fields near the farms. The Lapwing then rise up in an attempt to scare away the plane, in the meantime Crows and Jackdaws fly across the field to snatch at any young on the ground. I’m pretty sure that powered flight on Baildon Moor is still prohibited by bye-laws of Bradford Council, the land owner. The bye-laws may have come about to stop the injuries and fights that have happened on the golf course but I for one support them.

Later the same day I spent some time in our back garden a really enjoyed the noise and activity of a flock of adult and juvenile Long Tailed Tits go back and forth through the hedge and tress at the back. Apparently birds from other broods can help feed the latest batch. So the flock will be made up of brothers, sisters, aunties and uncles, all feeding the young. The latest brood are the ones with the red rings around their eyes.

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