On Wednesday I set off to check if the long range visibility was as good as it looked from our house. I have a particular photo I am trying for that requires exceptionally clear air. Unfortunately it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped but since I was out and about it seemed like a good opportunity to go to Rodley Nature Reserve. It was open and so was the swing bridge over the canal, but more about that later.
The Lagoon had quite a few of the expected birds. Several Canada Geese and Greylag Geese looked as though they were nesting on the island in the lagoon. At one stage it looked as though one of the Canada Geese snuck on to a nest during a commotion and then had another screaming at it while another kept pecking at the back of its head. It stayed put so it could have been courtship but it looked a bit rough to me. I thought Lapwings were quite big birds but the Lesser Blackbacked Gull looked bigger. If my books are right a Great Blackbacked Gull would have a darker back and pinkish legs.
People are keeping their fingers crossed and hoping that the two Shelduck on the Duck Marsh are a pair and are going to breed on site.
By this time the skies were quite dark and it kept raining. The wind blowing into the hides was very cold.
During the walk around I spotted fungi on a large tree stump. One looked like the head of a Cauliflower and the other like a miss-shaped sugar coated chocolate egg where the sugar was flaking off. Books to the rescue. I reckon they are both False Puffball – Reticularia lycoperdon. Within a matter of hours the cauliflower head will skin over and look like the other photo and then peel to expose the powdery spores.
On the Riverside Walk I helped a couple of visitors get sight of a Chiffchaff that was singing away.
Due to the rain and cold I decided to call into the visitor centre before walking back to the car. On the way to the visitor centre I spotted the Long Tailed Tit.
In the visitor centre they have a glass case with Harvest Mice running and climbing in it. They look cute.
On the way back to my car I called in at the Lagoon hide and watched a few birds flying over the water near the Nest Bank. The light was not good and they were flying fast but some of them were flying more like Swallows than Sand Martins. This was confirmed by a couple of my heavily zoomed in photos but I didn’t expect one of them to show itself as a House Martin.
In the visitor centre I found out that the swing bridge had got stuck again and could not be used by cars so I had to drive up into the reserve and turn left just before the visitor centre and through the farmer’s fields and come out onto Newlaithes Road, Horsforth.
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