Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Leeds Birdfair

I've been a little lax with posts the past few days, it's not that i've not being doing anything it's just there's not been enough time in the day to post about it!

Saturday was Leeds 2nd Birdfair and we headed over in the morning to check it out. It was already busy with people arriving when we got there around 10 so we decided to walk around the hides first.

A Sedge Warbler was singing outside the lagoon hide, flying about in the grass putting on quite a show!

I could see Great Crested Grebe chicks across the lagoon, they're quite big but the stripes are just still visible. A Cormorant was stood with it's wings spread on one of the islands. A Black Headed Gull flew up from one of the rafts and chased a Heron right off the lagoon, I noticed it had a least one chick on there. In front of the hide a Coot and two chicks were picking at the algae.

In the trees by the willow path Great & Blue Tit youngsters flew about. A Reed Bunting and Robin were on one of the feed tables. 

My daughter spotted several Damselflies as we walked around the reserve, there were quite a few about though not many at the actual dragonfly ponds!

I did however spot a Reed Warbler at the edge of one of the ponds, of course it stayed just enough out of sight I couldn't get a good shot, we stayed and watched till it flew off.

We walked through the hay meadow for the first time in years! We were buzzed by Swallows and Ringlet Butterflies at every turn. I didn't realise there was a viewing screen part way around either, there was not a lot to see but we could hear a Chiffchaff calling. A Large Skipper was hanging on a leaf, the only one we saw all day and a Meadow Brown was hidden in the grass.

On to the visitors centre for a much needed cup of tea and we also got a couple of Canadian molasses cookies that someone had home baked for the fair. I didn't take a photo because I ate them too fast, they were absolutely delicious, I ate my daughters too as she wasn't keen! We wondered around the stalls and had a chat with the local RSPB group with a view to joining. The practicalities of me getting to regular meetings at the other side of Leeds aren't great unfortunately but i'm going to look into it further as the trips are appealing.

I managed to restrain myself and only bought one book from the book stall and my daughter picked out some jam from the Calverley Beekeepers as we got some last year and she loved it. After a couple of jacket potatoes from the food stall, where the people were working flat out serving food we had a walk up to the managers garden.

A detour off round the Poplar field where we saw more Ringlets and several bees.

We sat at the garden for a little while and watched Jackdaws and around a dozen Stock Doves, the most i've ever seen in one go before, possibly some juveniles there? A loud noise signaled the arrival of 3 Jays, I think a couple of youngsters and an adult, the feathers were sticking up on two of the birds heads. 

Unfortunately we had to leave just after lunch, I wanted to stay for the Birdsong walk but we had other plans. Roll on next years!

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Amanda from The Quiet Walker contacted me about doing a scavenger hunt she'd found on pinterest - great idea and i'm quite happy to take part. Ragged Robin is also taking part and her post can be found here. Amanda's post is here.

So here goes -

Something Fuzzy - this fern in the local park

Two kinds of seed - Dandelion and Sycamore

Two pieces of man-made litter, in the local park

Something straight - the cut through this tree that was damaged in the winds

Something round - one of many daisies in my lawn

Something smooth - if you look past the edge of the Holly leaves

Something rough 

Two different types of leaves - Oak & Sycamore

Something that makes a noise - the constant stream of juvenile Starlings in my garden!

A chewed leaf - a Foxglove in the garden

A beautiful rock - I struggled with this one and picked this monument in the park dedicated to animals that lost their lives serving in wars

Something you think is beautiful

A pinecone

Something green - so much to chose from

A stick - there are lots around the park after the recent winds

Something you think is a treasure - the urban woodlands in Churwell

Monday, 19 June 2017

30 Days Wild Days 18 & 19

Sunday meant a little shopping in Leeds city centre but we decided to take a picnic down to the waterfront by Granary Wharf to enjoy the sun and make the most of the greener part of the city centre!

I didn't have my proper camera with me but I got a few photos. Walking through to the wharf we saw this Sparrow picking bugs out of the cobwebs....

....that were in this ceiling!

A barge was heading into the lock and we watched the water fill up for a while.

It was busy but not too bad and we had a shady spot to eat. I noticed there were fish near the top of the water and when we walked round they were everywhere. I saw a few blue damselflies too but couldn't get a good photo.

There is a nice long walk along the canal that would eventually take you on to Rodley Nature Reserve and beyond but we didn't even attempt any of it, it was far too hot.

Instead we walked back the other way behind Asda House. We saw Sand Martins, they're nesting in the walls along the water, Herring and Black Headed Gulls were flying up and down too.

At the end of the path the wasteland was covered in Poppies, lovely bit of colour.

Today I had a quick walk around the woods, a Chiffchaff was singing near the pond, the Great Tit family were around there too. I saw Blackbirds and a Dunnock with mouthfuls of food.

I saw a pair of Long-tailed Tits in the trees, first ones i've seen in some time so I was pleased to spot them.

The flowers are out on the brambles now and they were full of bees and Speckled Wood butterflies.

I love these little moments before I have to go into work.

The last couple of weeks my daughter has kept telling us she'd seen a Buzzard on the way home from school, she managed a unidentifiable picture on her phone and is adamant  it wasn't our local Red Kite. She does know her Kites from her Buzzards........but i've never seen one around town here ever. Today I got text from my husband.......what has he seen sitting on top of the mill over the road from our house........only a Buzzard, it wasn't there long and flew off in the direction of the school!! And i'm at work and I miss it! My daughter was right all along....I should have had a little more faith in her id skills.....shh don't tell her!  

Saturday, 17 June 2017

30 Days Wild Update

It's been a busy few days with work and then a sick child so things have been a little unwild here! I did manage to fit in a short walk around the woods one morning but mostly it's been garden watching, which is a joy at the moment, our Fox has been joined by a second, a Squirrel has been around and we've had our first Blue Tit fledglings.

Juvenile Robin 

I love how the cobwebs caught the light

The Starlings are constant visitors

The adult Blue Tit was looking a little rough!

This plant winds around the arch over the gate and is usually full of flies, bees and Speckled Wood butterflies, today I spotted the spider.