Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Morley in Bloom

These are just a few photos of one of our local parks. The parks department are doing a great job around here at the moment and the parks look fantastic. Scatcherd Park is right in the centre of the town with a play area then a few windy paths in amongst trees and flower beds and the Memorial. Last time we walked through we sat and watched a Squirrel playing and jumping about. Plus there were an awful lot of Blackbirds too.

Friday, 21 August 2009

Garden Update

My garden has had a fairly quiet time the past month or so until the past few days. Then birds have been flocking back! We had up to 15 House Sparrows at one point yesterday and 4 Blackbirds. The Collared Doves have still been regular visitors throughout with 3 or 4 visiting at a time.

The Dunnocks and Blue Tits are eating a lot of sunflower hearts and seed from the feeder. The Blue Tits have visited every day even when there hasn't been another bird in sight! A couple of Starlings came in for some bread and there have been a couple of visits from a Great Tit.

A couple of very noisy Herring Gulls keep flying about overhead and we have watched a bat flying about over the road at the front of the house.

Yesterday we had another visitor - a Squirrel - I know not everyone is a fan but I love to watch them. The cats chased it off twice but it was soon back and the cats gave up and just sat and watched it! It was on the feeder when we went out and an hour and a half later it was still there. I guess it was hungry.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Roundhay Park

Paid a visit to Roundhay Park yesterday with my little one, mostly to go to Tropical World but we ended up walking round the lake too. The park keepers (if that is their correct title!) do a wonderful job in the gardens here - well not just here but all over at the moment.

The canal gardens near Tropical World are beautiful. Especially a little wall filled with Nasturtiams which reminded me of my childhood as my parents used to grow them each year. Planning on having my own next year now.

There were bees and butterflies everywhere we looked. A lot of Small Whites, Peacocks, Commas, Red Admiral and Tortoiseshell. I don't think I have ever seen so many different bees/flies in one place before. Inside Tropical World the butterflies were a bit scarce but there was plenty of other things to see!

We headed across the road into the large park. We did check out the newly opened Mansion and the gift shop is very nice and they have nice toilets too just in case anyone needs to know!! There were plenty of squirrels running about and lots of noisy Crows.

At the lake the Canada Geese and Mallards were in residence along with a few Mute Swans including this little chap.

As we walked around we spotted a few Great Crested Grebes that had young with them. They never get too close to waters edge so didn't get a good look but it's the first time i've seen young Grebes. A family of Mallards still had some pretty small ducklings. Can't go near water without seeing Coots and Moorhens either of course.

We found a large patch of these Orchids (I think!) by the water.

The funniest thing was a row of posts across the Lake each one had a Gull on it! There were Herring Gulls and Black Headed Gulls also. Apart from Magpies we did not see another bird in the whole time we were there, not even a Sparrow which odd.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Wilton Park, Batley

This is a park about ten minutes drive from us. It has some lovely woods with lots of windy paths, a small lake, a play park, bowling green and a putting lawn. There is also the Bagshawe museum and newly reopened Butterfly House. So plenty to see and do there.

It's a nice walk and we tend to go early in the morning though the woods part is never busy as the paths are quite steep in places - easy going down, not so much walking back up! There were plenty of butterflies about without going into the butterfly house. We saw Comma's, Large Whites, Peacocks, Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admirals. Unfortunately none of them were willing to sit still long enough for a photo - even on the Buddleia's!

I saw my second ever Jay here and my first Nuthatch though today was pretty quiet. There were plenty of Blackbirds, Woodpigeons and an adult and juvenile Robin. Plus a few Squirrels one of which dropped a Beech nut out of a tree that landed at our feet.

This Sycamore tree had strange bark on it, quite different from every other tree around it.

Down at the lake the model boaters where out in force as always on a Sunday morning. The birds pretty much ignore them at first but as more boats turned up the Geese loudly shouted their disapproval!

There were Greylag and Canada Geese. Along with the beautiful guy below, which thanks to the folks at Bird Forum tell me is a Bar Headed Goose, loved the markings on him. I guess it's an escapee from somewhere. He was quite happy with the Canada Geese though.

There were also plenty of Mallards, lots of youngsters and females too. A Moorhen flew down out of a tree on the island in the middle. Now in amongst all these I spotted another bird that I had not seen before and managed to get a blurry shot before the boats scared them all towards the island. Again thanks to the Bird Forum folks, I discovered that I had seen my first Red-Crested Pochard. I wasn't expecting to add a new tick today!

You can just see it to the right of the flapping Mallard!

We spent the rest of our time in the play park for the little one and as is appropriate as summer is finally here we had messy ice creams!! A great early morning walk and a new lifer!

Monday, 3 August 2009


There were many Gulls about of course, most of them being very friendly Herring Gulls. There were many juveniles, which I think were all Herring Gulls too.

We took a boat trip along the coast and managed to see a seal in the distance. A lone Gannet was flying about overhead and there were other gulls that I couldn't quite make out.

On the water we spotted several Guillemots, each time it was an adult with a youngster. Something I have never seen before and after not making it back to Bempton didn't think I would until maybe next year.

Didn't get close enough to get a decent close up, they dove under the water when the boat got near by. You can just about see them on the pic below - honestly!

Finish off with a couple of shots of the sea, which I paddled in for the first time in years by the way.

Scarborough - Peasholm Park

We had a trip to Scarborough on Sunday, picked the best day, the weather was great. We started off in Peasholm Park in the North Bay. A great place especially if you get there early while it's still quiet. The squirrels here are tame enough to eat out of your - if you like that sort of thing - we didn't feed them this visit though we saw a few about.

There are plenty of birds on the lake including Canada Geese, Grey Lag Geese, Moorhens, Mallards including a few hybrids, Mute Swans, Black Swans and a few which I think are non UK birds. I couldn't find any signs to say what they were so if anyone has any ideas.

This little chap followed us up the path quacking all the way, he made quite a lot of noise and made me feel bad we didn't bring any food!

This one i'm not sure of, it did a lot of diving under water, reminding me of a Grebe, it had a youngster with it too. Not a great photo though.

Another view

The ever present Canada Geese


The colouring on these birds was just gorgeous, no idea what they are though.