Sunday, 20 September 2009

Oakwell Again!

We headed out for a walk around Oakwell this morning to make the most of the sunshine. It was beautiful in the trees with the sun shining through.

We saw plenty of birds Magpies, Blackbirds, Wood Pigeons, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins and a couple of Dunnocks. The trees were full of birdsong though you couldn't always spot the birds they were lovely to listen to. There were a couple of Squirrels running about too.

There were plenty of berries about to tempt the birds including these, which I think after checking a guide is a Rowan Whitebeam hybrid, I could be wrong so let me know if I am.

Of course the leaves are changing now and here was no exception with beautiful yellows, oranges and reds.

We then came across this tree, i'm not sure what it is but it had enormous leaves, i've not seen anything quite like it before?

We walked around the garden beside the house today for the first time and found plenty of butterflies including my first Painted Lady (I don't know how i've missed them till now!).

A Comma

Red Admiral

Speckled Wood

Another good day at Oakwell.

Thursday, 17 September 2009


Well, I've noticed this week with the chill in the air that autumn is on its way. A lot of the leaves are turning to wonderful reds and yellows already. It's a beautiful time of year, great for walking and for my little one to be collecting the leaves as they drop from the trees.

I found a small tree this morning where nearly all its leaves had turned red, it looked very colourful. Unfortunately I only had the camera on my mobile so it's not the best picture.

In my garden I still have plenty of Sweet Peas flowering, along with poppies and Begonias. There are Fuscias that are still to open too.

The birds have been fairly quiet recently apart from the Goldfinch, which still come in groups of up to 10 at a time. Still have a couple of Dunnocks, Blue Tits, a Robin, Collared Doves and the odd Starling too. The House Sparrows seem to prefer the neighbours seed feeder at the moment, means I can still watch without the expense though, they are really going through some at the moment!

I'm looking forward to seeing the changes autumn brings and capturing some of the wonderful colours it produces.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Adel Dam

After a recent blog post by Kirkstall Creatures Great & Small we decided to pay a visit to Adel Dam today. We got there around 9.30 and it was very quiet around the reserve. The first thing we spot at the side of the bridle path, in the ground was a wasps nest that had been ripped apart - not sure what by, bits of it were across the path.

We walked up to the marsh hide first of all and spent a while in there.

There were plenty of Great Tits, Blue Tits and Coal Tits. A Wren was in the bush right next to the hide and hopped around a while. Then a Nuthatch flew in to one of the feed tables a few times. This is only the second time I've seen one of these and we got a really good view.

The picture though is not great! Honestly there is a Nuthatch on there!

As we were about to leave I heard a bird call and saw a flash of orange then blue - a Kingfisher, it flew right across the marsh into the trees and out of sight. A fantastic flash of colour.

We decided to follow the paths and walk around the whole reserve. My daughter was happy to find more pine cones and again I soon had quite a collection in my bag. At the gate to the reserve there are leaflets and information cards that you can pick up that give you a lot of information on the area. Including a tree id card - mostly for trees in the Chevin park but it came in very handy here too.

At the lake hide at first all looked quiet. A closer look revealed several Herring Gulls, Coots and I spotted a female Teal, which I needed to check the id in my book. The green flash of feathers helping with the ID. This bird is a first for me so I was quite pleased. There is a chart on the wall showing the various birds that may be seen but it only showed the male Teal so I was glad i'd taken my guide along.

My favourite bird flew in then - a Heron, unfortunately it settled behind a tree so we could barely see it. Not to worry as we all saw and heard the Kingfisher then. It flew across the lake behind some trees then back out to some branches in the centre of the lake. We watched it dive into the water a few times and I saw it managed to catch a small fish before it was off again. Very nice to watch.

On leaving the hide and walking off to path to the left. I saw a bird run down the beck, my immediate thought was a Moorhen but this bird was brown not black. I tried to see where it had gone but it had disappeared. I was quite disappointed not to see it again as i've never seen a Moorhen run like that and it was definitely brown, so I don't think my first thought was correct. Very frustrating as now i'll never know!

We spotted a good amount of fungi around the woods and my husband took quite an interest and few photos. Now I don't know much about them (another guide book to add to my list) but even I was impressed with this first one.

Of course we also saw plenty of Squirrels around too, they didn't seem too bothered by us and were quite happy to sit and watch as we walked by. We had a nice morning, a good walk and I can't wait to go back and see what else we can spot.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

In the Garden

The bad weather recently is bringing the birds back to the garde at the moment. Yesterday we had 12 Goldfinch on the feeders and trees. A couple of them even landed on the floor and tried out the seed tray too, something i've never seen before. There was a mixture of adults and juveniles.

Today there were 23 House Sparrows on the fence and lawn, several Starlings too. We are getting 3 Blue Tits on the feeders often too. Only one Dunnock has been putting in an appearance and we have a very brightly coloured Robin in and out the past couple of days. Collared Doves, Blackbirds, Great Tits and a brief visit from a Coal Tit at the weekend round up the bird visits at the moment. I haven't seen the squirrel around for a couple of days.

I still have a few flowers in the garden too including Lobelia, Begonia's, Sweet Peas, Poppies and a few others yet to open.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Oakwell Hall

This is a place we have discovered in Batley about 15 minutes from our home. Despite living here for over 7 yrs I didn't know this place existed until recently. We love it and have been a couple of weeks in a row. Here is the link to the website - Friends of Oakwell Hall

There are lots of little pathways to explore through various wooded areas around the hall. Then the larger Nova Wood behind the hall were a railway line used to run through.

There are lots of information boards about what you may see and a little history too. The trail running through Nova Wood is classed as a nature trail.

The first time we went we saw Speckled Wood butterflys everywhere, I don't think i've ever seen so many. We also saw Small Whites, Peacocks and Red Admiral too.

Despite the trees being in full leaf now we saw plenty of Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins, Wrens and Blackbirds. It will be nice to come back when the leaves are falling to see what other birds we can spot.

The trees down this path have grown inwards creating a lovely triangle arch. It's very peaceful here even though the motorway runs close by.

Several ponds are dotted about the grounds, though most of them don't have much wildlife but the flora is abundant. The stream by the Hall had Mallards with their young, the stream runs around the grounds.

Of course there are lots of Oak Trees everywhere. My little one was very excited to be able to pick up a few small acorns which had been blown of the trees already. Plus there are a huge amount of pine cones too. We collected a bagful, which my daughter loves to craft with.

We will be back here often, its a great place to walk around and there is plenty to see.