Sunday, 23 August 2015

British Summer

After the heat of the past few days we've been hit with some torrential rain and thunder storms. It's kind of nice and good for the plants of course!

Saturday, 22 August 2015


We spent Thursday at the coast, a spur of the moment trip after our intended destination of Southport forecast rain! The weather was much better in Scarborough (though it doesn't look it in the pic below) and it's an old favourite. We'd decided on taking a boat trip out to try and see seals so booked that for later in the day.

I saw my first Painted Lady of the year basking on a rock, though the sun was playing hide and seek at this point.

It's been a while since I went to Peasholm park so we headed there next, it was busy and I noticed they had signs up about the navel reenactment that was on in the afternoon,  I don't think they used to charge for that in the past? I remember seeing it with my parents and brother when we were kids, you could also go onto the island in the middle back then, it had big rabbits that used to try and leave across the bridge with you!

If you keep walking through the park to the back it's a little quieter and a haven for squirrels and pigeons! We spotted Robins, Blackbirds, Chaffinch and Dunnocks too. We had nuts for the squirrels, they're not in the least bit bothered by people and as I used to do as a child, my daughter fed a few of them straight from her hand.

This little guy got a bit cheeky!

The pigeons were all scared off by a Sparrowhawk that flew in to the pine trees above our heads, a sudden phone call put paid to any chance of a photo though, I couldn't juggle the camera and the phone as it flew into a nearby tree, which was a shame.

We were getting pushed for time now so walked to the beach and sat and had a bit of lunch, watched carefully by the Herring Gulls including this juvenile.

Back at the main seafront there was a Kestrel hovering by the cliffs, as we watched is swooped down into the undergrowth, we saw it a couple of times during the day but I only managed this shot. 

On to the boat trip, it's a small boat that takes you out, well probably not so small, it just seemed it next to some of the others! Luckily as it turned out, I got a seat in the middle so I could see both sides and got to sit on the steps at the front to take photos too. You're out about 1hr 45 mins altogether and I only had a brief moment where I thought I might feel a little queasy, it passed though! The guys who run the trip were fun and pointed out the birds around. I saw Gannets diving for fish and your Guillemots on the water, along with Cormorants and plenty of Herring Gulls overhead. There were a couple of Herons along the coast too.

We were told we'd most likely see Grey and Common Seals and they didn't disappoint, there were a lot of them about and just seemed curious about us and not particularly bothered. There was a few young ones on the rocks too.

It was well worth doing, seeing the seals was just lovely.

Back on dry land and we had to do a couple of things that are pretty much compulsory on a trip to the seaside.......

Although I am on my own when it comes to the prawns!

A few more pictures from the day.


From the top of the Big Wheel

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

The road to work

My place of work relocated to my home town towards the end of last year, I kind of miss the commute across Leeds some days, mostly because it was a guaranteed time every day I got chance to read!

But now I walk to work and when it's not raining it's quite a nice journey. The road that leads down to my workplace is mostly a private one and quite leafy and you can almost imagine briefly that you're not actually on your way to work at all!

It's wonderful for the wildlife, over the months i've seen Jays, Blue & Great Tits, Blackbirds, Mistle and Song Thrush, Wrens, Robins, Woodpigeons, Collared Doves, Goldfinch, squirrels and plenty of butterflies. Just before you turn on to the road there are Swallows and House Martins flying overhead, they nest in the farm buildings over the road. There is also a Red Kite that has taken to hanging around.

Unfortunately earlier in the summer there was a bit of a to do with the residents over the trimming back of the plants along the road as it was thriving with nettles and beautiful wild flowers. Some were trimmed and just this past couple of weeks someone went overboard and cut everything back, unnecessarily so. In fact when I left work tonight this person had put up signs advising some strong weed killer had been put down, i'm not sure why they've decided to destroy things in this way but i've decided to blog about it and see how things survive (or not) over the coming months.

These are some of the flowers that (so far) have escaped the cutting back.

A few other shots of the road and the last one is the view from the fire escape from my office.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Yeadon Dam & Nunroyd Park

Made the most of a visit to my parents last week with a trip around the dam first, another lovely day and it was busy with dog walkers.

As usual there were plenty of birds waiting to be fed, they were out of luck this morning though.

The top end of the dam is overflowing with grasses and flowers, it's lovely to see and the butterflies and bugs clearly agree. We saw Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell and Small Whites and lots of ladybirds.

Great Willowherb

This rather scruffy looking Magpie was hopping about by the boat house, i'm not sure why it's in such a state?

As we were walking I decided to take us through Nunroyd Park, somewhere I haven't been in years, but after reading posts over on The Quiet Walker I though it was about time I explored. 

We walked through Kirk Lane park to get there, they are building an actual path between the two but as it was mid week and nobody was actually working on it i'm not sure sure when (if) it'll be finished?

There were a lot of Blackbirds in the Rowan trees and quite a few Goldfinch around but they weren't too happy to pose for a photo.

Amongst the thistles and flowers were more Goldfinch and a lot of butterflies, the Small Tortoiseshell was the only one I snapped photos of though.

The flowers here were beautiful as well, I need to make more of an effort with identifying them, I used to know lots as a child out walking with my Dad, but i'm sad to say names escape me now!

Edit, thanks to Amanda for help with the flowers! 

Meadow Cranesbill


Himalayan Balsam

There were a lot of Damselflies around and several ducks too.

I was happy I made the effort not to bypass these places for a change.