Tuesday, 21 March 2017


I went to visit my parents on Saturday and took a walk around Parkinson's Field, somewhere I spent a lot of time as a child. It's changed a little now and is looked after by Friends of Parkinson's Park. It's great to see on their website that they're getting children involved.

There was a few Lesser Celandine about on the walk up to the field. The path is well used by horses making it a bit uneven and quite muddy, something I wouldn't normally notice but my back was certainly feeling it!

The view is lovely especially as you can look beyond all the newly built houses to the moors in the distance.

It was windy and raining as we walked so we didn't hang around too long as it's a bit exposed in parts! Though I did stop to follow the sound of my first Chiffchaff of the year, it didn't stay still for long but I managed to see it finally in the trees and grabbed a not so great shot.

There are quite a few nest boxes around the field and there are plenty of birds too. Blue Tit, Robin, Blackbird, Crow, Woodpigeon, Great Tit, Magpie and Long-tailed Tit.

I spotted this snail shell on the wall by the field entrance, thinking it was an unusual colour, when I checked it was only part of a shell and the light made it translucent (also the end kind of looks like a Dolphin........)

It was good to see lots of new growth, spring is well on it's way!

A  last couple of shots from the walk.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Roundhay Park

I haven't been to Roundhay park in a while and as it turned out to be a decent day Saturday I headed over with my daughter (tying it in with a stop at Tropical World too). Off the bat we were greeted with carpets of Crocus - the colour is fantastic.

Squirrels, Woodpigeons and Magpies were in and out of the flowers

This squirrel was gathering material and taking it up to it's nest.

My daughter pointed out a Crow walking down the grass with a tennis ball in it's beak!! Of course it dropped it right as I got the camera on it.

On the Upper Lake there was a lot of Tufted Ducks, a few Mallard, Coots, Moorhen and Black Headed Gulls. By the island at one end a pair of Gadwall. A Jay flew into the trees on the island and got into a bit of a squawking match with a couple of Magpies. The Coots were starting to nest in the reeds.

We kept hearing a Woodpecker as we walked but never caught up with it unfortunately. There were more Jays flying around and I just spotted one in the undergrowth.

On Waterloo lake are possibly the most well fed (overfed) birds in Leeds, lots of Swans, Geese, Gulls and a couple of Cormorants too.

The Gulls were fighting over food dropped on the path until two Crows came along and fought them all off.

The top end of the lake had more Cormorants, Coots, Mallard and a lone Great Crested Grebe. There were a few Blue Tits in the trees but the woods there were pretty quiet.

A couple of photos of the Cormorants by the cafe and we were off, the park was getting a little too busy to stroll through without dodging dogs and bikes!

Monday, 6 March 2017


A visit to Scarborough for some family time and a hopeful glimpse of the Great Northern Diver hanging around in the harbour proved to be a fantastic day for both of these reasons and more!

Parking by Peasholm Park we had a walk through and were mobbed by Squirrels and Pigeons as usual. There were Mallards, Canada Geese, Tufted Ducks, Cormorants and many Gulls around the park.

It was dull and a foggy at first with a little rain. There was still a fair few people on the beach in the North Bay though, mostly dog walkers. We did see a Mute Swan out on the sea, not something you see very often!

We decided to walk along the front instead on jumping on the bus to the harbour. Good job we did! There were a couple of Purple Sandpipers and Oystercatchers on the rocks. Then further round a movement caught my eye out the large rocks, a small brown bird, I followed it back the direction we'd come so I could get a good look - a female Black Redstart. A new bird for me and although it didn't stay still for too long I managed to watch it for some time.

Moving on and I spotted Fulmar's on the cliffs, stopping to check out some gulls on the water and spotted another movement - a fin! Much excitement from all at spotting a Porpoise, it was quite far out but we watched it swim right across the bay. Speaking to a gentleman nearby we pointed it out and he pointed out a Peregrine Falcon i'd missed on the cliffs - too busy looking at the Gulls! We had a chat about the birds in the harbour and beyond.

So on to the harbour, the Great Northern Diver was easy enough to find swimming in and out of the boats and eating many crabs!

Unfortunately there was also a dead Gannet floating about in the water. The water was covered in some kind of oil and the smell of it was quite strong in some places.

Walking around the lighthouse I spotted a couple of birds on some steps - Shags, first time i've seen them and been able to confirm 100% that it's a Shag and not a Cormorant! I've never seen them so close before and they were happy to pose. What beautiful birds they are.

We spotted a small bird in the water across the harbour but couldn't quite make out what it was. Making our way over we could see it was a Black Necked Grebe.

Of course you can't visit the seaside and not be mobbed by gulls....

...or Turnstones

There were Sparrows all over the pots by the harbour

And Dunnocks in trees

Walking back around to the North Bay late afternoon and the Peregrine was still on the cliffs. The sun had come out and it turned out to be a really nice day.

A bird followed my daughter up off the beach - a Pipit - much deliberation over what sort and then some help on the ID - a Rock Pipit.

Great end to a quite lovely day.