Friday, 24 February 2017

Around the Patch

Things are a little quiet around the patch at the moment, i've only managed to add a couple of birds to the list.

The garden has been quite deserted during the day but one of the birds I added to the list was a Sparrowhawk flying over the house so that may be partly to blame. There is often one around but it's the first time i've seen it since last year. The birds are about mostly early morning and late afternoon but there always seems to be Starlings flitting from tree to tree.

There are a lot of Sparrows roosting in the trees behind the gardens and they hop up just after the sun rises most mornings.

I had to trim back the Buddleia finally due to the winds this week, a shame as the birds loved to sit in it in the back garden. Luckily I didn't have to take too much off the one by the front window, it proves popular with the Sparrows and it's great for those visiting the window feeder.

We have big plans for the garden this year to make it more wildlife friendly and i'm looking forward to starting (well instructing my husband as my back won't be up to any digging and such for a while yet!).

A walk in the park a few days ago produced plenty of birds and birdsong, which is increasing by the day. There are still quite a few Redwings about still and as I was scanning them to make sure I wasn't missing any Fieldfare (I wasn't) a lady stopped to ask what I was looking at. This rarely happens and it was nice to chat and be able to point out a few birds.

I'm back at work part time for now and i'm managing to walk through one of the local parks on the way there most mornings. It's a good way to start the day!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

Churwell Urban Woodlands

Making the most of the good weather we took a walk around the woodlands including going over (and under) the motorway to make it a round trip and a good couple of hours walking even if we did end up doubling back on ourselves!

A frog was in the pond area and we saw a rat by the edge of it.

Unfortunately a shadow sat right across the frog which somehow I didn't notice at the time!

There was plenty of birds about, Woodpigeon, Dunnock, Sparrows, Blackbirds, Chaffinch, Great/Blue/LT Tits, Wren, Goldcrest, Song Thrush, Goldfinch, Starlings, Magpie - we saw a couple building a nest, Robins and overhead 7 Pink Footed Geese, Gulls and a Kestrel (unfortunately the latter 3 were just off the patch so I couldn't add anything to my list for that!).

My daughter pointed out that Robins look like they've dipped themselves into a bowl of tomato soup!

A lovely moment spotting this squirrel taking a drink.

Throughout the walk we spotted quite a bit of fungus, some lovely ones too. 

Lots of signs of spring around too, there were Snowdrops all over.

It's a joy to have somewhere like this to walk around so close to home and it's really well looked after by the volunteers, not a bit of litter in sight, which is a rare thing!  

This is the view from walk at the other side of the M621, which for the most part you don't notice and you can almost forget that you're this close to Leeds.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Farnley Balancing Reservoir

I've been past here on the ring road so many times over the years and never stopped but I have done a couple of times recently, just out of curiosity as there are always a lot of birds on the water.

The water is quite low at the moment and unfortunately it is not in the greatest of shape, the things that have been dumped in here, the mind boggles as to why people would do so?! It's also awash with bread packets and soggy bread and even a slice of toast was stuck in a tree!

Despite that the reservoir is teeming with birds -

Black Headed Gull
Canada Geese
Farmyard Ducks
Grey Heron
Greylag Geese
Herring Gull
Lesser Black-Backed Gull
Mute Swan
Tufted Ducks

This Swan had some pink on it's wing feathers, it looked a little like blood, you can't really tell from the photo but I couldn't see any injuries. There was also a Mallard with a damaged wing.

I haven't walked around to the other side so of course there could be plenty I missed.

The banking near where you can park on Butt Lane often has Geese and Gulls on it and many pigeons too.

This one I think is a hybrid?

After a little bit of digging online I found out the reservoir was built in 1973 to help prevent flooding in the area, Farnley Beck runs in (and out) of it. It looks like it had a tidy up back in 2002 but I can't find anything since.

It's definitely a place i'll be stopping at more often, maybe I can figure out who to contact about cleaning it up - though i'm not holding my breath on that one!