Took Sparky for walk on fields over back. About 5 – 6 inches of crisp white snow and all was very quiet. At 3.30pm as I was making my way back I saw the gulls heading north above me, as they do every day around late afternoon (dusk). I stood and watched them rising up from the housing estate and counted around 500 gulls all in groups of 10 – 20’s. There’s the Asda supermarket on the estate and a large secondary school, which no doubt attracts the birds with easy pickings. I’m not very good at identifying which gull this would be. I will try to be more observant and let you know!! By the time I got home at 4, there were more flying over. This happens every night – one of the most successful birds – scavengers! Crow are as well aren’t they? And rooks! The Red Kites are as well and are pretty successful around here.
Anyway, when I got home into the back garden a flock of about 20 thrush like birds flew overhead, some of which landed in the sycamore tree behind my garden. I couldn’t get a really close look even through bins, but from size and jizz (behaviour/movement) I reckon they were Redwings. I was hoping they had spied my feeders and would descend into my garden, but alas they buggered off!!!
However, I soon saw blackbirds eating the berries still left on various bushes and trees.
The chaffinches were nowhere to be seen, but a dwindling flock of goldfinches were about.As I walked across the golf course I noticed a small family of four greenfinches. The younger ones often fool me, as they are not very green at all, but you can tell they’re finches by the bill and greenfinches by the flash of a yellow bar on their wings.
Next to them on the same tree were a couple of bullfinch.
I am almost certain that I have found a foxes den/earth on my patch and keep meaning to get up before dawn, to see if I can confirm this with a glimpse, but guess I’m just too lazy!
I will one day.
Adel Dam is a small Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve at the far end of Golden Acre lake.
It is well managed by a group of volunteers. It consists of mixed woodland, with marshy areas and a lake. I have seen plenty of wildfowl, herons, teal, mandarin, pochard, cormorant, coot, moor hen, woodpeckers, foxes, thrush and roe deer.
There are two hides. One overlooking a marshy area, that has feeders. All the tits and finches visit and the greater spotted woodpecker. The other hide is at the far end of the lake. It was here that i got the best view I have had of the fox.
Foxes are such beautiful creatures I cannot understand anyone labelling them vermin.
On walking back, i spied the greater spotted woodpecker in the trees.
It doesn’t take much to please me – I was totally made up to have seen these chaps.
Just up the road from where I live, in North Leeds is Golden Acre Park. Its a great place that I visit often as it is one of Sparkys favourite walks. there is a biggish lake with plenty of wildfowl on, gardens and a cafe. It is well known in horticultural circles for the growing of flowers and vegetables – there is a special garden area for this. But the part I love is away from this area, into the woods and more open spaces. We call this the back of the park, where all the dog walkers go. It is reached from Arthington Road and there is a car park. If you walk from the car park off the path to your left and into the woods and just stand quietly you will generally be rewarded with many finches, tits, blackbirds and squirrels. At the edge of this woodland is where I first saw a tree creeper.
There were a load of goldfinch in the hedgerow and a heron fishing further up the river. It is a pleasant little stroll up one side of the river to the golf club then back and across the bridge to the other side for a cup of coffee and something to eat. Theres a good childrens playground. I went a second time today Nov 28th and saw the heron again and loads of long tailed tits but not a lot else.
Couple of weeksago I had my first sightings of waxwings. I was walking along the River Wharfe in Ilkley with Sparky; I had read that there had been waxwings spotted in Ilkley main car park. I saw a flock of about 20-30 birds fly overhead and hadn’t ever heard the calls they were making. Grabbed my bins and there they were. They stayed around in the trees quite a while, allowing me to take some photos – of which I was really pleased!
Well I’ve been rubbish at keeping up this blog! All good intentions but somehow never enough time!
Soooo, here I am starting again! Lets see what happens this time!
Im still enjoying walking with my faithful loyal friend Sparky. He and i have been on many walks since June and I have had a number of good bird sightings, some of which I have managed to photograph.