Friday, 22 April 2016

Shipley Glen

Shipley Glen sits between Baildon Moor and Saltaire which is the place of Salt's Mill.

The Glen is a popular place for walks.
 People come here at weekends and have 
 done for years.When workers from the  
 mills around Bradford only had a day  
 or two holiday they came by tram to   
 Saltaire to walk up the Glen.From     
 Saltaire Road a bridge crosses Loadpit
 Beck then a track leads into some     
 dis-used stone quarries.The beck runs 
 through a steep valley covered with   
 trees like oak,silver birch,and beech 
 on the banks.Then it reaches a small  
 reservoir ,shaped like a triangle.This
 measured 16m50 cm along the bottom and
 22m 50cm on one side.It was once used 
 for supplying the dye house at Salts  
 Mill.Huge,flat-topped rocks are all   
 along one bank of the beck.These are  
 called Brackenhall Crags.They are near
 to Glen Road and the moors.This Glen  
 was made in the Ice Age long ago by   
 ice carving into the rock.   (link)    

Some of you might know about the Shipley Glen Tram and the old Fair Ground at the top of the hill. But to day is about some of the wildlife I found along the Glen.


I have spent many a hour up on Baildon moor but have never walked along the beck.
The first thing noted today was the good number of 
Willow Warbler's  singing.

 Hard-fern - Blechnum spicant

               Yellow Archangel                                                                  Wood Sorrel
                                                                 Opposite-leaved Golden-Saxifrage

There are good bird records for Baildon Moor (Glovershaw lane) and the glen, the main reason for to days visit was to look for the Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers, having not seen one before I have now learned they are very small ( thanks David and Caroline), the size of a Sparrow!!

We did spot a Female Great Spotted Woodpecker.

        Common Bistort (Persicaria bistorta)

Grey Partridge 
Because the moor meets the wood there is a good range of wildlife to be seen.

Visit on the 9th April

Red Grouse

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

The sun came out and I took loads of photos...!

The sun was shining so set of early to visit Golden Acre Park, visited many times before, but this would be the first trip this year.

Mix of woodland , formal gardens and at the far end of the lake a small nature reserve with two hides.

The first plant that greets you as you access the park under the road is the bright Yellow
skunk cabbage, With its very large leaves and rapid rate of spread, it can out-compete native plants and cause extensive damage locally. Given the popularity of this plant in gardens and its continued introduction into the wild, it is likely to increase.

Golden Acre Park, is very popular with family's. Feeding the ducks, the wild birds have taken advantage of this and will happily come very close some feeding out of your hands.

  Good numbers of Robins here, later on in the reserve I observed a male Robin feeding the female Robin little treats to get her attention.

Song Thrush were singing away.

Many pairs of Jays.

In the nature reserve there was talk of a lesser Spotted Woodpecker been seen, one man had been stood for over two hours hoping to get a photo !
Great Spotted Woodpeckers can be seen quite easily from the hide so I went with that option.

I was surprised to see Cuckoo flowers, also commonly known as 'Lady's-smock', they looked to tall compared to the ones I've seen else were. Later I checked at the park and they haven't even started coming through, never mind flowering.

First Blackcap of the year

Amongst the flower beds there were a few Bumblebees.
Think this one is a red tailed Bumblebee


The afternoon warmed up so I went to the Park.


Honey Bee

My first Butterflies, quite a few Small Tortoiseshell pairing up, and a newly emerged  Peacock.

I watched a Song Thrush chip away at a old tree trunk.

Wood Anemones

On the path that follows the beck through the wooded area, little old man made me aware there was something in the Ivy, turned out to be a Rat ! You can just make out it's little pink nose. I know they are all around us but it was the first time I have seen one at the park (I can add it to the mammal list!)
Funny thing was it was the second rat I have seen to day, one coming out of Golden Acer Park, it ran down a grate on the road side .

Well done if you managed to get this far, but you should see all the photos I did not put in.

Lastly it was a nice surprise to see young ducklings on the pond.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Learning about flowers and more books found...

Saturday saw me taking part in my very first Adult learning cause on Wild flowers.
It was a formal event run by 

with  Harry Allenby (Blue hat)

I have  recording and photographing wild flowers for over three years now, around  340  species have been recorded. But I have got to the stage were I want to be better at recording.
For example we all know what a Forget-me- not looks like.

But did you know there are 200 species in the genus, only those native to the Northern hemisphere are commonly called Forget-me-not. Many are popular in gardens, preferring moist habitats. In areas where they are not native, they have frequently escaped to wetlands and riverbanks.
You might have seen..
Changing..Creeping..Early..Field..Great..Jersey..Pale.. Tufted..Upright..Alpine..Water and Wood here in the UK
 all looking lovely but I would like to tell them apart.
As a rule I can  see if a plant looks a little different, to what I have all ready photographed. I will look through wild flower book (I have plenty) use the internet and if that fails I will put it on iSpot.

We just looked at plants you see everyday. We looked at "family" groups, parts of the plant, how some plants got their name. How there is some plants rare in the Bradford area as they came in with the Cotton trade, best of all was were to find Bee orchids in June.
Parts of a flower and their functions
Parts of a plant and their functions
It's all about recording what you see

and the "Keys"

it's like learning a new language, I understood it all when I was there but as soon as I sat back in my car...
...lost it, all gone !

Harry recommended books to read, I had some but did order  
Botany in a Day
Book by Thomas J. Elpel
We had a walk round the reserve  looking at the plants we could find.


I have a large collection of books to do with nature, I have been trying to record them on a "List" (here), so many to go.

Most of them come from second hand shops, found these on Thursday.

Parts of a flower