Sunday, 28 November 2010

Kirkstall Abbey & the banks of the River Aire

On Saturday afternoon we wandered down to Kirkstall Abbey stopping off at the Abbey House Museum Cafe for a mid-walk lunch which was delicious as ever. The park was uncharacteristically empty, covered with a layer of snow that had fallen in the early hours of Saturday morning.  Following the curved path down towards the river a pair of Pied Wagtail bobbed around thawed patches of ground and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead.

On the River Aire were 6 Goosander, familiar winter visitors to this stretch of the river, a group of 4 upstream and a pair further downstream that eventually joined the main bunch. Whilst gazing along the river, a Kingfisher zipped upstream a metre or so from the near bank.

Suddenly the two Great Spotted Woodpecker re-appeared, noisily chasing each other from tree to tree.

The cold started to kick in so we headed back towards the Abbey, in the branches of a Sycamore a mixed group of small birds were feeding, comprising Blue Tit, Long Tail Tit, Dunnock, Chaffinch and the first time I've seen a Wren in such a group.

A Nuthatch flew into view and landed at the base of this trunk making its way upwards in a spiral motion.

As we were about to leave the park we spotted movement in a Yew tree  situated at the boundary wall next to the gate. We counted approximately 8 birds, a mixed bunch of Thrush and Blackbirds were feeding on the berries, we managed a few pics and quickly left them in peace to continue feeding on the berries, no doubt a welcome source of food in these wintery conditions.


  1. What a nice selection of birds for you to enjoy. It helps keep the cold at bay for a while if you see things as you walk along.
    Mind, that's just a dusting you are getting, ask your dad.

  2. The Abbey looks beautiful! You saw some lovely birds too - love the Woodpecker!


  3. Linda, The colours in those Woodpecker and Thrush pics are great. re John's comment,I reckon that, having cleared the snow off the car again this morning that we have had 14"-16" in total. The novelty is now theadbare.

  4. Hi Linda. Great to see the Goosanders. We had a few on the R.Mole last winter so I'm very hopeful they may return. FAB.

  5. What a lovely outing that was, Linda. Love the pictures of the birds, amongst the trees, and the abbey looks most interesting.

  6. Lovely shots Linda, especially the woodpecker.

  7. Hello Johnny, yes I think we've had it a lot easier down here, although Wednesday was bad enough to shut down Leeds for the day which meant we got to go home early from work, so not so bad after all.

    Thanks Pam, I always enjoy a wander round the Abbey.

    CB, I know what you mean, Ive had enough myself.

    Hello Frank, that's great, its always a pleasure to see them.

    Thanks Emma, its a lovely spot by the river, and a great cafe just over the road too!

    Hello John, thank you, it was lovely to see the pair together.

    Best wishes, I hope you're all managing to survive the wintery conditions in your area, Linda


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