Viv Owen, an artist who has a studio on Westgate, sent me a note to say she has been watching a visitor to the fire escape metal works who had been there for most of the day. This new visitor came to her attention because all the pigeons that frequent the rooftops of her Westgate studio and other buildings, had completely disappeared and were noted by their absence! When I saw the photos she’d sent me, I was not surprised the pigeons had made a rapid exit, the bird in question was a large female sparrowhawk.
I’m hoping Viv is going to text me to say it is still there when she next visits her studio, I will be off like a shot to try and get a photo but in the meantime, here are a few that Viv captured of this magnificent visitor to the city.Click here for Viv’s website
The past week has been exciting for anyone interested in the Sun. Last week, on Friday, I photographed the Sun and captured a picture of a large group of sunspots. One day later, a coronal mass ejection (CME) – a huge explosion – associated with the spots sent millions of tonnes of material towards Earth. On Monday, this material hit the Earth’s atmosphere, causing widespread displays of the Aurora Borealis and turning the night sky green on St Patrick’s Day in some places.
Then, four days after the “St Patrick’s Day storm”, the moon moved across the face of the sun to create a partial eclipse earlier today. The cloud was a bit of a nuisance but it didn’t spoil the day. On the pictures, you can see a sunspot in the top left quarter of the disk.
Eddie Andrassy sent in this superb drawing of the Pugney’s drake smew on the River Calder. Anyone familiar with Pugneys will recognise the location straight away
drawing of Smew on River Calder
Member Jon Cranmer has brought to my attention a series of lectures at Huddersfield University of which the last one of the season may be of interest to some. The talk is about Lyme disease and how it is passed to humans. The talk is on 18th March at 6.00pm and is free to anyone and all the details can be found by clicking here
I have had a not passed over from our friends at Wakefield’s RSPB Members’ Group who are running a coach trip to the Farne Islands in Northumberland. They are offering the opportunity for any of our members to join them on the coach. The details are as follows:
RSPB Wakefield District Local Group
Farne Islands trip
Saturday 27th June
The Farne Islands host England’s most spectacular seabird colony including unrivalled views of 23 species including thousands of puffin. There is also a large colony of grey seals. The islands have historical and religious significance with links to Celtic Christianity and St Cuthbert.
We will meet at Holmfield House car park (free parking) by Clarence Park on Denby Dale Road for departure at 07 30. The plan is to journey up to Seahouses by coach with a stop at the services en route.
We will be taking a boat from Seahouses for an extended trip around the islands, landing on Inner Farne where we will spend a couple of hours before the return journey. There will be plenty of opportunities for bird photography and expect fantastic views of the nesting seabirds. The plan is to return to Seahouses for 4 30pm with a chance to get some fish and chips before setting off for Wakefield.
The cost of the trip will be £20 for the coach £16 for the boat trip plus the landing fee – expected to be £7.40 (free to National Trust members). Places are limited so early booking is recommended. A deposit of £5 is payable when booking.
Outdoor meetings organiser
Telephone 01924 456352
Pauline dropped me a note to say she’d seen the first coltsfoot of spring at Stanley Ferry on 6th March. Coltsfoot is a sure sign that spring is on the way, Walking around Ackworth today, I noticed that lesser celandine was noticeable and in flower on many of the verges. There will be wheatear and chiffchaff in the next few days for sure so keep an eye out and let us know when you see one
Coltsfoot at Stanley Ferry