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Bird Pictures: Save Greenhill One Photo at a Time

Updated on March 18, 2015

Greenhill

'Greenhill' Micklethwaite Wharf, By Bingley, West Yorkshire
'Greenhill' Micklethwaite Wharf, By Bingley, West Yorkshire | Source

Generations will miss out on the wildlife at Greenhill

On a greenfield site at Micklethwaite Wharf on the Leeds to Liverpool canal, developers want to build 400 houses. This is valuable breathing space in sprawling urbanisation encompassing Bradford, Bingley and Keithley in West Yorkshire. In this beautiful ancient place, green spaces are rare and ought to be treasured rather than exploited.

This photo journal is my own protest. I follow the lives of waterfowl that call Greenhill home. The site provides a very rare opportunity to observe bird behaviour up-close and personal. People come from miles around on sunny Sundays to feed the birds and watch their antics. This is often the only opportunity many, especially children, have of getting this close to nature.

Here, I am bringing together a few of the photos that demonstrate what we and future generations will miss if this development goes ahead. Scroll down the whole page to see the wildlife photos and the stories behind them.

The swans will thank you!

juvenile swan at Greenhill
juvenile swan at Greenhill | Source
adult mute swan at Greenhill
adult mute swan at Greenhill

Update November 2014

We were all disgusted in September when the council passed outline planning permission but GAG have successfully petitioned the Secretary of State who previously stated this site was unsuitable for development - here is what the chairman of GAG emailed the other day

GAG NEWSLETTER #157

The long awaited decision by the Secretary of State has arrived and, wonderful news, he has found in favour of GAG and against Bradford Council and the Developers.

A letter was issued yesterday by the National Planning Casework Unit to Bradford Council advising them that they are NOT to grant planning permission on the Sty Lane application and that the Secretary of State has decided to call-in the application and to hold a Public Inquiry.

We now have only 6 weeks to present our initial statement of case and decide who to appoint to fight this for us. We cannot do this without your financial support and we need to ask you to dig deep again. We understand the timing is not good particularly in the run up to Christmas but we have no choice. The GAG committee will be meeting this week to formulate our strategy and we will be in touch soon to advise how we wish to proceed. Meantime if you are able to assist us financially please donate via our website or send to our Treasurer Graham Hey at Mickle Cottage, 12-16 Victoria Street, Micklethwaite, BD16 3JB.

If you have any questions do let me know but bear in mind that we are again in uncharted territory and we are still trying to understand these ramifications because as far as we know this has never happened before.

Terry Brown (Chairman)

email: mailinglist@greenhill-action-group.co.uk www: http://www.greenhill-action-group.co.uk

If you can spare even a few pennies of cents please go to the website and donate via PayPal - I donated my last Squidoo payouts - I won't miss it and if we all help it will mount up.

Let's show them people power no matter where you live in the world.

Bright Blessings Ann

You would miss - seeing a goose doing a canoe roll

Who could forget the springdiddly goose enjoying the April sunshine with a fine display of ducking and diving... and canoe rolls. Had to make you smile. This little goose is a white Greylag goose.

'Giddy goose doing a canoe roll'
'Giddy goose doing a canoe roll' | Source
Goose showing off beautiful feathering
Goose showing off beautiful feathering

You would miss - watching the Micklethwaite moorhens build their nest

Who wouldn't be captivated by the pair of moorhens who build a nest out in the canal.......and rebuild it every time the cows destroy it. Interior design moorhen style is quite innovative from sticks and grass to plastic bags, paper wrappers and the final touch of living green.

Last year the pair successfully raised 7 chicks in a first brood. A lone chick survived from the second brood and was cared for by the adults and the juvenile moorhens. These were the subject of one of my photo books.

This year, only 2 juveniles survived from the first brood. However the adults are now sitting on eggs in a new nest. Obviously they finally agreed re-building in a danger zone wasn't the best idea in the world.

Who would want to miss seeing the loving care given to these baby birdsby both adults?

Nesting Moorhen with chicks

Interior design, moorhen style.  Building a nest
Interior design, moorhen style. Building a nest | Source
Moorhen adult brooding chicks on the nest
Moorhen adult brooding chicks on the nest
Definitely an awww factor - mother moorhen and chick
Definitely an awww factor - mother moorhen and chick

You would miss - watching goslings grow

These goose pictures are of the first clutch of goslingshatched on Greenhill this year. Both adults, keeping noisy protection, teach the youngsters the best ways to get into the canal and where to find food. Goslings are seldom left alone, indeed they are often bracketed by the adults to keep them safe.

Greenhill offers a unique opportunity of watching newly hatched goslings grow from tiny bundles of yellow fluff, gradually get paler until eventually they are almost completely white, have feathers instead of down and develop wings.

Embden Geese with Goslings

Mother Embden goose and goslings. Watching them grow from this...
Mother Embden goose and goslings. Watching them grow from this... | Source
...to this... goslings protected by both adults
...to this... goslings protected by both adults
... to this... goslings with both adults
... to this... goslings with both adults
...to this.  Almost fully grown the first goslings hatched on Greenhill this year have wings and everything!
...to this. Almost fully grown the first goslings hatched on Greenhill this year have wings and everything!

You would miss - watching Canada geese get flight lessons

These Canada geese photos were taken last year when the adults were teaching the young goslings how to fly. It involved a lot of noise, a lot of running across Greenhill and a lot of flapping.

This year there have been three families of Canada geese goslings on Greenhill although they seem to have moved further up the canal, probably because of the competition from something like 50 goslings there already.

Canada geese flight school

Canada geese teaching goslings to stregthen their wings
Canada geese teaching goslings to stregthen their wings | Source

You would miss - the goosey threesome

Actually, there are more than one threesome on Greenhill but in particular... There is one Chinese goose on Greenhill who is the alpha female in a goosey threesome with Embden geese. The easy birdwatching that Greenhill offers has revealed some interesting behaviour of geese in the wild. It is not unusual for one male goose to have two females, an alpha and a beta female. In this case the Chinese goosewith the beautiful brown stripe down the back of her neck is the alpha.

Between them they hatched 20 goslings, many on different days so they are different sizes. The Chinese goose hatched hers first and appeared on Greenhill, gradually joined by two each day until the final two arrived with the beta female. All three adults are involved in protection of the goslings.

19 are surviving of which two started off with beautiful black beaks and very dark colouring. It is fascinating to be able to see how they grow and change. The black beaks are turning orange and I can't wait to see what colour they end up with. At least two of the goslings look as if they are developing the brown stripe.

Chinese Goose and Goslings

'Standing room only' Chinese goose brooding goslings
'Standing room only' Chinese goose brooding goslings | Source
'Yes you can eat this son' Chinese goose showing gosling what to eat
'Yes you can eat this son' Chinese goose showing gosling what to eat
Brooding goslings
Brooding goslings
'The quick way down'
'The quick way down'
Chinese goose with goslings on Bingley canal
Chinese goose with goslings on Bingley canal

You would miss - sooo much more

There is endless entertainment down on the Greenhill from the battling cows to visiting greylag geese, to lapwings and oyster catchers. There are many characters who visit regularly like TweedleDum and TweedleDee the two large domestic ducks who are friends with the blue Swedish ducks. Then there is Smudge who arrived with a huge brood of ducklings, arguing mallards and their tormented females. A heron is a regular visitor looking for easy pickings as are the Carrion crows. Jackdaws reaped a harvest from the down that the geese plucked from their bellies to line their own nests.

Scroll down to see the final gallery.

The thought of losing all this is heart breaking. If you would like to do something about it, go to the Greenhill Action Group website, sign the online petition and send in an objection letter to Bradford Council. It needs to be done soon so don't delay. All the information is on the site to make it really easy for you. The developers are trying to wear us down and we need every single objection letter we can get. GO ON - DO IT NOW.

The Final Gallery

We can't forget the cows
We can't forget the cows | Source
Blue Swedish Duck
Blue Swedish Duck
'Splodge' the Blue Swedish Duck
'Splodge' the Blue Swedish Duck
TweddleDum and TweedleDee the synchronised large domestic ducks
TweddleDum and TweedleDee the synchronised large domestic ducks
Little mama goose showing you how she plucked the down from her belly to line her nest
Little mama goose showing you how she plucked the down from her belly to line her nest
'The black and whites' The domestic ducks and blue Swedish ducks backed by a cow
'The black and whites' The domestic ducks and blue Swedish ducks backed by a cow
'Smudge' the little white duck with ducklings.  Smudge is a white mallard duck with a single smudge of black on her head
'Smudge' the little white duck with ducklings. Smudge is a white mallard duck with a single smudge of black on her head
'Cutie pie'
'Cutie pie'
'The Three Stodges'
'The Three Stodges'
Gosling and mallard ducklings
Gosling and mallard ducklings
Goslings.  These are from another 3-some, notice how the one at the back is a bit larger, probably hatched first.
Goslings. These are from another 3-some, notice how the one at the back is a bit larger, probably hatched first.

Bird picture: moorhen and chick magnet

Moorhen and chick,  Many of these bird pictures are featured on cards and gifts on Zazzle.co.uk - follow the link to browse.
Moorhen and chick, Many of these bird pictures are featured on cards and gifts on Zazzle.co.uk - follow the link to browse. | Source

© 2011 annmackiemiller

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    • annmackiemiller profile imageAUTHOR

      annmackiemiller 

      3 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      thanks folks, you can tell it breaks my heart to think they will ruin this but so far we are winning.

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 

      3 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Love these photos!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      3 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Brilliant photographs Ann, it really makes me mad when they want to destroy our lovely countryside to build new homes. If they could limit immigration (or deter it by limitimg benefits to immigrants maybe), and rebuild better on urban sites rather than spoiling the countryside, that would be so much better. Think it's time to look at raising awareness and creating a petition.

    • jewelsofawe profile image

      jewelsofawe 

      6 years ago from Oregon

      Hope they don't do it. Love the photos! I do hope these beautiful creatures can keep their home!

    • annmackiemiller profile imageAUTHOR

      annmackiemiller 

      7 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      thank to everyone for taking the time to comment - yes, it breaks my heart to think we might lose it all to fill already full pockets.

    • profile image

      Jane Gerwitz 

      7 years ago

      These photos are absolutely wonderful Ann, we live in Bingley and love watching the waterfowl on this particular stretch of the canal. It would be such a shame to lose such an important site. The companies that want to develop this site are only interested in making money, they have no regard for the value and beauty of this area at all.

    • LindaJM profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I always love looking at your photographs, Ann!

    • profile image

      Peter Keighley 

      7 years ago

      Terrific pictures. We can't afford to lose such a tranquil and refreshing area. Such a pleasant place to walk, breathe fresh air and watch the wildlife.

    • profile image

      Ann Bailey 

      7 years ago

      Absolutely stunning photos. I have a few which I took when all the goslings had hatched. We must continue to fight to protect these beautiful fields and the nature that enjoys it. Well done you! Keep up your good work.

      Resident Micklethwaite

    • profile image

      SANDRA ALLATT 

      7 years ago

      Absolutely wonderful photography. Tears came to my eyes at the thought of losing this wildlife and never seeing again the geese, ducks, moorhens etc that live on our canal. Bradford Planning should look at these photographs and at the new legislations that the government are proposing. The government has shown it is open to a new way of thinking in its decisions on development by valuing NATURE.

    • profile image

      John @ Linda 

      7 years ago

      Beatiful photos, we are boaters and regularly pass this part of UNSPOILT rural England, lets keep it this way. Plenty of space for development in Bradfords brownfield sites.

    • profile image

      Ashwin Vyas 

      7 years ago

      Great pictures. I particulary liked 'Flight School@ and 'Standig Room Only'. It'll be a great shame if all this disappears. Spening some time looking at nature sites like this brings some peace and balance into most lives.

    • annmackiemiller profile imageAUTHOR

      annmackiemiller 

      7 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      thanks so much to everyone for taking the time to leave a comment, I really do appreciate every one.

      cheers

    • profile image

      Jozla 

      7 years ago

      Great images. I regularly cycle to work along the towpath opposite the site, and the wildlife here always puts a smile on my face and sets me up for the day!

    • profile image

      Richard Aldred 

      7 years ago

      Superb images and a very informative and entertaining insight into the 'goings on' down on this stretch of the canal. Let's hope it's not lost forever.

    • annmackiemiller profile imageAUTHOR

      annmackiemiller 

      7 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      thank you Pauline

    • profile image

      Pauline Wood 

      7 years ago

      Ann This quite remarkable, and full marks to you.

      There are some of us that will be devasted should the building go ahead.

      There has not been enough publicity in my mind about the wildlife and how we will lose the enjoyment that it has brought to us over the years. The pictures are stunning/.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      7 years ago from South Carolina

      Your photos are breathtaking and you've "humanized" the wildlife portraying them as the loving, protective parents that they are. I hope your protest helps to keep the area undeveloped.

      I voted this hub up, beautiful and awesome!

    • poddys profile image

      Tony Payne 

      7 years ago from Southampton

      Brilliant photos Ann. It would be such a shame to lose such a precious site. All they think about these days is where they can build more houses so they can make more money.

    • annmackiemiller profile imageAUTHOR

      annmackiemiller 

      7 years ago from Bingley Yorkshire England

      Thanks to you all for your support - I love it when people like my photos, I have such fun producing them.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 

      7 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      Fabulous photographs of these special creatures. Voted awesome, up and beautiful.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      voted it up and awesome, Anne. This is a great protest hub. Thanks for sharing and I do hope that it works. I hope the area is kept development free!!! Let us know ok?

    • LeeWalls profile image

      LeeWalls 

      7 years ago from United States

      I live in a big city and seldom see nature except when birds come around. You are extremely fortunate to be able to take all of this in and share it with others, thus I thank you for these pictures.

      It sickens me to know they're already planning on developing houses on a land that belongs to these precious animals; they don't hurt anyone but bring joy to one's life. That belongs to them.

      I continue to say man is ambitious and evil and has done nothing but seek his own interest. I know I'm not the only one who sees this, I may be a little more vocal than others but people aren't blind.

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