Sunday, 27 November 2011

Saturday 26th November 2011

Starting at Kildwick, a neighbouring village of Silsden, I walked to my chosen base for my wildlife observations. Grey skies and a brisk wind with some surprisingly strong gusts offered little chance of decent photographs today but sometimes you just want to be outdoors and take a chance.

A family of mute swans were close to the canal bridge that I had selected, not always the easiest bird to get close to and they can be quite intimidating if they decide to assert themselves. I find that moving slowly and carefully they can be very approachable. Their cygnets are gradually losing the ugly duckling feathers and gaining the pristine white of their parents, I was treated to some lovely close views for a while.
A flask of hot coffee came in very handy to keep me warm, despite being clad in winter fellwalking gear being sat motionless does very little to keep one warm! Blackbirds, magpies, black headed gulls, robin, wren, long tailed and great tits were all observed through the binoculars as I waited and hoped for more spectacular sightings.

Impatience got the better of me after a while and I headed eastwards to Silsden, turning off the canal towpath in favour of a quiet lane I watched fieldfares for a good while, any attempts at getting near enough for a good shot with the camera was met by a hasty re-location for the birds, at one point much to my non-amusement I managed to disturb the fieldfares and a greater spotted woodpecker! Note to self....improve your fieldcraft!!!

I wandered as far as Riddlesden before the increasingly heavy rain and consequently decreasing chance of sightings and photos urged me to head homewards, a dunnock obligingly posed on the way back.

More swans on the way back completed my tour for the day, one cygnet seemed as tired of the drab weather as me.

Wet binoculars, fed up of cleaning and drying the camera lens I reached Silsden and did what I do after a local walk, a few pints of good beer and then home.


  1. Well it might not have been the best of days for wildlife spotting Dave, but these photos are lovely. We visited Fen Drayton RSPB Reserve today, very windy but dry. Lots of waterfowl around, including Little Egrets. Fantastic sunset to end our day & a small murmuration of starlings, too far away for good photos but lovely to watch :) Angie

  2. Nice and personal about your days trials and tribulations Dave :o) Love the sleeping cygnet shot

  3. Gorgeous pictures Dave. I am loving your new site, well done.

  4. Fixed now, all posting options available.
    As a backpacker that's the one thing I miss about single-day walks, especially in locations like this: a pair of binoculars. The extra weight and awkwardness of carrying with a DSLR make it impractical.

  5. I like your blog Dave. Looking forward to reading about your future wildlife observations and viewing more of your great photos.