Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

The weather forecast yesterday promised a chance of frost, that chance quickly disappeared as a front of low pressure clung to our district. Unseasonally warm it may be but that also means damp and gloomy, a reasonable amount of light is needed for photography, more so when wildlife is the target.

My walk today was a local favourite and even when considered just as a walk without the wildlife prospects it rates highly.

Farnhill Moor is a splendid place to wander and it was there that I headed for first, a green woodpecker glimpsed recently was not in evidence despite a lengthy search and there seemed to little be little else around. A brief sighting of a treecreeper raised my hopes, a heavy shower shortly afterwards redressed the balance and I was grateful for the shelter of a boundary wall.

If birds were rated for their feistiness wrens must be near the top of the list, a fearful amount of noise can be generated from such a tiny body. Their colouring can vary quite a lot, this strident one was among the more lightly coloured ones but how well the pose demonstrates its manner!

The light was awful at this point and as I descended from the moor towards Bradley I took several dreadful shots of a distant kestrel. Great tits are usually seen in trees or bushes feeding on seeds, seeing a small group of them feeding on the ground was an opportunity not to be missed especially as the sun briefly appeared!

By the Leeds Liverpool canal for a while now, and the sunshine continues.

I spent a good while in a copse of trees near the canalbank, birdsong was tuneful, plentiful and the singers invisible!

Wandering on a grey squirrel posed nicely on the far bank.

Goosanders are a favourite of mine, watching them dive and trying to guess where they will surface is entertaining. The plumage is distinctive and the female is particularly striking.

By now the sunshine had retreated and the previous dullness returned with a vengeance, coupled with that a strong wind developed. Slow camera speed and a buffeting wind, hmmm not perfect methinks!!

This lovely swan flew past me, the sound of the wingbeats alerted me to its presence, the gusty nature of the wind shows in its feathers.

Back in Silsden I usually use the local beck to clean the worst of the mud from my boots before I head for a pint, as I tried not to fall in the water in full view of passing locals the raucous call of a crow rang out, almost like laughter.

Nearly time to put the camera and binoculars away for the day now but just as I passed close to the town's park some sweet chirping alerted me, a group of long tailed tits were feeding in a pathside shrub, it was nearly dark now and the photograph turned out better than I thought.

After a couple of beers it was time for home, a wash and change of clothes and then one of the few benefits of age.......Christmas Eve and the look of joy on our grand-daughters faces as they prepare for what we call the Santa Sleep, just brilliant and tomorrow will be a great day:-)

Many thanks to all who read my utterings, your messages and comments are much valued.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone.


  1. A good little wander and good to see you out and about. Hopefully catch you early in 2012.

  2. Love the wren ,,, Happy Christmas!

  3. Late for last year or early for this year I don't mind!