Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Bolton Abbey & Strid Woods 11th Jan 2012

I had a free afternoon today, attending the funeral this morning of a lovely man who had lived a full and happy life left me in the mood to be outside, dull and wet weather notwithstanding.

Bolton Abbey and Strid Woods offer some shelter from damp skies, plenty of hopes of good bird sightings, good paths...and at this time of the year free midweek parking.

Almost immediately upon leaving Sandholme car park, (normally £6.50), I spotted a grey heron, the camera was switched on and settings checked, I was delighted at the result in the low light at full zoom across the river.

Soon I reached the Strid where the powerful flow of the river Wharfe condenses into a narrow gorge, the noise was unbelievable as the water crashed through.

Slowing the camera shot down for a long exposure adds a little calm to the turbulence.

The usual suspects of great, blue and coal tits flitted among the trees, a treecreeper too but in the low light photography was once again difficult.

Turning across the aqueduct to return to the car I headed back through the woods, another treecreeper was frustratingly just out of range and a couple of nuthatches appeared and then disappeared.

The Harrison Ford Shelter, great name but no showbiz connection! People tend to scatter bird food around its boundaries and it consequently attracts visitors of the avian and human variety. My sort was in mercifully short supply and I had the place to myself for about fifteen minutes, brambling, great and coal tits and a nuthatch were my guests! Not great light again but the pix were not bad.

The weekend offers chances of cold temperatures, frost and bright skies. After the dullness and slow camera speeds of the last few weeks that would be most welcome!!!


  1. Hi Dave, sorry to hear about the funeral of your friend, it must have been good to get out afterwards. I think I sat in that shelter a few years ago, as you say a great spot for bird spotting. Maggie

  2. Sorry to hear about the funeral but looks like you found some solace in the afternoon. As I know too well, the outdoors is a great healer! Hope you didn't go in an official car park and not pay! As if you'd do that! I was wondering the other day how The Strid was with all the rain and knew you wouldn't let me down. Hope we can manage a wander of some point soon, even if it's a flat one.

  3. Sorry to hear about your friend Dave. Love the nuthatch pic, there was one having a splash in my birdbath this morning. Wonderful sunset and clear sky tonight. Venus and Jupiter shining brightly too.


  4. Hope it went ok Dave :( Good to see you got out to clear your head. Great heron pic. Thought for a moment you'd been splashing out on the birdfood! ;o)