The variety of wildlife to be seen on the moor at this time of the year is not great, red grouse, pheasant and kestrel are the most likely, the smaller birds meadow pipits and the like tend to go nearer the coast in winter.
The cold desolation of a winter walk on a bleak moor is not to everyone's taste, for me it offers the isolation that allows clarity of thought, photographic opportunites that are created by my own fieldcraft and above all peace and quiet.
I made my way to a wood on the edge of the moor, the northern edge had not yet been blessed with sunshine and it was cool to say the least, the firmness of the ground was very welcome after the mud of the last few weeks though!
A kestrel hunted in the distance, the same area I had just left and sometimes I wish I could be a bit more patient.
A few pheasants strutted around in the wood, like grouse they are reared for the pleasure of those who find shooting such lovely creatures to be a worthwhile "sporting" activity, plenty escape however and there is now a flourishing wild population.
My best mate from junior school at Embsay!!! 50 years have passed since my family moved to Silsden and now I find that our mutual love of wildlife has brought us back together, co-incidence, luck, whatever!!
Mobile numbers were exchanged and we shall now meet up regularly.
After a brew at home I had another canal walk in the afternoon, making the most of a sunny day seems so much less effort than going through the motions on a dull day.
A good few birds to enjoy along the way,
I was able to see but unfortunately not photograph a weasel as it sped across a field in pursuit of a terrified rabbit, hunter and hunted as nature intended.
A young swan preened its feathers before taking up a lovely pose!
Not a bad way to end my two walks!
My old mate has directed me to a location not too far away where short eared owls have been seen recently, fingers crossed for a good day on Sunday 15th!