Sunday, 5 February 2012

5th February 2012, on a (lap) wing and a prayer!

So the threatened snow arrived but no great quantity around these parts and the paths around the house and the drive were soon cleared. A warmer but dull day promised a thaw and as I brushed away the snow it turned quickly to the messy sludge that is the unwelcome residue of winter precipitation.

Discussions about a walk were held, the quiet lane down the valley is a favourite and there is usually something of interest to see.

The humble but much loved sparrow, rear view only as it refused to show its face!

There have been a few murmurations of starlings recently quite near to home, a few of the participants put on a little mini display just for us:-)

Lapwings are a great personal favourite, their wheeling flight and distinctive call stands them out amongst other birds, the plaintive note of their song evokes boyhood memories of the local moors now in the midst of winter we find them feeding on lower level grazing land.

Pheasants now live in some numbers in the lowlands of the valley, wonderful colours and a strange manner and a joy to see in the wild.

Passing through Low Holden Farm we had a chat with the resident farmer, he had been in Austria the previous week at temperatures of -21c! He was having a break from shifting dung from the cow sheds, the warmth from said stuff may have been welcome but the smell was just enough to hurry us onwards!

Four legged tracks across the ice and a hole...we looked in the water and there was nothing evident so hopefully not a bad outcome!

The competition in Dancing on Ice has been tough this year, this moorhen decided to set a high tariff...a single leg toe spin without pike but performed elegantly:-))

Magpies are not everyones favourite, indeed few peoples favourite, but they have a part to play in the world of nature. The rascal of the treetops, along with jays, they will quite willingly rob nests of eggs and young nestlings...but lots of other birds do this too and without the bad publicity.

Mrs Wildlife was trying to attract my attention now, I was watching robins which posed briefly until the lenscap was removed then flew off...I was directed towards a dunnock, cracking little bird oft neglected because it is not spectacular, I love them, their fluttering wings and thin warbling call are a delight.

Wandering back to Silsden now we got a brief view of what we think are winter plumage golden plover, not the greatest photo at long distance and in very dull light.

The snowy lane had been a delight to wander on, to have such peace and quiet so close to home is much treasured and the time spent down here pays off as we see the change in our valley from season to season. The birds are beginning to sing their songs of delight, territorial, partner is simply beautiful!!!!!


  1. Another great blog Dave,. I also love lapwings.

  2. Cheers Sherran, lovely birds indeed.

  3. Hi Dave, I've been enjoying your blog and great to see you getting out so much. Grand variety of birds on this walk and I also have fond memories of the Lapwing. Pee Wits we used to call them round here when we were kids...Cheers...bob.

  4. I woke early the other morning and heard the birds welcoming the dawn ,,, magic!