Saturday, 7 April 2012

6th April 2012, Halton Heights to Addingham

It is refreshing sometimes to set off for a walk with no fixed route in mind, today fell into that category and after being dropped off near the top of Barden Moor I wandered merrily without a plan, and how well it worked out!

This look over Wharfedale and the summit of Simons Seat sums up the weather, dull and grey skies with occasional drizzle, sometimes this can lead to dark moods today I was determined to enjoy whatever I did and saw.
The meadow pipits are back on the moors now, beautiful little birds and sometimes they stay still long enough for me to get a photograph.
It would be a strange and unusual moorland walk if I came away with no photographs of red grouse, I don't know what I was doing wrong today but all I seemed to do was cause them to take off in noisy flight! Trekking north across the moor I eventually found a willing model.

The reservoirs of Lower Barden and Upper Barden have a smaller companion, near the northern edge of the moor this small and relatively unvisited sheet of water sometimes has more wildlife on it than its larger neighbours, today I found these canada geese.

I chose to leave the moor and head towards the hamlet of Drebley, a short road walk from here would lead me towards Barden Bridge and the riverbank, modern footwear has made tarmac trekking so much more comfortable than it used to be and I really don't mind a few road miles.

The track off the moor allowed me this splendid rural view towards Appletreewick.

I was soon by the river and starting to get hungry, time for a break and I wandered into the trees off path as it was busy here, Bank Holidays bring flocks of visitors here...more of that later! Anyway I found a lovely place to sit and have a break, birds were chirping and singing all around me, idyllic!

As I sat quietly the birds became more comfortable with my presence and I was able to get decent shots of redpoll and brambling, seasonal and welcome visitors here.

Time to push on now and I set about weaving my way through the masses on the riverbank, it is great to see families out enjoying the open air and lovely scenery near Bolton Abbey but not all at once!
Not much chance of seeing kingfishers with all these people about but I did see grey wagtail and dipper as I headed down river.

Once past the hotspot of the pavilion buildings the human traffic eased as did my mood, my own company is not always cheerful but I am used to it!

This grey heron had also found a spot away from the crowds, not sure what it was hunting in the long grass but it was certainly concentrating.

The estate here charges £6.00(ish) to park a car, a look back through the trees shows they are having a lucrative day!

The river is famed for the quality of the angling to be enjoyed, especially on this stretch towards Bolton Bridge and some mighty fish are landed by the fly fishermen on here. I don't know what type of fish inhabit the tree tops but this chap was certainly cursing his luck with this cast!

I had to decide what to do now, time was not an issue but I needed to get nearer to home and the bus service out here is pretty sketchy. The Dales Way route to Addingham would serve my purpose, buses from there to Silsden are fairly regular and the path through fields is pleasant.

The view up to Beamsley Beacon or Howber Hill shows the gathering gloom as it starts to drizzle. Pretty soon I was in Addingham and heading for the nearest bus stop passing this unusually named lane along the way.

If they have something to ease my tired legs I'll give it a try! A bus arrived a few minutes later and I was transported homewards, well pubwards actually...but I had walked a long way!!


  1. A good long walk Dave shame about the grey conditions, but plenty spotted along the way. I wonder if the heron was after frogs, they do take them. The fisherman shot made me chuckle. Don't think I've ever seen a Redpoll, shot of the day for me .... the gorgeous little meadow pipit.

  2. A great wander Dave. Also some nice wildlife spotted as well. And yes the angler also made me chuckle as well

  3. A nice walk Dave with lots to see. I hav eneve rseen a Redpoll, well spotted.

  4. Hello Dave, A smashing walk with lots to see. Great shots of the redpoll and brambling. Also the grouse,which we can never seem to get within a mile of before they see us and are off.
    I like the larger photos too.