Sunday, 29 April 2012

Malham 28th April 2012

Sometimes the Yorkshire Dales village of Malham can be so swamped by visitors that it spoils the enjoyment of the wonderful limestone scenery. Get there fairly early or choose a less than perfect day is my general rule! The Cove has been home to a pair of nesting peregrine falcons for a few years now, a good success rate with raising their young encourages the birds back each Spring and we hoped for some good sightings today.

We found a parking space in the village, a notice asks for a £1 donation towards keeping the village tidy and maintaining the lovely flowers that line the verges, very inexpensive in these times!

We walked up through the lane towards the Cove, the forecast today was for bright spells and occasional showers and we endured one of the latter as we strolled! It soon passed though and the sun came out as we joined the main path that climbs gently, a blackbird provided my first wildlife shot with my new camera.

The view to the magnificent landscape of Malham Cove opens up as a little height is first gained and then gradually lost.

One of the things people often don't realise when they put food out for birds is that they would much rather feast on a juicy bug or worm, amply demonstrated here by a lovely robin!

The lovely clear water of Malham Beck flows alongside the path, grey and pied wagtails are plentiful along here.

The RSPB have an observation point set up for the peregrines, friendly and knowledgable staff are in attendance and will help with sighting and identifying any birds in the area. Viewing scopes are set up and trained on both the nest site and any regular roost spots.
We were soon in luck as the male appeared and put on a spectacular flight display before returning to the ledge near the nest. Chance for me to test the zoom on my new Canon SX40, still a huge distance away and this is a mix of optical, digital zoom plus cropping.

Mrs Wildlife spotted something moving around in a field near the observation point, binocular examination disclosed a bird but not the identity, time for a closer look! We tracked carefully and slowly towards a bush the bird had disappeared into, getting close and peeping over a wall which was handy cover we were greeted by a little owl looking back at us!

What a wonderful sight and watched the bird for a while before returning to the peregrine viewpoint, another flight ensued from the male before he settled in a tree on the eastern side of the Cove.

We shared our owl sighting with others, part of the joy of seeing splendid creatures like these is in sharing the knowledge. A rather cool wind had developed and we had exhausted our supply of coffee so we decided to return to the car where further stocks were awaiting. Another short trip to the owl site before we left though.

A great morning had been enjoyed, they say never look back but a peep back at the Cove was justified I think!

A wheatear was bracing itself against the now blustery wind as we neared the road back to the village.

Another example of the preferred food for birds, a thrush with a beakful of juicy worms, yummy!

A great start for my new camera, a little more sunshine would have been appreciated but with some great wildlife sightings it was a morning to remember:-))


  1. Many thanks to all who take a look at my blog, viewing figures are good at it really does make it worthwhile:-)

  2. Great album Dave....sure you'll give the new camera plenty of use.

  3. What a wonderful day out for you both Dave. Fantastic shots with your new camera, well worth whatever you spent on it! The owl photos are simply superb. Maggie

  4. Hi Dave,lovely day out and about great pics,what patience you both have,Ihave enjoyed following you.