Sunday, 20 May 2012

19th May 2012, Wharfedale and Airedale

After a week away on Islay I was looking forward to a fine day to reacquaint myself with the wildlife near home, hmmm waking early I was greeted with grey skies and heavy rain, The weather forecast was for a dry day later so I was not too peturbed, sure enough within an hour the rain ceased, if the grey skies had disappeared to be replaced by blue that would have been appreciated though!

My plan was to have a walk by the river Wharfe starting from Barden Bridge and taking in Strid Woods where a large number of different bird species can be found. Setting off down the river bank it was difficult not to notice the sand martins in their busy and quick flight, I will try to capture this one day but better light than today will be needed. Occasionally they take a rest and I managed to get a shot of this one on a fence, I didn't notice the goldfinch at the time!

The goldfinch flew a short distance to a reed, I thought it deserved a photo on its own:-)

I'm not sure  how the Harrison Ford shelter got its name but it is a fine place to sit a while and enjoy the birds that visit for the seeds and nuts that people scatter around there.

A great tit and a nuthatch were the best of the shots I took.

Wandering on down river I had a lovely symphony of birdsong to accompany me, the smell of wild garlic and the aroma and beautiful colour of bluebells were fine companions on this woodland trek too:-))

A couple of female goosanders were spotted and photographed as I wandered onwards.

After reaching the Cavendish Pavilion and the bridge I crossed to now walk upstream I had a pretty traumatic experience, in short succession I saw a great spotted woodpecker, blackcap, goldcrest and pied flycatcher and managed two blurred GSW shots:-(( My own over eagerness may not help, I'm not good at sitting and waiting for things, maybe patience is the wildlife photographers best friend!

Dippers are plentiful along this stretch of river, busy now with young to feed this was the closest I managed to get today.

Time to think about heading home now and a few spots of rain hastened me onwards, bad enough was the cold wind as I was clad in pretty much winter gear, rain was most unwelcome! Treecreepers are amusing little birds as they scuttle up trees almost resembling mice in their movements, their natural camouflage can make them hard to spot unless you see them moving but this one was in clear view.

After a coffee and a snack at home Mrs Wildlife joined me for a walk in our home valley of Airedale, we walked down the lanes towards Keighley and then the canalbank. Once again we were treated to a chorus of birdsong, this time from the hedgerows from which the birds stubbornly refused to appear for the camera! No matter though at least it had warmed up a little and the strolling was pleasant.

This robin had obviously found a tasty grub for lunch, its expression suggests it was not too pleased to be photographed!

We had thought of visiting Low Wood Nature Reserve only to find public access was closed today as the local Sea Cadets were practising camouflage and woodcraft in there:-( We returned via Low Holden Farm, plenty of swallows around there swooping amongst the plentiful midges, this one had obviously eaten plenty and was taking a rest.

I'm not sure which species of duck has influenced the colouring of this cross mallard but she is certainly fine feathered and I managed a shot of her with her chicks.

All in all a decent day for wildlife sightings as we also saw squirrels, rabbits and a brief glimpse of a roe deer. Hopefully the sun will shine soon, warmth and some blue sky will be appreciated, grey skies and cold fingers are not the best when trying to take photographs!

The bluebells are in fine form this year, hard to resist one final shot:-)

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant! Gorgeous bluebell shot as well as the beautiful birds