Monday, 21 May 2012

Malham 20th May 2012

After a week away there were a few jobs to be sorted before we could get out today, car cleaned thoroughly and garden weeded and tidied made it after lunch when we set off for Malham. A free parking place with relative ease of access to the Cove had been spotted on a previous trip, we made use of that today and enjoyed a gentle stroll through pastures and limestone scenery on our way.

With the grass now green and the sky today showing some welcome blue the limestone scenery is at its best and probably my favourite. Reaching the top of the Cove we moved around to the Eastern edge which offers views down onto the ledge where the peregrines appear from their nest site back under a shelf, very quickly one of the chicks wandered into view:-)

It wasn't long before Mum appeared and ushered the wandering youngster back under the safety of the shelf, fortunately she then lingered long enough for a couple of pix.

We waited a while with no further action before descending the steps and meeting the RSPB team again, one of the volunteers quickly spotted a great spotted woodpecker which was lovely but never in view long enough for a photograph. A little owl was also seen high up in the fields, more of that later.

The male peregrine was seen in flight with brief landings in trees and then some calls were heard which were answered by the female, she then took to the air and we were privileged to witness a very high speed food exchange mid air, spectacular but no chance of photographs.

It was time for us to be thinking about a return to the car now and we climbed the steps, pausing part way up as we were now a lot nearer to where the little owl had been spotted.

A stroke of luck and it even turned it its head towards us! The day had been welcomely warm and despite the fine weather there had not been too many people about as shown in this shot of the normally crowded limestone pavement at the top of the Cove.

Just a short wander to the car remained although I did spot this lovely wheatear along the way:-)

A fortuitous switch on of the radio as we enjoyed a coffee in the car, the road from Skipton to Keighley closed due to an accident, local knowledge allowed us just a short detour round some back roads and then home to enjoy the photographs of the day:-))

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