Monday, 4 June 2012

4th June 2012, Peregrines and a special little girl.

For those of us blessed with grand children a day spent in their company can be invigorating/tiring/hard work/damn good fun...delete as appropriate! I am so lucky my eldest grand-daughter Isla loves being outdoors, running, climbing and nature are high on her list of favourite things so the chance to go to Malham together to see the peregrine falcons was treasured.

A weather forecast of blue skies with an occasional shower was never going to deter us, parking at Malham Tarn we enjoyed the limestone escarpment of the dry valley of Watlowes. My favourite landscape and the slippery limestone steps provided us both with some amusement too!

"What's that bird with a white bum Grandad?" was an easily answered question as a wheatear flitted from rock to some tufts of grass which confused the auto focus on my camera for a while!
The main event, the peregrines and perhaps my favourite bird of prey. Anyone who has been priviliged enough to witness the hunt and chase when a peregrine dives at 200mph plus and seen a pigeon explode when struck surely cannot fail to be impressed.

The adults were not to be seen today, much to the disappointment of the battery of cameramen on the tops with lenses like telegraph poles. This youngster is doing well though, the first born and taking making the lion's share of the food according to my RSPB friends at the manned viewpoint down in the bottom.

We wandered down the steps and met the RSPB team, they are here in all weathers and it was great to see John from Keighley Golf Club who does a superb job managing a golf course in a wildlife friendly way. Some sightings of goldfinches and especially redstarts were very welcome but also elusive for my lens!

Isla was eager to practice her climbing skills on the limestone so the camera and binocs were stashed away for a while as I guided her up some good little routes, admiration of the suppleness and vitality of a nine year old was diluted a touch when I banged an ankle bone against a good solid rock outcrop and could merely mutter "whoops"!!!!!!

It is in these activities where trust is earned, hard earned sometimes and when we finished a hug was welcome and will be remembered for a long time:-))

The view out from the top towards Pendle Hill was lovely as we headed home, just a special day!

Another look back from the top of Watlowes:-

Isla was tired now and I had to drive!


  1. Awww What a lovely day together Dave She sounds a very special girl :o) Excellent picture of the Peregrine chick too

  2. Fantastic outing Dave. Brilliant to see the Peregrine chick. How wonderful that Isla shares your love of nature. The comment on the agility of young joints made me smile, I know just how you feel!!

  3. Agree with the above, wonderful shots of the peregrines. Oh to have agile joints again!