Sunday, 22 July 2012

21st July, Malham and the peregrines

The sun made an appearance today, very welcome after the wet and dreary weather we have had recently! I drove up to Malham to check on the progress of the peregrine falcons and with hopes of a few other wildlife sightings too.

The view towards Malham Cove opens up quickly as the path winds gently up the valley:-

And in the opposite direction the view towards Pendle Hill-
One of the falcons was conveniently positioned on the nesting ledge after I had climbed the steps that lead to the top of the cove, it stayed long enough for a few shots then it took off and flew at a ferocious speed, circling the ground below before settling on a ledge down beneath me.

I made my way around the back edges of the cove to see if any other birds were about, here the limestone scenery at its best.

Only one bird appeared, a juvenile wheatear on one of the plentiful outcrops.

Descending carefully on the shiny limestone steps I decided to explore a small copse of trees near the bottom of the cove, after sitting quietly for a while in the cool shade I was rewarded by a visit from a lovely spotted flycatcher.

The perils of going off path in these areas was well illustrated soon after as I was concentrating on what I could see rather than where I put my feet, a trip and a hands went protectively towards my camera and binocs, and my right shin took the full force of the contact with serrated limestone!

Later diagnosis from home was.."Numpty!!"
Anyway after the self prescribed number of curses and naughty words I felt sufficiently OK to proceed with my walk, green woodpeckers are difficult to watch at any time I managed to spot this juvenile as it rested in a tree.

Its close relative the great spotted woodpecker is a far more common sight, a regular visitor to gardens and feeders and the colours are beautiful. This juvenile first fed on a nearby tree and then the feeders which the RSPB provide near the peregrine viewpoint.

My leg was now becoming quite sore and I decided to head for home, the walk back down to Malham is quite easy thankfully and a walk beside Malham Beck is always a pleasure.

A good day really, the bruising and cuts will mend, the memories of the wonderful birds will last much much longer:-)


  1. Great to see sunshine and blue skies for your latest Malham walk, doesn't it make the spirits soar ! Unlike today, wild, wet and windy again :-(
    Fantastic photos of the peregrines, and that delightful little juvenile wheatear stole the show.

    Ann and Roger

  2. Hi Dave, another fine set of photos and a fine day too. Looked a pleasant few hours around Malham. Great shots of the peregrine and the great spotted woodpecker. Hope the leg is on the mend now.....Cheers..Bob.