Setting out early I drove to my chosen location, the cool morning air left a mist clinging to the lower parts of the valley.
The reflections in the still waters were compensation for the lack of birds on this stretch of the canal. Soon however I had my first sighting as a blur of blue sped by me, watching carefully I noted where it had landed and tracked cautiously towards it. Checking through my binoculars I located the kingfisher perched nicely in a very sparse shrub, perfect!
As I reached a place where a photograph would be possible two noisy dogs appeared with their owner. Exuberant as they quite reasonably were on this lovely morning I cursed as the kingfisher took flight!
No chance of following it either as it flew off towards the nearby river.
I took a break for a coffee or two from my flask, a visit from a robin was welcome.
The calm water continued to present photographic opportunities..
A small group of birds settled in a nearby bush, binoculars revealed that they were goldcrests, gorgeous little creatures. After several futile attempts at photo's as they flitted nervously to and fro I finally managed this upwards shot!
I decided to head for home for a refill of the flask and a short rest before returning to resume my search.
An hour or so later and I was back out again, this time I got lucky with the wildlife straight away a group of siskins were feeding in the trees.
Chaffinches and blue tits were showing in good numbers, feeding greedily on seeds and occasionally taking to the treetops to chirp their joyous songs:-))
I had enjoyed several glimpses of the kingfisher, unfortunately they are very easily disturbed and the number of walkers, dogs and cyclists along here meant they were always in flight. Patience is a great attribute though and I stuck to my task, a reward eventually arrived. Distant but instantly recognisible.....
As usual when I manouvered myself closer someone approached in the opposite direction, another noisy dog with its owner, ah bless!! Or not as the bird flew past me, I stayed where I was and watched where it flew to, I let the dog walker get a good distance away and then I followed...
Better than I dared hope for! It didn't stay long though, fortunately it did not fly far and settled again in a canalside bush, my first attempt was OK but slightly masked by the foliage..
Moving ever so slowly I tried to get in a more advantageous position...
As I suspected the lovely sight did not last long, a group of cyclists talking loudly as they rode saw the kingfisher take off and head towards the river. I was happy though, mission accomplished and I strode off towards Silsden pausing along the way to muse about how canal boats get their names??