Monday, 3 December 2012

1st December 2012, A bit of a mixed day!

I planned an afternoon on Barden Moor, great sightings up there last year of short eared owls and a decent weather forecast for the day encouraged me on a spotting mission. I haven't heard of any local sightings yet this year and someone has to get out and find them!

With a couple of hours to spare in the morning I headed over to Kildwick to check on the kingfishers I have been watching recently, with large patches of the canal frozen over it left only a handful of thawed pools for possible sightings.

Plenty of blackbirds were to be seen.....

There are a good number of newly arrived fieldfares in the valley, they are very skittish when they first arrive from Scandinavia but as they become more used to their surroundings it is possible to get a little closer.

I would never say I could guarantee kingfisher sightings, wildlife watching isn't like that, but to have the regular views I have enjoyed over the past few weeks has been a real pleasure, once again I was not disappointed. This time the strong breeze provided some lovely shots...........

I small group of long tailed tits flitted around in the trees, barely ever still they are a tough subject to photograph and I only managed one decent shot.

On my way back to the car I spotted a kestrel, its back was turned and I really wanted a look at its face, a whistle did the trick and it turned to face the culprit!

Back home I warmed up with some coffee and refilled my flask, and added a couple of thermal layers to my clothes for the afternoon.

A beautiful late autumn day for sure but 400 metres asl on an exposed moor is not to be trifled with!

The site we visited quite a lot last winter is in a wonderful location with wide and stunning views, I settled myself on the leeward/sheltered side of a convenient wall and waited............and waited...and saw absolutely no birds of any kind for three hours!!

This is the view from my watching spot...

Rationing my coffee carefully I did keep reasonably warm, occasionally I wandered off to the edge of the moor to take in some of the views..

Simon's Seat..

Lower Barden reservoir and Burnsall Fell..

Pendle Hill in the distance and Eastby Crag..

Nab End and Addingham Moorside..

Each time I took off a glove to take a photograph my fingers turned blue very quickly and took some time to become functional again, my coffee was gone and I had nearly an hour until my lift was due.

Knowing which route Mrs Widlife would be using was an advantage, I decided to pack in my cold and lonely vigil and walk towards Skipton from where she would be driving. The views as the sun gradually set were superb..

Eastby Crag in the last bright colours of the day..

And wandering on down to Embsay...

I cannot say I have ever ridden off into the sunset but at least it felt as if I was walking off into it!!


  1. Looks like you had a fantastic day. What a beautifull place to go for a wander, love your blog.

  2. Hi Dave, what a joy to view your photos from the morning session, I think my favourite is the two fieldfares on the branches. Shame about the lack of sightings in the afternoon but a beautiful sunset to make up for it. Hope you've warmed up by now lol!

  3. Great photos as usual..

    Nice to finally meet you today at the Low Wood reserve...Shame it was a bit quiet in there :-(


  4. Loved the fieldfares and the beautiful kingfisher. A pity about no sightings for you in the afternoon, but that sunset and the views up on the moors must have made up fot it.


  5. Lovely post Dave, your patience with the kingfishers is sure paying off, great pics

  6. Hi Dave,another great blog. That looked a cold one but some great shots in the morning. I don't think I've ever seen a kingfisher round our way but what a lovely bird.
    We had a group of long tailed tits on our laburnum tree on
    Sunday and you're right, they don't hang around for long.
    Keep up the good work....Bob.

  7. Hi Dave,
    I got a shot of those 2 Kingfishers outside Low Wood Reserve today,saw 4 more roe deer too which was nice again.

  8. Well done Dave, it does take some patience with the kingfishers but what a wonderful reward. Dave D