Sunday, 6 January 2013

5/6th January 2013, Local but ever so good!!

Reports of 200+ waxwings drew us to Keighley for our first wildlife expedition of the day, Sainsburys car park (Other supermarkets are available:-), was the reported site, we saw little apart from a lovely fieldfare and lots of shoppers!

We took a walk around a few local streets to see if the waxwings were loitering, lots of people were but we did see a sparrowhawk skulking in some trees. These have a bad reputation, yes for sure they kill birds, but for food not fun. If you keep a cat it will probably kill more birds than this beautiful and persecuted bird.

We left and went on the canalbank at Riddlesden, friends have seen kingfishers on here, a few miles eastwards from my local sightings. A brief sight of one in flight was good, a longer flight sight followed and I watched carefully where it was quite obviously wary and a bit of craft was required. I walked towards it looking deliberately away, reaching a good viewpoint I turned and got one shot before the little beauty flew off!

We went home for some lunch, the drab weather offered not much and we decided on a canalbank walk in the afternoon. From local reports if the waxwings had departed Keighley they were heading west, I had an inkling where they may settle for a while, my local knowledge builds and now it was time to put it to the test.......

Our walking boots have been put away for a while, the wet weather has decimated our paths and as regular viewers will know the canal towpath is a complete mess, so two wellington clad wildlife lovers set off again.......

Kestrels abound round here, on a good day they are seen regularly, this one settled within a reasonable distance..

A kingfisher up a tree is not unusual, but this was twenty yards back and twenty feet up a tree, I can only assume it was digesting a hearty meal!

And then one of the paybacks for all the miles I slog and attention to detail and habitat that I store away, scanning through the binoculars an unusual colour was noted....waxwings and we are off!

Walking quickly but quietly we got as close as we dare, you can get really close to these birds when they are gorging on food, in the wild they are nervous as new arrivals will be!

The light was dreadful but I managed a couple of shots..

A great spotted woodpecker provided another opportunity for a photograph........

The final shot of the day as darkness enveloped us was an ever elegant swan....

Sunday was the same weather, we visited Embsay Reservoir, the village and playground of my childhood. The view across the reservoir says it all...........

What I took for pink footed geese proved to be greylags, according to a trusted source, geese are not my strongpoint!!

Where my skills are most useful is spotting unusual things in my own area and when we took another welly clad wander by the canal I spotted this beauty, a little grebe, they dive often and their natural colour makes them hard to spot, and difficult to get the camera to focus on the right thing!

A tiny and treasured sighting for us...

Just as the light was going we had a lovely look at a young female goosander, beautiful birds....and I am getting to know the low light settings...though a bright day would be welcome:-))

Your comments are treasured........but don't forget I have to peruse them first so don't get annoyed/frustrated when they don't appear straight away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Wellies sounds a good idea Dave! Glad you caught up with the waxwings eventually and how cute is that little grebe.

  2. Another great album despite the conditions. Gorgeous Liitle Grebe photos, plus excellent ones of the Kestrel and Sparrowhawk. Yes, we do feel a tadge sad when the latter lifts a bird from our bird table, but it must live too. So much more palatable than the horrific 'play' thing that cats do with birds. Now that is really sad.