Despite a forecast of dull and grotty skies things improved and the sun shone brightly on Saturday morning. Even with the lovely weather I had no high hopes of good sightings, the next few weeks are the ones where the winter immigrant birds start to head coastwards ready for their journey home and incoming birds are yet to arrive. Time spent exploring and getting used to potential new sites is time well spent and I headed over to Skipton for a potential barn owl site, with a lot of wet ground surrounding the area it is important to know the layout before venturing there at dusk time!
Making my way in on a lovely and frosty morning the teasels were hanging on to the cold..
Close to a main road one of the last things I expected to see was a roe deer, it grazed happily as I manouvered myself near enough for a decent photograph..
Acquainting myself with the various paths on offer, and more importantly meeting up with my barn owl confidante and getting to know the necessary line of sight did not take too long, and the reed buntings kept appearing.
A barge with a name that cries out for an explanation........
A small flock of birds arrived in a nearby bush, binocs raised and long tailed tits identified I had to be pretty careful to get near enough for a shot.
It was late afternoon now and time for a pint, I thought it worthwhile removing the lens cap again for a photograph of a robin, it may have been had I got the focus right!
Aaah, the robin! They are really plentiful here and will pose willingly for the camera..
Wetland wildfowl can include quite a lot of birds, pheasant are not the usual waterside fayre though!
Birds doing unusual things can bring a little humour to an unproductive day, why do cormorants stare at the sky...flying fish maybe:-))
Heading for the car park I looked at the bird feeders, long tailed tits were feeding greedily..
With lunch taken and energy levels renewed I set out on the longer walk down to the public and lower hides, the island in front of the public hide often has cormorants, not sure how often they have collective itches though:-))
Lowering the binocs to give my eyes a rest and literally feet in front of me was a lovely little well camouflaged snipe, luckily it very soon moved and gave a much better view...
The teal in front of the hide were feeding greedily...
The great crested grebe had disappeared into a nearby reed bed, it soon reappeared with a partner and they began to display, a wonderful event to witness even though I didn't manage to satisfactorily capture the ritual weed presentations..
As the light dulled the female marsh harrier paid a visit..
A black headed gull in breeding plumage..
A grey heron stalking the shallows......
And finally a pintail duck..
Many thanks for reading what is my 100th blog, much appreciated. Don't forget comments have to approved by me before appearing!