My weekend wildlife watching began with a stint at my barn owl site, with lots to see apart from the owls a couple of evening hours soon pass. A fellow observer had seen a grasshopper warbler in the afternoon but I had no luck with that. It was a fine sunny evening, quite warm and very pleasant, my photographs began with a heron in flight...
And so to a sunny Saturday, we had a moorland amble planned but first we found time for an exploration of Middleton Woods near Ilkley.
Our eyes and ears were busy from the start, a chorus of song rang out from the tall treetops and it seems somewhere we shall have to visit quite often. I spotted a jay through some foliage and patiently worked myself into a position where I could manage a clear line of sight.
Some early butterflies can be seen now, here we spotted a small tortoiseshell enjoying the sunshine..
A short drive on some back roads took us to Barden and a walk on the moor.
One reason for a walk up here, apart from the splendid long distance views, was the return of the meadow pipits, a delightful bird shown here in perfect habitat.
Another attempt at a red grouse shot fared the same as the earlier one:-(
Although skies were grey and gloomy the exercise was good and there is always something to see for those who can be bothered..
On Monday a slightly brighter day beckoned, I headed for Malham and another meet up with the RSPB team. The sun shone brightly as I parked up for the short walk up to the Cove, a chaffinch enjoyed a paddle in the beck.
This jackdaw was enjoying an elevated position on the back of a belted Galloway cow.
After meeting up with the team and a good chat we spotted one of the peregrines on a ledge high on the cove, I set off on the climb up the steps. Pausing for a look round, rest, I spotted a pair of newly arrived wheatears on the rocks..
The concensus was that this is the male, the female is thought to be sitting on a nest far back on a ledge and completely out of sight.
I made my way carefully down the shiny steps and had a look around the lower reaches of the cove. I found a pied wagtail....
A feisty wren...
And another bird which was zipping around, its red rear feathers identified it as a male redstart and after a prolonged search I found one posing on a rock. Aim the camera, compose the shot, check focus...press shutter release...just as it flies off, lol!!
The light was really not good now, fortunately I was near enough to this robin to get a decent shot.
Another opportunity to photograph a redstart presented itself, even in murky light it is a stunning bird..
I sat among the trees and rocks for a while, another wren appeared..
Just as I was exchanging goodbyes with the RSPB team a great spotted woodpecker appeared, what a lovely few days we have had with some super sightings.