Monday, 17 June 2013

15-16th June 2013, A couple of local walks

Gradually catching up on developments near home after a most enjoyable couple of weeks in Scotland. I have a much favoured site near Skipton, from warblers to raptors the potential is magnificent and I have often been rewarded for the time spent here. Conveniently it fitted in with shopping plans too and in late morning I was dropped off at a convenient spot, in the few weeks since my last visit things have grown at a surprising rate! Waist high grass, sodden wet from recent showers, giant nettles and thistles...and worst of all hordes of voracious midges...I could hear birdsong all around me...and I could see precisely nothing.

Battling my frustration I resorted to other things..the inside of a buttercup

And I managed to find a small tortoiseshell butterfly...

I lasted a little over an hour before the sheer discomfort of the midges defeated me, a walk back to Silsden via the canal towpath beckoned so time for best foot forward....after a short interlude while I compared my feet to find the best one I wandered homewards...

A lovely blackbird perched happily for me..

No it isn't one legged!! Many birds seem to use a single leg for standing like this, reason unknown to me anyway.

At this time of year there are many young birds to be seen on the canal, it was hardly a surprise to find a mallard with chicks..

The sun was out and the scenery pleasant..

Some canada geese with youngsters came near enough for me to try a real close up shot...

Trying to capture swallows in flight is rather more difficult, this was the best I managed..

A swan with cygnets passed by...

The walking is obviously fairly level, there not even any locks on this stretch I maintained a good speed with an occasional stop for a drink from my thermos. Occasional heavy showers meant the waterproofs were kept in easy reach but as the afternoon wore on the weather became more settled and the sunny spells lasted longer, much appreciated!

This little duckling was speeding around like a clockwork toy!

Silsden was reached safely and post walk re-hydration undertaken!
The weather forecast for Sunday was for a dull outlook, signs were that there could be some improvement in mid to late afternoon.
We set off for a short walk on Barden Moor...the home of unanswerable questions regarding walking with dogs...a sign in the car park we use says clearly NO DOGS! but fifty yards away on the bridleway from Halton Heights to Rylstone..

This is the only path on the moor where dogs are allowed, the other paths are "permissive" and the estate can set their own rules, however distasteful most people find them.
The forcasted improvement was slow to develop and it was still rather grey as I took a shot over the lower reservoir towards Simons Seat..
Meadow pipits are one of the main victims of the cuckoo con trick but their numbers are such that they can absorb the losses..lovely birds..
We passed the upper reservoir before taking another path eastwards..
Greylag geese form a protective shield around their youngsters..
I found a lovely common sandpiper in full song on a wall..
And a curlew in mid call too...
Another meadow pipit, this one preparing to dine..
A small white butterfly..
Reaching the edge of the moor we could hear stonechats, the adults were too active to capture on camera but a lovely youngster posed..
Some lovely freshly developed cotton grass completed the sightings for the day..
Not the greatest of wildlife sighting weekends but time spent outdoors is always welcome....
Please remember if you do wish to add a comment that they come to me for approval first, and thanks to all readers, much appreciated :-))


  1. I love seeing all the wildfowl with their babies at this time of year. Thought the curlew and the sandpiper caught in mid-call were fine shots Dave.

  2. Hi Dave, I don't know about a 'Quiet weekend' there's lots of interest here. Excellent report and photos of your two outings. Keep up the good work......Bob.

  3. Agree with Bob - I wish my 'quiet' weekends were like this! Feeling inspired to try and spot a meadow pipit or a stonechat.Love the buttercup picture.