Having spent the last weekend catching up on family commitments and the jobs that need doing after a two week holiday I was looking forward to a good wildlife watching couple of days.
A very early start on Saturday saw me on the banks of the river Wharfe well before 7.00am, early enough to catch the goosander chicks still enjoying a snooze:-)
After a few weeks without a visit I wasn't sure what stage the nesting birds would have reached, this pair of pied flycatchers were quite obviously feeding youngsters as they worked busily too and fro from the box....male and female respectively..
Judging by the sounds from the now leafy treetops the redstarts have fledged and I caught only an occasional glimpse of their beauiful colours.
Moving on down river I found a lovely and elegant common sandpiper..
The sun shone occasionally down through the trees producing this lovely colour effect around a cute duckling..
I was now on the lookout for dippers and I found some, not difficult here really, but I had a problem the sun was now blazing down and I was looking straight into it! Despite trying several adjustments on the camera and taking a lot of shots there were none of a suitable quality.
Returning to the woods I spotted another green veined white...
A splendidly coloured chaffinch adopted a lovely stance..
A female pied flycatcher was observed taking a break from feeding duties..
A final look at the gorgeous bluebells..
And finally for the day some spectactular fungi...
Another half day of catch up jobs on Sunday, the forecast was for a dull afternoon and we didn't plan anything other than a local wander. As often happens the weather forecast was wrong and by late morning the sun was breaking through, a quick decision to visit Malham to check on the progress of the peregrine falcons, news that the young chicks were beginning to fly was exciting!
After a chat with the RSPB team and some views of at least one young bird whizzing around and landing in various places we took the steps to the top. Regular visits teach you where the birds are likely to perch and we found one straight away..
A short search through the binocs and another was located..
Sometimes take off occurs and you just do not have chance to set the camera at a suitable speed..
I managed to move a little closer to the remaining falcon...
We wandered back down to the base just in time to see a great spotted woodpecker nearby...
On Monday I spent the afternoon at my local raptor watch and saw several splendid species through binoculars and telescope. The camera sees little use there but I keep it close by just in case...I did spot this small copper butterfly..
And I witnessed a grouse seeing a couple of its youngsters across a moorland track..