Tuesday, 11 June 2013

8-10th June 2013, Wharfedale and Malham

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:-)

The bluebells were displaying well, a green veined butterfly was adorning one...

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..

I was watching unobserved by the birds from the cover of a bush, if you get too close they will not enter the box and the youngsters go hungry. Regrettably I had to rebuke a couple who seemed to want their lens almost into the box...

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..

It is always a treat to see a grey heron..

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 grey wagtail danced and fluttered on the riverside rocks..

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!

The view of the amphitheatre like Malham Cove.

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...

Wonderful, and warm sunshine too!!

We wandered back down to the base just in time to see a great spotted woodpecker nearby...

A grand afternoon indeed...

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..

It is hard to believe how much growth there has been in both animals and vegetation since we set off for Scotland, the beauty of Spring:-))


  1. Great local spotting for you after your fantastic time away in Scotland. My favourite was probably the goosander chicks having a snooze ! Other fabulous sightings, another treat to view wildlife though your camera lens.

  2. So many beautiful shots - I love the pied flycatchers on the nestbox. The green veined white against the acid green of the leaf is fantastic too.