A good few years ago I watched a wildlife programme on TV that was hosted by Bill Oddie, he expressed the view that we should all try to have a "local patch". Ideally containing a waterway and woodland, the key locations for many species, for those who live in urban areas it may be difficult but rarely impossible to find somewhere like that where you can walk often enough to notice and absorb the little changes in nature's behaviour that are so important.
With the choice of so many great areas near to home it was difficult to narrow down what would become my local patch, eventually I settled on an area not much bigger than a square kilometre. River, canal and woodland are all there and it is next to a moor, I'm lucky and it has paid large dividends with buzzard, red kite, kestrel, kingfisher, little grebe, roe deer, stoat and many many other wonderful creatures witnessed.
If I have only a couple of hours to spare I usually head here, so it was on Saturday morning I set out.
Sightings are difficult at the moment with heavy foliage on the trees but the sun was shining and it was pleasurable walking...I soon encountered swans, the lady of the family rather inelegantly having some weed dangling from her mouth..
A strident but tuneful song and no bird??? Often a wren, it was and for once I located it :-)
We caught sight of a moorhen chick...
A young marsh harrier sailed past at distance..
Right on the edge of what I consider to be the range of my camera I found great crested grebe..
I had a couple of spare hours on Monday, I visited the river Wharfe and the sand martin colony...many attempts at flight shots resulted in frustration at the lack of quality...I resorted to hiding myself away near the nests, careful not to cause disturbance, at last I managed a decent photograph of one of these beautiful birds..