Thursday, 19 December 2013

14-16th December 2013, Airedale and Wharfedale short walks

There are times in life when a walk is refreshing for the mind, time to think and ponder with no distractions, and above all enjoy the sights and sounds of nature.

I set out on Saturday with no great ambitions of what I may see and photograph, the light was at best dull, the path by the canal was muddy and showers were more than possible.

One of my usual sightings, a mallard, I rarely walk without seeing them but when the light strikes the colours of the head of the male the colours can be stunning...

Add in a funny and bashful pose and you have a decent photograph!

Another regular for me is the moorhen, lovely quirky birds...

I was in good pondering form with thoughts overflowing my head and metaphorically tumbling around my feet as I wandered, slipped and slithered through the slimy mud which we laughingly call a path.
There was little in the way of wildlife to distract me, a gusty wind seemed to be keeping the small birds away from open spaces and an unwanted flight to somewhere else!
A chaffinch braved the wind...
Now bereft of unwanted clutter in my head and with my camera almost bereft of photo opportunities I decided to call it a day and head for a pint or two....little do I know of what nature can offer by way of compensation for getting out in poor weather...
Nearing Silsden and on the point of packing my camera gear away I spotted a bird struggling to make headway in the wind, the binoculars were raised and the result caused a hastening of pace. A beautiful kestrel was hunting even in these fierce conditions...
A magnificent sight and one another reason to make the walk worthwhile!
Nearing town a juvenile swan approached to see if I was offering food, I left it to consume its half eaten weed!
In similar conditions on Sunday we did one of our regular Wharfedale wanders, the gentle 4.5 miles do not take long and the relatively small effort can yield great rewards.
Today a fierce looking chaffinch came close to us...
In gloomy conditions this nuthatch at least nearly stayed still!
We saw roe deer through the foliage...
And by the edge of the surging water we saw a dipper, unexpected as we thought they would probably be up the less flooded side streams...
A similar walk on Monday brought few results, a few birds in flight but nothing much...
A great tit posed briefly..
And I found a robin for my Christmas and New Year message..
Many, many thanks to all my viewers and readers, may you all be blessed with a Merry, Happy and Peaceful Christmas and New Year.
Please don't forget that all comments come to me first for moderation.
Hopefully 2014 will be as spectacular and successful as this year for wildlife exploration!


  1. your bird pics are a treat Dave and proof positive of the beauty in our common species. Have a wonderful Christmas and good walking and button-pressing in 2014.... best regards, Freddie.

  2. Brilliant as ever Dave, especially the kestrel photos. Hope you'll have some drier and less windy walks as we start 2014.
    Thanks for all your wonderful wildlife sightings that you have brought us this year. Ann and Roger