Friday, 3 October 2014

18th September, onwards and upwards

The year goes on, the cycle of life continues and the days grow shorter.
Well not really, its only the daylight that lessens as each day is twenty four hours, plus or minus a few nano-seconds!
Trying hard to immerse myself in absorbing all I can in my local area, I had to dash inside the house for my camera as this beautiful red admiral settled in the garden.
The dry weather has been a boon for the butterflies and many are still flying that I would not normally expect to see at this time of year.
Another trip over to Wharfedale, within 15 minutes we can be in this delightful valley which contains some jewels of wildlife.

Within minutes we had a superb view of a dipper going about its business, walking underwater is fairly specialised!
Juvenile goldfinches have been taking advantage of the dry thistle head remains to feed well as they mature and their feathering gains colour ...
A damp start to the year, how soon we forget that spring was wet, a dry summer and autumn...perfect for woodland fungi...
A woodland shelter is home to a family of wood mice, they have defied my attempts at photographing them for years, swift moving and always in the edges of the dark walls, delightful creatures...
A couple of days later and we are up on the moor that looks over Airedale and Wharfedale, a superb area for wildlife.
My childhood memories are of the cackling call of the red grouse, a lifetime of being close to them has imbued me with the skills to get really close for special shots...
A few wheatears remain around the moor edges, most have gone to lower ground now or already set off on their migratory journeys.
I took this shot to confirm what I thought was a mistle thrush side on, very long distance photograph, indeed it was...but a bonus, top left is a rear view of a fieldfare. A very early arrival from Scandinavia and ready to feast on the rich harvest of berries that abound.
We had been treated to several binocular views of kestrels throughout our walk, attempts at photographs up into a bright sky seemed futile as I know all too well the silhouettes that follow.
Reaching the car and treating ourselves to a brew from our flask we had a treat...
At last some detail! Super little hunters and I can watch them for hours when the conditions are good.
Learning more technical aspects of photography has been an aspiration for a good while, I have absorbed the things my mentors have suggested and experimented as they recommended...
the setting of a swan in a plain dark background...I'm getting there!
We paid a visit to Rodley Nature Reserve near Leeds, my third time at a splendid wildlife oasis in an urban area, run by volunteers and only open Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, if you are in the area well worth a visit.
Little grebe

Wren...we saw lots more but photographic conditions were not too good on the day.
I had a walk up on another moor nearby, and still the odd wheatear lingers much to my delight...
Most of the meadow pipits have fled to lower ground, some are still not sure!
Retirement has seen a return to a few holes of golf, an eye for nature saw me take the scenic route to the course though....inversions were likely, though I messed the settings up for stitched pic!
And yet another nearly good kestrel shot on the same day!
What a wonderful world we live in.
Many thanks to all who read and I hope you enjoy my blog.
Don't forget if you do comment...they come to me first for moderation.
Many Thanks!


  1. Pleased to see you enjoying your retirement Dave, another great blog. I love Wheatears, such a pretty bird,

  2. Great kestrel shots Dave, as well as so many other stunning photos. loved the little wood mouse too. A beautiful opening shot, very colourful.

  3. Absolutely beautiful series of photos!