The continuing good weather has been a real bonus for my local walks and explorations, paths are still mainly firm and dry and the boots are not getting too muddy!
The decision to retire from work has meant I can be more selective about when I head out too, which allows me to choose the best conditions for wildlife spotting and photography.
A short walk by the Leeds Liverpool canal brought me a lovely shot which displays the colours of the moorhen fairly well.
We get goosanders in reasonable numbers at this time of year, they are "sawbills" named after the serrated nature of their bill which allows them to keep a fair grip on anything they catch during their dives, this is a female.
Mistle thrushes can be hard to get close to, luckily I had a wall to hide behind as I approached this one!
More by luck than planning I extended my walk a little, a fortuitous move as I spotted a splendid little owl perched in a bush.
Our neighbouring valley of Wharfedale is a favourite destination, the river and woodland are home to many birds and visit there is always worthwhile.
Dippers are super subjects for photography as they often pause between their habitual "dips", watching them closely will reveal ample opportunities for shots.
There is no mistaking the season we are in despite the warmer than usual temperatures.
Another stroke of luck as I peered over a wall just in time to see a roe buck as it tried to escape my lens!
The fungi in the woodland were numerous and spectacular...
It can be quite difficult trying to monitor all that is around you, we try to look for any small movements even in the periphery of vision. It works too as a small bird moved from trunk to trunk we were able to follow and get a close look at this treecreeper, guess how it gets its name!
Another day, another Wharfedale visit, another dipper!
As my knowledge of birds and their habits develop I always check groups of blue tits because not only are they lovely little birds but they are often accompanied by the delightful long tailed tit.
Jackdaws are not the most popular birds and they can be rascals, their green eyes seen close are however quite entrancing...
Back by the canal again and sat enjoying a coffee in a favourite location, I am often visited by a little robin seeking crumbs from snacks.
Alerted by the chiding chattering call of a wren I readied the camera and got a super reward...
plus a bonus as a blue tit settled in the trees overhead...
A buzzard soared overhead, this shot is heavily cropped as it was high in the sky.
Sometimes days just get better, this one certainly did as I then found a long tailed tit..
...and roe deer wandered the fields down below me...
A few days later and I had reason to visit the outskirts of Leeds, I stopped off at Yeadon for a walk round the tarn and got a fairly close look at a great crested grebe.
The lovely feathers of this bird almost led to its extinction as they were much in demand as clothing accessories during Victorian times, happily we are more educated nowadays and the birds have made a strong comeback.
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