Thursday, 6 August 2015

Peregrine volunteering and a few trips out

I have had a great few months at the peregrine watch at Malham, my first year as an RSPB volunteer and to say I have enjoyed it would be quite an understatement. To feel you have contributed even in a very small way to the success of these magnificent birds is special, also to contribute to visitors enjoyment of the peregrines, the many other species of wildlife in the area and general information about the history and geology has been very satisfying.

The team were short of volunteers one day and as I was intending to go as a visitor I offered my services for the afternoon session. Early morning and I was climbing the 400 or so limestone steps and after negotiating the fractured rock at the top I was settled in my favoured spot, quite near the edge but with a handy raised shelf to act as a table, camera rest and safety bar!

It took some time and patience as the yougsters were now beginning to fly further away to hunt and the adults were rarely to be seen but one of the young birds returned and treated me to a spectacular display of aerobatics, occasional humour as it continually returned to a shrub that was obviously not sturdy enough to support its weight, half an hour of pure peregrine magic!

We had a trip to Rodley Nature Reserve, unfortunately there was not an awful lot to see on the day.

This little grebe was the the best shot of the day.

I managed to see a great spotted woodpecker juvenile on one of our feeders at Malham while volunteering.

A short walk on a local moor and the not unexpected sight of a meadow pipit.

A small local pond yielded a shelduck

Sometimes a short break away does much to re-charge the batteries and we had such a plan in mind, Burton in Kendal gives us easy access to some favourite spots without the need for long drives.

On the way up we visited RSPB Leighton Moss, a great spot for marsh tits

A red admiral basking on the path...

Near to a tiny toad
Out in the hides we got some lovely marsh harrier sightings

and a lovely damselfly

A beautiful ruff appeared from the reeds

The following day we visited Foulshaw Moss, run the Cumbrian Wildlife Trust it is a magnificent example of what can be achieved by returning areas to their former state. Once heavily forested it is now a giant swamp with plenty of tree stumps left for stoops, it is home to hundreds of species, unfortunately while we visited gale force winds prevailed and we saw little...apart from the nesting ospreys! The young poked their heads above the nest occasionally and one of the adults landed on a surveillance camera! Way too far for photographs but a great sight. We enjoyed a drive up and around the coast, spotting common terns along the way.

We had time for a few hours at Leighton Moss before home beckoned, a fortuitous decision as it turned out.

First sighting a dunlin

A juvenile jay up a tree

Red deer

and then real excitement as an otter appeared hunting not far from the hide, wonderful end to a great weekend!

Many thanks to all who read, please don't forget if you do leave a comment that they come to me first for moderation.

My sympathies with those enjoying a less than brilliant summer, the same situation here and we seem to be mired in light in which wildlife photography is very challenging!


  1. Beautiful photos, you are coping well with our 'less than brilliant summer' Dave. The peregrine photos are amazing, just as are those of the hen harrier and all the' littlies' as well. The otter certainly was the icing on the cake ! Ann

  2. Beautiful pics & very enjoyable read! :)

  3. Loved looking at your photos. Great shots

  4. Just realised that I had missed this album Dave. Some great shots again. Love the Peregrines.