Sunday, 11 October 2015

Autumnal arrivals raise the excitement levels!

So autumn is upon us, the beauty of the trees grows each day, showers of leaves fall like golden snowflakes and the woodland paths become crunchy with the dead fall beneath our feet.

A magical time of the year and one of my favourites, so much to see as some lovely birds depart for warmer climes and the expectation of some who arrive from northerly locations increases.

The last couple of weeks have provided some real highlights, rewards maybe for the long hours and sometimes long journeys I undertake, sometimes in the company of a very trusted mate whose birding knowledge is far superior to mine. Our ability to drink beer after dropping the gear and whichever car at our homes is thankfully more equal!

Crane fly or daddy long legs, stuck in a web on my garden gate...
A short walk by the canal and a swan in lovely light...


A heron on the hill...

Our garden and pond have come to fruition with a water lily...

and small tortoiseshell and peacock butterflies on the buddleia


Pied and grey wagtails were seen on the river Wharfe...



A small copper butterfly on the same day...


And a buzzard did a fly by...

Me and my mate had a day on the east coast near Filey, first sighting a stonechat...

Then a kestrel came delightfully close...




Europe's smallest predator mammal...the weasel, only the size of a pencil but with razor sharp teeth and fierce in combat, what a privilege to see one about 10 feet away, hasty photographs as they do not stay around for long!


A reed bunting....

Gannets on or near the cliffs at RSPB Bempton Cliffs...




A wander around a local reservoir brought me this tranquil view of a great crested grebe...

We met with friends Ann & Roger Hiley when they were staying at Malham, we enjoyed a superb limestone walk from the village up to the Tarn and back, my inattention to detail meant I had no memory card in the camera for most of the walk!!! Whoops...Ann & Roger have a splendid website at...  http://www.loweswatercam.co.uk/   if you like the Lake District it is well worth a look.

Late insertion of said memory card....


A look up at the Cove and a look out from the stream at the base...

One wildlife shot on the day, a splendid green woodpecker...
Another day in Wharfedale and I have a fairly reliable little owl site over there..


Super birds, love their stare!

I had a distant jay flying by...



...and another weasel, the importance of keeping getting out in wild places keeps getting results!



Stoats are generally a bit larger and always have a black tipped tail for those not familiar with the difference.

What followed this in the next few days vindicated all my wildlife views, patience and persistence and a belief that wildlife is best seen in wild situations not affected by human intervention. Every day on the internet there are soulless images of various birds and animals, commercial hides where creatures are lured for the pleasure of the people who want to pay for the privilege of photographing something whose behaviour has become habituated to appearing on the chosen perches....you can even get advice on the likely focal length...wildlife and photography skills are secondary at these places in my opinion!

Anyway, rant over for now...my mate texted me to let me know a juvenile osprey was in our area, some had been seen a few days before but we had no luck seeing them, this time ... magic!








Josie and I had a day at Leighton Moss RSPB reserve, a favourite place for us, first sighting of the day bearded tits ( bearded reedlings to be correct!)...




We watched an otter through the telescope, sometimes the camera is best put away for the true wildlife lover, photographs are a bonus the things in our memories are truly treasured.

A fourteen point stag has been showing from some hides and we were lucky to see him with one of his hinds...

Kingfishers are quite regular visitors to the reserve too, the habitat takes a lot of management to attract so many species...a wonderful place....









The best I have achieved from a diving and flying sequence, so far!

More visits to see if the osprey was still around ensued...









It stayed for nearly two weeks, allowing another visit too!

A very fortunate experience, and all the more valued for that...wildlife should not be our toys to pose as we wish, or more pertinently a pay for pleasure experience...it is wild and should be earned by being out there, or occasionally getting lucky because you are you are out as often as you can.

The red deer rut is beginning, I could go to a deer park for easy photographs, and I understand there is still danger, I have been very close on the hills before and I cannot bring myself to photograph an animal that must walk through a shopping centre or park to escape...wild is without fences, wild is my nature and my blog reflects my views.

Many thanks to all who read, don't forget if you do comment that they come to me first for moderation, otherwise Scandinavian underwear adverts or worse could appear!

Thanks everyone :-)

2 comments:

  1. A simply amazing set. each time I thought they couldn't get better, then scrolled down and found more photos that were stunning beyond belief. I did like all the weasel photos and the kestrel in flight, let alone all the others including your osprey. It was good to see the little green woodpecker from our walk together at Malham. Don't forget your memory card for our next walk together ! Ann

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  2. Excellent as usual Dave. A joy to read & a wonderful set of pics to go with it. Keep em coming! :)

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