A Great Departure Through Burley

Boy cycling This weekend was the first weekend in a long, long time when I didn't have anything work related in the diary. So what did I do? Just take a few hundred more pictures to take up more mac book space and photo editing time that I already don't have! Well, I couldn't watch the greatest spectacle to depart Yorkshire in our lifetime without a camera! Continue reading A Great Departure Through Burley

Nesting Kingfisher in Burley… and in 3D

kingfisher sitting on branch 3D image I've never come across anyone who hasn't been filled with wonder and excitement after seeing a kingfisher. I can still recall every single sighting I've ever had. More often than not they're rather fleeting encounters, usually a blur of blue and orange flashing past. Continue reading Nesting Kingfisher in Burley… and in 3D

Wharfedale Wildlife Weekly (24th June): Blue Skies, Sun & Chicks

Female Red Grouse on Moor

Sunshine brings out the Chicks on Burley Moor...

OK so Burley Moor might not be the best place to hang out if you are looking for a date but if you're looking to spot some cute birds of the feathered variety I can thoroughly recommend it! There are currently a number of birds on the moor acting very protectively including lapwings, curlews and skylarks. This leads me to think that if there isn't already, there will soon be some pretty cool fledglings hopping about the moor! Recently I have had sporadic encounters with various red grouse chicks. These experiences tend to be more by accident than design. To me, they remain invisible until they're nearly underfoot! I was lucky enough to spot a single chick last week, as I knelt down to get a better camera angle three siblings, who had apparently been just centimetres away, made a break for it! It was a startling but very cool encounter. I was delighted to observe the arrival of bats feeding nearby our house last week. I noticed them through a window as we were heading for bed-ford-shire but couldn't resist grabbing my camera and trying to get a couple of photos. Still so much wildlife going on around Burley in Wharfedale so get out there! Also, it's Otley Walking Fest this week and there are some great walks planned. Here's some photo highlights from the week:

Wharfedale Wildlife Weekly (20th May 2013)

OK6A9113 Last week's weather played out like a typical English Summer's day... Rain being the predominant feature, with just enough sunshine to keep the optimistic hopeful! As I had to go London for a few days last week, I didn't have as much time to discover Burley's wildlife but I still managed to squeeze some wildlife, slash walks, slash photography in... Swifts have arrived, I see them daily now from my home studio skylight, they're brilliant! Much to my amusement (only because it was a sociable hour) I watched a greater spotted woodpecker hammering away at the metal top of a telegraph pole in the village, it made a brilliant noise. I've also noticed now two black bunnies, one on Burley Moor near the entrance by Coldstone Beck and one by Stead Hall Wood. Apparently they are more common in Yorkshire than other UK areas. There seems to be a debate on whether a lot of black bunnies are melanistic or just the result of a domestic pet embracing freedom! Having done a little inter-web research, it appears that black rabbits have been hopping about the UK for over 100 years, who'd of thunk it! As I said, I didn't get much time to get out in Burley with the camera last week but the interchangeable weather made for some cool landscapes and one evening I just couldn't resist heading out. As well as the landscape at the top of this post I took the following two... too! OK6A9128 OK6A9147   In this last photo, you can see a tuft of grass in the foreground. I walked right by it only to discover a Skylark, who quickly chirped up, beautifully requesting that I vacated his 'patch'!  To have such a close and serendipitous encounter was a real thrill! That's it for now, I hope to catch some new plant life with me lens next week, so watch this space!

Perils of Coffee

Country road, walk, burley in wharfedale, west yorkshire If you're anything like me, you'll know just how dangerous 'popping out' for a coffee is. My most recent coffee excursion led to a browse around Waterstone's (or Waterstones as I believe they are re-branding themselves). Anyway this 'browse' led to the purchase of £30 worth of OS maps and a rather cool book on Yorkshire Dales walks. No wonder I got an espresso maker for my birthday! The following morning I woke up like it was Christmas, all excited about doing a new walk in the Dales from our new book, using my new OS map. Caroline was more like the parent at Christmas, who would like just five more minutes in bed and wishes the kids would go and quietly entertain themselves with their new pressies. Anyway a quick wash, a round of toast that barely touches the sides and we were off! Or so we thought. It seemed the car didn't share our enthusiasm for the Yorkshire Dales, so 10 minutes into our journey we had to turn back and book the car in for a check up. Luckily due to my premature, or arguably immature, overexcitement it was still relatively early. Remembering that we had been given an AA Walks Around Leeds and West Yorkshire book for Christmas we started hunting through the walk cards looking for a walk that was relatively accessible on public transport. We found one that started and finished at Burley in Wharfedale train station. The walk begins on Hag Farm Lane leading up to and through the farm, over some fields that offer the residing sheep lush panoramas and on through a variety of gates that remind you that you still haven’t burnt off as many of those festive calories as you would have liked. The highlight of the walk is Burley Moor. This relatively busy heath provides some great views, even on a hazy winter’s day (is that a Simon and Garfunkel song?) with low thin cloud you could still take in the sights. We took a moment as we crossed the moor to take in the scenery. There were plenty of different paths that offered interesting diversions and investigations. Pretty soon the moor quietened down as people went off exploring their own routes. We came across a beautiful icy stream cutting its way through the hillside, which was particularly fascinating. The walk then took us back onto a B road and a country lane, and then over some pretty lowland fields that we’d previously been looking down on.  We eventually ended back amongst some pretty impressive houses that surround Burley in Wharfedale station. This was a very enjoyable walk, not too short and not too long with some lovely scenery and a good mix of terrain. Typically my keenness to photograph EVERYTHING meant we missed the hourly train by 5 or 10… But with every cloud… Rather with every missed train there is usually a good pub and Burley in Wharfedale is no exception, we headed into the village where we went to the friendly Red Lion Hotel for a pint of Midnight Bell from Leeds Brewery while resisting the mouth-watering specials on the board! A wonderful end to a day that began rather ominously.