Water Rail


This little character is a Water Rail, one of a pair I watched at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve at Staveley, North Yorkshire.

I’ve recently resumed my pastime of birdwatching, after an absence of several years.  A new pair of binoculars and a freshly dusted spotting scope have already been put to good use as I brush up on my recognition skills.  I’ve given myself a couple of years to get into the flow again before I get into the twitching side of things.






A dull ol’ day, but happened to spy this Redwing on my Mountain Ash tree.  If I go for my camera birds have usually flown by the time I get back to the window but this time I managed to a get a couple of shots off.


Great Tit


As an aside to my current images, the Great Tit pair are going all out in feeding their young nestlings.  I have seen their little ones gaping at the entrance hole, so I think it won’t be long before they fledge.  Whether I get to see them…. we’ll see.




One of a number of larger trees that had been given the ring-barked treatment –  in this case, I suspect, as a nod to the ecological benefit of a dying tree. They are on on the perimeter of a recently cleared softwood plantation.  My guess is they were ‘weed’ trees, which could have just as easily been cleared with the rest of the trees, but were left as fodder for insects and potential nesting sites for all manner of beasties.   As can be seen from the protective tubes and stakes, the planting of the new ‘forest’ has been completed.  Whilst it’s always a shame to see trees cut down, it is part of the management of the area, which might otherwise turn into another area of scrub trees.  I have an inkling that the area of cleared trees will become very attractive to ground nesting birds – perhaps a Nightjar pair will take up residence.


Unreasonable Expectations


Unreasonable Expectations

‘You cannot be serious!’ – seems apt as a comment from the ducklings to their mother.  I watched these youngsters for a good 10 minutes or more, struggling against the flow and the sight of the waterfall in front of them, while their mother stood by. I have no idea how she thought her youngsters would get up the fall.


None But The Brave

I did admire the courage of the youngsters, some disappeared behind the fall before being shot out again by the flow.  If I’d had a bucket, a pair of wellies and some steps to get down to the river I might have been inclined to do a rescue job.  (Though, I’m sure I’d have made matters worse as the ducklings would have scattered and there was an outside chance the mother might abandon them altogether.)



Yes, they did come together again – though strangely the ducklings continued to swim up the ‘rapids’ – then I saw the Drake still on the top section – maybe it was him that started the whole episode off in the first place!!.