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.




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.




From a photography point of view, I found the Christmas period particularly frustrating, not able to get out for one reason or another.  I can usually fall back on the odd ‘wildlife’ session involving birds in the back garden (handkerchief).  This year they seem to have been very flighty – especially the thrushes.   This was the best I got of a Fieldfare – unfortunately, light levels have been pretty low so I’ve had to up the ISO above my normal shooting selection of 100, to get somewhere near a decent shutter speed (and my camera is rubbish on higher ISO levels – noise).