Tag Archives: british birds

A Dales Camping Trip. 30 Days Wild ~Days 23 to 25.Β 

Day 23 ~ Set up Camp.  Less than a week to go now, of the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days Wild challenge. It is becoming a challenge to find new things to do in the wild, but a camping trip can surely help with that.  However looking back to my wild moments of 2015 , I can see we went camping then too. And to the same place! Still, you can’t go wrong with a firm favourite, and Appletreewick in the Yorkshire Dales is somewhere we have returned to again and again.  Howgill Lodge Campsite is a 30 minutes walk along the river from the village, and is a great little site, popular with families and walkers. And it’s dog friendly too. πŸ™‚

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The chickens usually arrive whilst camp is being set up. πŸ™‚
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And bunnies play their part at keeping the grass short.

Howgill Lodge tries to do its bit for the environment and encourage wildlife. There are bird boxes around the site, wildflower areas, and solar panels for water, heating and lighting in the shower blocks.

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There is a Wildlife Board near the site entrance.

After setting up camp in the Yorkshire drizzle, we walked along the River Wharfe and ended up in one of the pubs in Appletreewick for a few drinks. Then we got comfy , the rain got worse, so we stopped for tea and more liquid refreshment! If you find yourself in the area I can definitely recommend the Craven Arms and Cruck Barn  for real ales, ciders and amazing food, adorned with wildflowers. πŸ™‚

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Pan-fried Cod with Mussels. Spot the cornflower.

And the walk along the river is always beautiful, even in the rain. Some things reassuringly never change. Lots of glorious Common spotted orchids in bloom and a young Wild Swimmer, forever immortalised by a poignant plaque, as the Wharfe winds it’s way  through the woodland.

Day 24 ~ Wildlife along the River Wharfe.  As is tradition when we visit these parts, we decided to walk to Bolton Abbey and back.  With a lunch break, and me forever stopping to take pictures ( much to the annoyance of my other half, tee hee) , we were probably out walking for about 6 hours. Anyone else would be much quicker!  Here are a few million photos from the day.

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Giant Bellflower.
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You don’t need a wrist watch on this walk.
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Common Sandpiper.
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Not sure about this striking blue flower, maybe a garden escape.
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A lesser spotted Hugo.
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Nuthatch.
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Bolton Abbey.
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Grey Heron.  
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Goosander.
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Great Tits.
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Betony.
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Willow Warbler.
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Hugo has a Wild moment !
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Skippers on Scabious.

Day 25 ~ More from the Riverside.  Before heading home we took Hugo a walk from nearby Burnsall village to Hebden.  There is a choice of wibbly wobbly suspension bridge or stepping stones to cross the river.  Which would you choose?

And look out for these beautiful yellow flowers that adorn the river bank. I have seen them on previous visits, but only just managed to Id them.

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Mimulus aka Monkey Flower.

How is 30 Days Wild going for you? Thanks for joining me in the Dales. πŸ™‚

30 Days Wild ~ Days 10 to 16. Wild-rose petal jam and a walk in the centre of Britain.Β 

Back to my own neck of the woods  now, the lovely Ribble Valley in Lancashire. Here are my wild moments from the last seven days. πŸ™‚

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Day 10 ~ The Running Hare. I have started reading this charming book by John Lewis Stempel. It is  the story of how a farmer attempts to transform a bare ,almost barren meadow , into a haven for the kind of wildlife that would frequent a field, if it wasn’t for the intensive farming methods used  today. This book takes me back to my own childhood, growing up on a farm, when  hare and partridges, lapwing and field mice were much more commonplace  than they are today. I hope he succeeds…

 

Day 11 ~ Wild Rose-Petal Jam. The hedgerows are full of fragrant Wild Rose shrubs , so I thought I would follow this recipe and make Rose- Petal Jam.

2 Cups Wild Rose Petals.

2 Cups Caster Sugar.

1 tbsp Orange juice.

1 tbsp Lemon juice.

Half a cup of Water.

Dissolve two cups of caster sugar in half a cup of water mixed with one tablespoon each of lemon juice and orange juice. Stir in the rose petals and put the pan over a very low heat. Stir continuously for 30 minutes, or until the petals have ‘melted’. Cool the mixture and pour into a small glass jar and seal. Rose-Petal jam is popular in the Middle East , especially with yoghurt.

The recipe worked, though took an awful lot of stirring. Also the jam is incredibly sweet, so I think if I make it again, I would lessen the amount of sugar used.


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Day 12 ~  Feeding the Birds.  Wil very kindly made this hanger for the bird feeders at the weekend. Much less precarious than having them swing about on the washing line! One visitor has taken to the Coconut shell filled with cooked fat and seeds.A bluetit ! Hopefully more will follow. πŸ™‚

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Meadow Cranesbill.

Day 13 ~  Wildflower Count. My blogger pal  Christine has posted on Facebook about an online Wildflower survey organized by Plantlife  , so I thought I would give it a go on today’s dog walk. Hugo and I followed Mearley Brook through the fields and then on to the River Ribble. I ticked off only 7 of the suggested flowers, which  was a little disappointing . But there were a few I spotted that were not on the list, such as Red Campion, Crosswort, Silverweed and Water Forget-me-not. I also saw the shiny copper coloured beetle below. Let me if know you take part…


 

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Possibly a Garden Chafer.

Day 14 ~ Meadow Grasses.  Flowers are beautiful, but have you ever noticed how pretty wild grasses are?  On an early morning walk with Hugo, I passed through a farmer’s field, which I think is waiting to be mown. Here are just a few of the different grasses that I very quickly took pictures of with my phone. Hugo loves racing trails through this meadow. We ended up soaked with dew and covered in grass seeds. πŸ™‚

 

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Day 15 ~ Wildflower Seedlings. It looks like the seeds I received in my #30dayswild pack from The Wildlife Trusts are sprouting in my flower bed. Either that or a variety of weeds. I am intrigued to see what we end up with!

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Day 16 ~  A walk in the centre of the Kingdom.  Did you know the exact Centre of the UK is in Lancashire?  National Grid reference SD63770 56550 Hanging Stones , to be exact!  The nearest village is the pretty Bowland settlement of Dunsop Bridge. We parked our car in the village car park and walked up the track adjacent PuddleDuck Tearooms, past the playground and into the Dunsop Valley. Here are a few photos of the wildlife we saw on our walk.

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A Willow warbler, I think.
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Thistle.
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Heath Bedstraw.
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Pied Wagtail.
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Mallards.
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Elderflower.
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Common Spotted Orchids.
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Grey Wagtail.
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Foxglove.
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Eyebright.
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Mistle Thrush, I think !

After our ramble we had earned coffee and cake at Puddleducks!  A tearoom complete with ducks on the Village Green. πŸ™‚

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Puddleducks , Dunsop Bridge.

Whoo I think that means we are just over halfway through ’30 Days Wild’ now. I just need to think of some ideas for the next 14 days!  All suggestions welcome. πŸ™‚
 

 

 

 

 

April Wildlife and Links & Likes.

Hi I’m mixing up my Links & Likes  with a few piccies I took on walks at the weekend. April brings sunshine, showers ….and lots of flowers. That certainly rings true here in the Ribble Valley. Enjoy the photos and check out the blog links for some of the posts that I have particularly liked  this month. πŸ™‚

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Cuckoo Flowers.
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Orange Tipped White Butterfly.

Binny tries out a Chocolate Afternoon Tea and I am seriously envious !

Eliza has had a break in beautiful Venice. 

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Violet.
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Wood Pigeon.
Swallow.

There’s still time to Vote for where Christine should do her next Wild Swim!  I’m thinking Brothers Water. πŸ™‚

More beauty on Laura’s Blog as she Walks among the Bluebells. 

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Hedgerow Blossom.
Robin.

Jo finds a A Glass Menagerie in Sunderland.

Nice to discover another blogger in The Ribble Valley ! Please check out  The Alfresco Family. They blog about all things Green. πŸ™‚ 

Wild Garlic.

Peacock Butterfly.

Janey has set herself the challenge of watching 52 Films By Women this year.

Grenson is enjoying his tour of The Lakes and The Lochs. πŸ™‚

Bluebells.
A Lesser Spotted Hugo !

 

Pheasant.

 Thanks For Dropping by. πŸ™‚

 


 

Spring has Sprung.

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Chaffinch.

Today was glorious and sunny. The kind of sunny that actually feels warm. πŸ™‚  I went for a walk down through the fields to the river. This is one of our usual dog walking routes, but I let Wil carry on ahead with Hugo ,so I could get a few piccies without a black labrador crashing through the undergrowth. πŸ™‚

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Delicate Blackthorn blossom.
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Blackbird.
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Barren Strawberry Flowers.
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River Ribble.
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Male Mallard.
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Robin.
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Ivy.
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Male Bullfinch.
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And another shot….just because it’s very rare that I manage to photograph a Bullfinch.  πŸ™‚
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First Butterfly sighting. A Small Tortoiseshell amongst the celandines.
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Wild Garlic Leaves.
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Wood Anemone.
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Spring Lamb.
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Mistle Thrush.

I also saw Sand Martins , back to reclaim their sandy nesting holes in the river bank, a male and a female Goosander flying down the Ribble and a tiny Goldcrest. I think I may do one post a month,following my wildlife sightings in this tiny corner of the world. πŸ™‚

Wildlife Moments of 2016.

Hi there and Happy New Year everyone!  I’ve decided to have a couple of weeks off blogging whilst a bit of decorating gets done ( hopefully!) but first here are some of my favourite wildlife pics from 2016. Looking through my photos, I hadn’t realised there would be so many great wildlife moments captured on camera.

I loved seeing the  Red Squirrels at Formby Point and Haweswater and later in Scotland. Being so used to their larger grey cousins, it was a real treat to hang out with the little tuftys.: )  Hillwalking near Haweswater in Cumbria also gave me my first sighting of a wheatear ,it was perched on a craggy stone wall singing. And spotting Grey Seals on the rocks below Corsewall Lighthouse in Dumfries & Galloway was a joy. πŸ™‚

Of course there were also the moments closer to home when I didn’t have my camera with me. I know darn it, I should always carry a camera! Earlier in 2016 whilst out walking Hugo, we were accompanied by a silent white shadow gliding slightly ahead of us. I can’t describe how magical it was to witness a Barn Owl hunting in the field.:) And another time I was out with Hugo down by the River Ribble, when we were treated to three Hares boxing on the other side of the river. An amazing sight!

If you click on the photos each should hopefully have a description.I hope I have identified everything correctly! Looking forward to lots more sightings in 2017. πŸ™‚

Have you any of your own favorite Wildlife sightings from 2016?

Wildlife pics every day in October. Week One.

Inspired by the lovely Louise at Ramblings of a Roachling   , I have decided to take a photo of something ‘Wild’ every day this month. Louise who is a veteran of June’s ‘Thirty Days Wild’ is continuing with the ‘Wildness’ through October on her blog. I thought a picture a day , would be a great way to appreciate the changing seasons, as well as being  a nod to her enthusiasm!

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1st October. A Robin rests on a signpost. Robins seem to be one of the less shy birds that I see when I’m out and about. Always asociated with Christmas, because of their cheery red breasts, it is also said if you see one on Valentines day…you will marry a sailor!

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2nd October. A Red Admiral butterfly feasts on Ivy flowers. The gentle October Sunshine means that butterflies are still visiting my back yard. πŸ™‚

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3rd October. The sunny weather this week followed beautiful Sunrises  with gorgeous pink skies. The line from the old rhyme ‘Red Sky In The Morning , Shepherd’s Warning’  did not ring true.

4th October. Typical that when I spied these two lovelies, I didn’t have my good camera with me. Whilst walking Hugo through the fields I came accross a  Dipper with it’s bright white bib, bobbing and dipping in Mearley Brook. Dippers are small aquatic birds that can walk underwater to feed. I also saw a Goldfinch flittering amongst the dried yarrow seed heads by the riverside. In Autumn they are full of inscects which the finches feed on.I was alerted to this pretty bird by it’s musical notes. The collective name for a group of Goldfinches is a ‘charm’ taken from the Old English Charme and the Latin Carmen, meaning magical spell or song. πŸ™‚

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5th October.  I could not resist this beautiful pink Hydrangea in The Castle grounds. The summer flowers are so showy and bloom into Autumn.

 6th October.  One thing I love about Autumn is the abundance of Autumn fruits, nuts and seeds. Clitheroe  Castle Park is home to lots of Grey squirrels and it looks as though most of the Horse Chestnuts have been feasted upon already, judging by the amount of empty shells scattered around. I did find a couple of shiny brown ‘conkers’ that the rascals must have missed though.:)

7th October. Quite a miserable day weather wise , but I did notice the changing colours of leaves this morning on my way to work.

What have you noticed wildlife wise recently?

You can also bob along to Christine’s Blog and find out what she’s been photographing in October. πŸ™‚

Down by the Riverside.

It’s been a while since I have taken my camera with me , along the banks of the Ribble. Β Yesterday afternoon sounded a good a time as any. It was hot and sunny and the picnicking world were out in force. I tried to avoid the crowds and see what wildlife was hanging out by the water. Changes are a foot too. The new houses that are being built are creeping closer to the river. I’m not sure what I feel about that.

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Speckled wood.
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Water Mint in flower.
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Water Forget-me-nots.
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Thistle Down.
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Female Goosander.
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Meadow Cranesbill.
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A rabbit wondering if this meadow will get built on too. 😦
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Comma Butterfly.
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Indian Balsam.
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Spot the canoeist.
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Bee on Meadow Vetchling.
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Blackberries.
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Meadow Sweet.
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Not the best picture. It’s a Peacock Butterfly.
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Moorhen.

Thanks for dropping by. Hope you are enjoying the sunshine. :0)