Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Malham Cove

So my brief stay at home is coming to an end already, before its begun. Since my dad has Wednesdays off we decided to go for a walk as a family, and we decided to go to Malham Cove in the dales. It was a lovely day, with sporadic clouds and a light breeze but otherwise clear and calm.
First we went to one of the Cafes in the town, a small affair with no real garden or anything, but there were good numbers of house sparrow around, and they were incredibly bold, even coming on to tables where people were still eating. I was unable to really get any shots they were so close, but I got a couple...
-House Sparrow
After we had finished we wandered up the river to the foot of the cove. The way up was very quiet, with Jackdaw, Pied Wagtail and Carrion Crow being the main birds seen. There was also Meadow Brown butterfly to add to that list.
Once we reached the woodland at the foot of the cove we began to pick up more species. In the woods there were Blue Tit, Great Tit and a Greater Spotted Woodpecker, which seemed to be drinking out of one of the trees, but it was probably just foraging. On the cliff face itself there were House Martins and Swifts in good numbers, and there was also Grey Wagtail and Spotted Flycatcher hunting. The Flycatcher numbered around 3 birds, and at one point came quite close to use with a large insect and started bashing it against one of the posts, the first time I have seen that behavior. 
-Spotted Flycatcher
I mentioned the Swifts, but they were the undoubted highlights of the morning, filling the air with constant screaming, while flying onto the cliff to their nests in cracks and fissures. They were often flying as individuals but one group of about 10 birds had clustered together and were being very vocal going in circles over the wood.
It was only a short walk and there was little else on the walk back. We spoke to the guys at the Peregrine watch-point but the birds had moved on, as had the redstarts. However, it turns out that one of the guys on duty applied for the same job that I begin tomorrow on Spurn, small world...
On the way back I called in at Soil Hill to see if I could get the gropper, but there was nothing doing. The only bird singing was Reed Bunting and the only birds seen were Reed Bunting and Kestrel.

Species List:
Malham Cove: Black-Headed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Swallow, Swift, Jackdaw, House Martin, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Robin, Blackbird, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, Grey Wagtail, Greater-Spotted Woodpecker, Mallard, Meadow Brown

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