Yet again I am on the move. I am moving back to Herefordshire as of the 1st Feb. I have missed being near the Forest of Dean and also missed a few of my friends. I have enjoyed my stay in Barnsley and am very grateful to my sister, Sue, for letting me stay with her these past 7 months.
I have found some lovely places during my stay in Yorkshire, Its a pity in some respects that I didn't get to explore more of it. I think that RSPB Fairburn Ings particularly had the potential to give me some great opportunities, but unfortunately it was a little too far to travel to on a daily basis. RSPB Blacktoft Sands was also very good. A little less than I had hoped for, but with some excellent birds to see and photograph.
The biggest disappointment has been RSPB Old Moor, when I arrived at the end of June there were lots of migrant birds around. I was repeatedly told that winter was the best time to visit. I have not been that impressed with what I've seen there so far this winter, and indeed what I have seen has not been suitable for any decent photography. If I could spend a day with the management of the reserve I would try and show them how some alterations to the set up of the reserve could improve it, but lets be fair we could all think of ways to improve the reserves we visit.
Other places I have visited and enjoyed have been Anglers Country Park, Broomhill Flash and Worsborough Mill and country park, although the latter was merely for the enjoyment I got when walking my dog.
So a few last pictures from here before I go. All of the following came from Anglers Country Park in West Yorkshire.
Great Crested Grebe with a catch.
A stunning Goldfinch.
Star of the day, Female Goosander.
Mallard in flight.
Mute Swan, very nearly in the valentine heart pose, I had a lovely time watching these two display. At one time there was a second female who kept trying to muscle in, but the male knew which of the two he wanted.
Talking of Swans in Valentine heart pose, check out Chris G's website for a recent posting of his showing two mute swans doing just that, cracking and the inspiration for my attempt. http://www.wildlife-imaging.co.uk/
Reed Bunting complete with bling. If I may just say one thing its that I hate seeing birds with rings on them. I understand that there are certain birds that organisations like BTO and RSPB need to learn more about but I can't see that there is much to be learned by ringing Reed Buntings in high numbers. At the feeder station at Anglers it seemed that almost every bird species that visited had high numbers of ringed birds, Blackbirds, Dunnocks, Reed Buntings, Tree Sparrows, Goldfinch, and even Blue tits.
Tree Sparrow also complete with Bling.
and also lastly a Tufted Duck.
Anglers Country Park is a beautiful place, there are 3 hides overlooking differing habitats and the surrounding area offers beautiful walks. The lakes get a number of visiting birds and it was from there that I got my Great Northern Diver last year.
I will miss Yorkshire, I have enjoyed seeing a number of birds that I dont get to see down south as regularly as I have up here. However I am excited about my return to Herefordshire, especially as spring is just around the corner and we all know how exciting that is.