A visit to Malham on a sunny day in June inevitably means lots of visitors so perhaps it is not surprising that the total count was only 20 species. However this was real countryside not a managed reserve with feeders and protection. The exception to this is the star species the Peregrines. The RSPB and volunteers provide several telescopes, give lots of information, and find the birds if requested. Rock climbers are encouraged to keep away from the nest and perching areas and it is illegal to interfere with the birds their nests and eggs. We had excellent views of four birds, adults and young; four eggs had hatched this year to a regular male but a new female to the site. We were told that plenty of food had been brought in earlier so all were sitting around and digesting.
A pair of Spotted Flycatchers were seen flitting between food sources and their nest in an old Hawthorn tree near the base of the Cove and a Green Woodpecker was climbing a tree close to the RSPB telescopes. Pied and Grey Wagtails were seen along the stream.
The morning had been spent walking, very slowly, to Janet’s Foss and sadly we couldn’t find any Redstarts. The most noticeable birds were the Wrens, so loud of voice everywhere but we did catch sight of a few. The other absence was the Dipper, were we too late or early or were there just too many people and their dogs enjoying the outdoor exercise and the sun? Who can blame them, some enjoy birdwatching, others good exercise and their pets. What a fabulous area we live in with space for all interests.
Photos :Ian Hughes