The morning started breezy and overcast with a chill in the air, when a group of twelve gathered at the quarry car park to enjoy the birds around the tarn at Malham, and after lunch, to record sightings at the Hoffman Kiln, Langcliffe.



It was a day for watching young chicks being busily fed in their nests. The new book “Nests” by Susan Ogilvy, is a wonderful illustrative and informative insight into the variation of nest building in our countryside.  We were able to observe two adult Redstarts feeding their young in a box to the left of the bird hide. Last year we watched the Redstarts nesting in a box to the right of the hide, but the undergrowth in this area had all been cleared and had left birds nesting in this region rather vulnerable.

Male Redstart

Female Redstart

Great tits had made their home in a wooden fence post, Blue tits in various boxes put up in the woodland, both species busy collecting food for young and darting in and out of their respective nesting positions. A Jackdaw nest with noisy squabs was observed in a building attached to Malham house. Although the Nuthatch was not nesting in its usual tree, I did see one, with beak full, popping into an old tree trunk next to the Kiln.

Great tit leaving nest in fence post

The male Peregrine perched on a tree hanging to the quarry cliff face eventually gave a spectacular display of catching its dinner and taking it to the female sitting on her nest.

Peregrine passing the time of day in tree above nest site

Peregrine with prey

Peregrine delivering dinner to the nest

A Tree pipit, spotted fly-catcher and hirundines were only a few of our other sightings, but the prize for the bird song I am giving to the Blackcaps.

Report by Stella Hughes, Photos by Ian Hughes