Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bank Holiday owls

Stef arrived as planned on Friday evening and in time for something to eat and drink before bedtime. On Saturday after an hour or so shopping in Ilkley (I bought a new moka coffee-pot, inspired by our recent holiday plus some espresso cups), we picked up Steve Brock then went over to Malham Show. Steve and I ran the fell race while Stef went to buy cakes. Steve won £8 for coming 5th and I wasn't last! Results should be here soon and Andy Holden was on the hill taking photos, which can be found here

After eating Stef's cakes and having a wander round the show ground we drove over via Malham Tarn and Littondale to Grassington, where pub food and drinks were taken (Black Sheep for the runners, Crabbies for Stef) before heading out on the Dales Way to find a suitable bivvy spot. Steve had a site in mind and it turned out to be perfect. The highlight of the evening was all three of us being woken up by a pair of calling tawny owl at 1am. They could not have been very far away at all and we could almost feel the answering 'wooooo' vibrating the still night air. The sky was crystal clear and the stars were just amazing

On Sunday after dropping Steve off at home to meet a climbing friend we went to see Dave, Sara and Douglas. Sara is expecting her second baby in November and looked very well. Douglas was busy walking round the kitchen and Dave was in good spirits after a mountain-bike ride

Yesterday (Monday; I find Bank Holiday weekends so confusing) Stef and I went to Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve as planned. We had a great day in spite of the weather, which was more like October than August. Highlights included a beautiful yellow wagtail, close-up views of a roosting tawny owl and loads of waders on the various scrapes including spotted redshank, ruff in various sizes / plummages and several snipe

The weekend was rounded off nicely with an unscheduled trip last night to the Swan to meet Brett and Sue. How long is it until Christmas?!

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