Like so many of us I had to cancel my travel plans for Spring 2020. As a result, I was on lock down in Skipton, Gateway to the Dales. Armed with only my mobile phone, here is my Yorkshire wildlife photography.
I discovered that Chaffinches seem to be one of the friendliest birds. For this reason, I was able to get up close for a clear photo.
For me, Robins are the most beautiful birds in Yorkshire. They jump rapidly between trees but now and again you’ll find one who wants to pose for you.
You’ll see blackbirds everywhere in Yorkshire. They are quite relaxed about being close to humans therefore you have a good chance of getting close to one.
I was lucky to capture this Reed Bunting. As I set up my phone to photograph the River Aire he landed on a tree in front of me. It’s as if he wanted to be in my photo!
Lapwing (Yorkshire’s Big Five)
Apologies for the quality of this Lapwing photo. As I mentioned, all these photos were taken with my mobile phone and this Lapwing was a long way away. Lapwings are one of Yorkshire’s big five therefore I had to include it in my list no matter how bad the photo.
Red Grouse (Yorkshire’s Big Five)
I was lucky to get close to a Red Grouse and his partner one cold morning on Barden Moor. You may recognize the Red Grouse from the Famous Grouse Scotch whisky bottle. Lastly, Red Grouse are one of Yorkshire’s big five.
Curlew (Yorkshire’s Big Five)
Curlew’s are distinctive because of their speckled light brown color and long beaks. However, they keep their distance and tend to blend in with their surroundings. As a result they are incredibly difficult to photograph with a mobile phone. I did manage to capture a Curlew silhouette as he circled above me in the sky. Consider learning the Curlew call to aid in your search for one. Lastly, Curlew’s are one of Yorkshire’s big five.
Yorkshire’s Big Five
The other two of Yorkshire’s big five are the Golden Plover and Merlin. I’ll be sure to add them to my post as soon as I photograph them.
I didn’t see a heron for the first 3 weeks of lock down. Then, I saw 5 in 3 days both on the River Aire as well as on the Leeds Liverpool Canal.
There are hundreds of pheasants in the moorlands surrounding Skipton. I found the most in the moorland above Carleton.
I was lucky enough to see an owl before sunrise one morning. This was in fact sitting on a tree in Skipton Park. For this reason, he was used to noise as well as people walking by. However, he quickly flew off when he realized that I was watching him.
Apologies for the photo quality but these Oystercatchers were a long way away! Nonetheless, they are a wonderful sight.
One fine morning I witnessed low light from the sun shining on a Song Thrush atop a tree.
I’ve seen several deer whilst exploring Yorkshire walks around Skipton. I’ve seen them in woodland, open fields and also on the moors. This one was actually part of a pair which scattered when they saw me.
One early morning whilst walking in the fields around Skipton I saw 2 hares. As you’d imagine by the time I got my phone out they were a great distance away!
Whilst exploring the Yorkshire Dales you’re guaranteed to see rabbits. There are in fact thousands of them so if you like them you’re in for a treat.
One morning I saw a black rabbit. Unfortunately it was a great distance away so I couldn’t get a crisp shot. Nonetheless, it’s interesting and a little bit of variation to see a black rabbit out there.
I found this snail on the banks of the Leeds Liverpool canal.
Swans are one of the easiest Yorkshire wildlife to photograph. You’ll find hundreds along the Leeds Liverpool canal.
Did you ever wonder how a swan went to sleep? They actually curl up into balls and float along the water.
Early morning, swans will dip their heads in the water and have a little drink. This is a good opportunity to photograph them covered in water droplets.
You’re most likely to see a domestic goose in the Yorkshire Dales. This is also Rumpelstiltskin’s goose, Fifi which features in Shrek. Be careful as geese can be quite aggressive when approached.
You’re most likely to see goslings during spring time in Yorkshire. Be extra careful when approaching these as their parents will be very angry geese.
When a goose gets angry it may hiss at you. Look at those geese teeth!
Another common goose in Yorkshire is the Canadian Goose. These noisy birds congregate in large numbers and are therefore easy to photograph.
Ducks are probably the easiest wildlife to photograph in Yorkshire. Mallard is the most common type and they tend to be quite tame as humans feed them regularly.
Spring time in the Yorkshire Dales is duckling season. These ducklings swim quickly and their parents like to guide them away from anything moving. Nonetheless with a little patience, you’re likely to find hundreds swimming around.
I was lucky enough to see a Mandarin duck one early morning at Bolton Abbey.
You could argue that sheep are not Yorkshire wildlife and rightly so, they’re farm animals. However, there are people from all over the world who’ve never seen a sheep. When they visit Yorkshire, this is wildlife to them.
Visit Yorkshire during Spring to see cute Spring lambs everywhere. Some are curious and not afraid to approach you.
Have you ever heard the phrase ‘black sheep of the family’? You’ll find a few black sheep scattered throughout the Yorkshire Dales.
Have you ever seen a sheep which looks like a Dalmatian? Keep your eyes open for the Jacob sheep breed.
Another breed of sheep you may see in the Yorkshire Dales are the Herdwick sheep.
There are thousands of cows scattered throughout the Yorkshire Dales. One breed I photographed was the Aberdeen Angus.
Horses are in abundance throughout the green fields of Yorkshire. What’s more, you’ll also come across them on the country roads.
Of course, the Alpaca is not native to Yorkshire or even the UK. They are in fact from South America. Nonetheless, they’re a common sight in the Yorkshire Dales. Alpaca wool is the main reason they’re here. I was lucky enough to receive a smile from this Alpaca near Embsay Reservoir.
Yorkshire Dales Sunrises
Now you’ve seen my Yorkshire Dales wildlife photography taken during lock down, why not view my stunning Yorkshire Dales sunrises.