It's always a pleasure to venture north, my wife (being a lass of Yorkshire origins) likes to visit the land of flat caps at least once a year. This time it has been lovely but very wet.
There is a very healthy population of Tufted Duck on the spring-fed lakes. They were actually quite awkward to photograph, because they were always hastily dashing away from me whenever I pointed my camera. I spotted Coot and Moorhen in the same area of embankment, and more Curlews were dotted along the network of dry-stone walls. Pied Wagtails were surprisingly defensive: Distinctive pairs were doing the hover and parachute (seen elsewhere in the Motacillidae family) constantly making alarm noises, suggesting perhaps they have young around the car park, no doubt they are currently burning up a lot of energy attempting to chase people away.
We did the walk up to the cove, following a pathway surrounded by some stunning Yorkshire scenery. The RSPB were present on the day we visited, with members of Malham Peregrine Watch (@malhamperegrine) who had set up a few scopes for visitors to get a glimpse of a fine Peregrine fledgling which was sat proudly on a limb in front of the right-hand rock face. At the base of the Cove I spotted a Grey Wagtail, and then came the treat... listening to a distinct 'tsee tsee' I initially thought Kingfisher, which has been seen there on occasion. But then a small bird flew out of the embankment literally in front of my feet, and landed on a post the opposite side, it was a Spotted Flycatcher.
On reflection, I have sometimes found birding inland more of a challenge because many species seem more spread out and can demand a sharper eye and a longer lens. I still feel that seabird and wader watching is more exciting. But I am glad I took the opportunity to enjoy birding in such a superb part of the UK (even though most species I spotted were the basics). I will be going again soon, but probably on my own so I can engage in a proper itinerary.