The weather today was not as warm as it was midweek when I was gardening in a tee shirt. Today's brisk breeze meant that I was donning coat, hat and gloves for today's daily exercise allowance; a 5 mile walk from my home.
From Idle I headed to Ainsbury Avenue, a quiet road which skirts Buck Wood in Thackley which yielded sightings of a pair of jays and a solitary long-tailed tit- I'm sure it's fellow "long tails" must have been loitering nearby. Further on towards the waste water treatment works a pair of treecreepers were each scurrying up their respective trees. The route continued through Esholt Works and onto the canal where I turned right for only a short distance before turning off before the swing bridge. Across the suspension bridge on the riverbank there was an abundance of celandine and small patches of wood anemones as well as a profusion of wild garlic mostly in bud but with occasional open flowers. On the river, a solitary goosander was seen and a mandarin duck was hanging out with a mallard.
Chiff chaffs were singing well and a wren was seen gathering nesting material.
The path swung away from the river to reach a locked security gate. I would have been forced to turn around but fortunately someome with an access fob was passing through in the other direction and I could continue on to The Avenue to head into Esholt Village. En route a diversion to a nearby pond was worthwhile when I spotted a woodpecker and another treecreeper on a tree on the far side. The allotments looked well kept and the resident poultry were very attractive. After a quick look at the village centre I continued on Station Road alongside the river. Unfortunately I didn't see any kingfishers but I did see a pair of grey wagtail. At Baildon I crossed the river bridge and then the canal bridge and took the path to Thackley past Brackendale Mill Pond where I have previously seen kingfishers but today there were only coots and moorhen. There had been spits and spots of rain and a brief flurry of hailstones but otherwise it had been reasonable walking weather. See some photos from the walk here.