WOLD RANGER RAILWAYS - Railway photography around Yorkshire and the UK

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Kites & autumn woods near Nunburnholme

Red Kite
After a clear and cold night the morning dawned clear and sunny with a light frost down here in Beverley, and with such gorgeous weather we headed up to the Wolds with the extended family for a good walk near the village of Nunburnholme. This area of the western Wolds is more gentle than the high Wolds, with woods and pretty villages tucked beneath the steep western escarpment which marks the point where the Wolds end and the Vale of York begins, and on such a gorgeous morning the countryside was looking stunning with excellent visibility across the aforementioned Vale. Indeed the Pennines on the other side of the Vale were clearly obvious, their dark outline looming above the otherwise flat countryside which lies between the Wolds and the Pennines, and from Nunburnholme Wold we could look southwards towards Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire, while to the north the North York Moors could just be seen peaking out from behind the more northern areas of the Wolds.

The Beech wood at the top of Nunburnholme Wold

Frosted Nettles

A frosty scene

As we set off on our walk the ground, at least in the shade of the woods and hedgerows, was still covered in beautiful hoar frost which glistened in the morning sunshine and on the edges of the roads the puddles were covered in ice, this causing much delight for the younger (and not so young) members of the family whom delighted in crunching through this wintry phenomena. From the top of Nunburnholme Wold we descended down through the wood following the public footpath, enjoying the autumn colours provided by Larch and Beech, and also noting as we went plenty of gamebirds such as Pheasants and Partridges, as well as at least one Jay (on the drive up here I saw another stunning Jay near the village of Etton, an uncommon bird on the eastern side of the Wolds).

Frosted Sycamore leaf

Frosty scene

Dark shadows in the wood

On our descent we also had some distant views of Red Kites and Buzzards, one of the Kites being persistently mobbed by a few Rooks &/or Crows, but it wasn't until we reached the public highway* that we would get some better views of these birds of prey, two beautiful Red Kites circling right above us at one point being a real highlight of the morning. For a change I actually remembered to bring along my long lens and after a bit of fumbling and cursing as I changed cameras I was able to fire away a few shots before they drifted away and out of sight.

Red Kite overhead

A pair of Kites

These birds have become a real feature of the Wolds

It is great to see these birds thriving all over the UK now and the future looks bright :-)

From this point we began to head back westwards, walking along the largely peaceful road which connects Nunburnholme and the neighbouring village, and enjoying the falling leaves which fell from the roadside trees. In the hope that catching some would bring some luck as regards the lottery or premium bonds, myself and the younger family members tried in earnest to catch some of the tumbling leaves but with little success (I fear a Canon 1DX will continue to remain beyond my grasp for the time being as a result). Eventually we reached the edge of Nunburnholme, passing the site of the former medieval nunnery, and from here the walk became less pleasant as the last part is straight up a very steep and long hill. Nevertheless the effort is worth it as one is presented with a fine view with every step taken, and after 15 minutes of hard slog we reached the top and could enjoy the scene once more before we headed home for a much deserved Sunday lunch :-)

Haws in the hedgerows

The view from halfway up Nunburnholme Wold with points of interest (I only had the 100mm and 400mm lenses with me today so I couldn't take any wider angle shots)

* I have been asked to point out that the Red Kites at this location can all be easily viewed from either the public highway or permissive footpaths and that you should remain on these public rights of way at all times. The land beyond is private and for the best interests of all, including the Kites themselves as well as the landowners, I (and the YRK) ask that you respect this and do not venture beyond the marked rights of way.