January 26 ” bleak”

A bleak and bitter end in late January. After dank foggy and cold days comes the bitter cold. But with a good warm coat the cold brings her own delights and we spend a great afternoon in Bradford Dale. We are greeted at the dale head by a flock of Goldfinches with the odd Greenfinch mixed in for good measure. Down the dale the river level is surprisingly and worryingly low . Coots ,moorhens and Mallards are around as usual along with one or two “dabchicks” who seem very happy. I wonder about herons having  seen four near the A6 earlier in the week. Sure enough we come across a beauty near the village. Turning  for the return walk back to Middleton we are entertained by a pair of dippers who are completely unaware of our presence. The crowning moment of the walk is yet to happen. There is movement in the undergrowth at the river’s edge .At first we agree that this is a wren. To our delight this turns out to be a Goldcrest. He is foraging on old thistle heads and dead grass really close to us.My attempts at a photograph come to nothing but a delightful moment. Back home tea and oar biscuits warm us up !

Listening : Sonicbrat “murmerations”