It was quite a full house, everyone plus a couple of partners were home and happy birthday was sang several hundred times from Friday night to Sunday night.
Saturday morning was fresh and I had a happy heart walking the fields and breathing in home. I saw 15 Redwings in a tree and a dead rabbit in one of the fields, this could have been morbid except it was attracting Red kites, who were swooping low to inspect the carrion.
Hoping to get some great photos I hid away down in a copse at the end of the field, but I think the Red kites had me sussed and seemed to refuse to land with me there.
I moved to a spot under a huge fern tree where the cover was so heavy the Red kites couldn't possibly see me.
I waited, lying with camera ready for the action shots, but after 40 mins all I got was a crick in my neck, fern needles up my nose and numb fingers from the cold.
The Red kites must've flown off for the morning.
I had already been out for about 3 hours at this stage and time wasn't my own so I went inside and myself and C went into Harrogate for the day.
When we got back, mum told me the Red kites had been back and she'd taken some pictures with my camera.
I looked at my camera and saw she'd taken 380 photos!
Looking through them, they nearly all had either a Red kite or a Buzzard.
I wasn't sick looking through them at all.
The shots mum got were some of the most amazing raptor photos I've ever seen.
So - Guest Photo time by my mum!!
*oh - and if you're in anyway squeamish about seeing the guts of a rabbit - don't look at these photos.
Buzzard in field eating a dead rabbit
Pretty damn amazing right?!
Look at the movement in the above photo!
Great picture Mum.
Now here's the ones Mum took from when the Red kites arrived back on the scene!
The above photo of the Red kite flying in the rain is my fave, and the one with the outstretched wings - nice one mum.
They're all amazing.
I'll have to go out and leave my camera for mum to use more often!
Other bird sightings over the weekend included some Canada geese flying overhead, then driving along the river Wharfe near Castley the sight of a male and female Goosander completely took me by surprise. I had to stop the car to have a look, there they were wimming along minding their own. Great colours to see on the river plus I've never seen Goosanders on a river before (actually have I ever even seen Goosanders before?!) and that section of the Wharfe doesn't tend to get too much other than Mallards and Mute Swans, so that was great. Oh, and a dead Barn Owl.
As always a great few days at home, and as always - too short.
Thanks everybody for everything.