Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England

Happy Hour


A very happy hour, spent with a flask of tea watching the birds at Slapton Ley

1 bird

A heron, oblivious to the comings and goings of he village of Torr Cross

1 duck

A relaxed duck

2 more

A pair of gulls; Slapton Ley is a narrow stretch of fresh water separated from the sea by a shingle bank (and the A379), it’s the largest fresh water lake in the south west of England.

3 birds

The gulls were gorgeous, but it was a clutch of 7 cygnets that stole the show

4 cygnets

Walking is just not their thing

2 cygnets

but in every other sense they were elegant, even if they hadn’t yet fledged into their white plumage

4 necks


Author: uphilldowndale

Watching the rhythm of rural life, from the top of a hill in northern England. Having spent most of my life avoiding writing, I now need to do it! I am no domestic goddess, but if I were expecting visitors to my home, I would whisk round with the duster and plump up the cushions and generally make the place look presentable. I hope that by putting my words where others may see them it will encourage me to ‘tidy up and push the Hoover around’ my writing. On the other hand I may just be adding to the compost heap. Only time will tell! Pull up a chair, sit yourself down, I’ll put the kettle on.

5 thoughts on “Happy Hour

  1. Looks and sounds idyllic. Your shots of the cygnets are wonderful.

  2. Aww, the ugly ducklings–so sweet. And that is a lovely sounding name to the ears of an American–Slapton Ley. It looks like a place I’d love to explore!

  3. Wait, wait – you had me with the gulls, as I spend endless hours trying to capture the gulls of Lake Michigan to less effect – but the swans marching in unison, that is – that is – words fail me. Words never fail me. You have marching swans. This is a magnificent and mysterious world.

    • It was cupboard love as far as the gulls were concerned, I was at a spot where they get fed pretty regularly so they were just as happy to see me as I was them!
      Bo, I’ve more on Slapton Ley to come, it has a very special USA link.

  4. Terrific photos, especially the one showing synchronised waddling!
    It sounds like a perfect way to spend at hour to me! xx

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