Remote birdwatching on Northumberland’s borders

by on Jun.13, 2010, under Birdwatching, North Pennines, Northumberland

The North Pennines may not have the highest species density of any of the areas that we visit but, in terms of peace, tranquility and solitude, it takes some beating.

On Friday morning I drove to Corbridge to collect Lesley and David, two of our Prestige clients, for a day of birdwatching around Northumberland’s remote border.  As we headed southwest the landscape became wilder and with less of any obvious human influence.  Curlew, Lapwing, Golden Plover and Snipe may be common sights on the coast in the winter but, on remote moorland in the spring, they’re transformed into something other-worldly.

Some of the North Pennines flowers are quite stunning as well; Mountain Pansy, Scottish Asphodel, swathes of Cotton Grass waving in the breeze and, my own favourite, Spring Gentian.  we found no less than 20 gentians, including a group of 11 at a spot where last year there were only 4.  As we used a hand lens to admire the remarkable structures of lichens on the rocks in a deep narrow gorge, the bird species that are typical of that habitat type entertained us; a family of Dippers were feeding in the fast-flowing water, with the juveniles clearly hesitant to take the plunge, Grey Wagtails were flycatching and a Ring Ouzel flew from a pile of boulders.  The afternoon continued with a family of Red Grouse and then a small group of Black Grouse. As is often the case these were all Blackcock, engaging in some half-hearted lekking in the afternoon sunshine.

After returning Lesley and David to their holiday cottage, stumbling across a Hobby mobbed by hirundines on the way, I headed home, then out to a 30th birthday party (Happy Birthday Kerry!), then to The Swan before going home, checking everything in readiness for Saturday’s 2 Safaris, and hitting the pillow.

:, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Archives

All entries, chronologically...