Head for the hills

by on May.29, 2013, under Birdwatching, Cheviot Valleys, Northumberland

Away to the northwest of our base in southeast Northumberland is the skyline-dominating range of the Cheviot Hills.

I collected Susan from Cheviot View and we headed towards the Harthope Valley via the ford at Coldgate Mill.  A stop along the road produced Redshank, Oystercatcher, Lapwing and the always impressive Brown Hare.  In glorious weather we walked for nearly five hours around various parts of the valley.  Curlews sang their eerie song from the heather clad slopes above, Tree Pipits delivered their challenge to rivals, and serenade to potential partners, the descending silvery cadence of Willow Warblers shimmered in the air around us, a Whinchat flitted from rock to heather, and back again, Grey Wagtails lived up to their name – wagging their tails from rocks and fence posts along our route – and the ‘swee-wee-wee-wee-wee’ of Common Sandpipers echoed around the sides of the swiftly flowing stream in the valley bottom.  As the afternoon wore on we watched as a Kestrel patrolled the steep valley sides, a Sparrowhawk soared across the valley and a Common Buzzard hovered over a distant plantation.

Delivering peace, solitude and some excellent wildlife-watching opportunities, the hills are a great place to enjoy your wildlife and get some exercise too 🙂

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