Moorland meanderings; North Pennines Safari 27/05/2014

by on May.29, 2014, under Birdwatching, Cheviot Valleys, North Pennines, Northumberland

Northumberland may be a coastal county, but heading inland you soon encounter some big impressive landscapes.  I collected Gordon and Mandy, who were last out with us on a Druridge Bay trip in June last year, and we headed through the foothills of the Cheviots, down to the Tyne valley and then up into the North Pennines.

We’d all packed waterproofs…but it turns out that the weather forecast isn’t always right 🙂  On a big, rolling landscape, under big, big skies, Common Snipe, Curlew, Redshank, Oystercatcher andLapwing were all displaying, the plaintive cries of Golden Plover carried across the moorland on a cool breeze, Skylarks soared overhead, delivering their rich repertoire against the backdrop of azure sky, Cuckoo and Merlin attracted the attention of angry Meadow Pipits asBlack Grouse fed contentedly in grassy fields adjacent to the moors.  Golden Plover andRed Grouse kept a watchful eye as their chicks scrambled up and over tussocks of heather and an impressive array of flowers, including Spring Sandwort, Mountain Pansy, Bird’s-eye Primrose and more Spring Gentians than we’ve seen in the last six years, provided interest at our feet.  It’s an experience that really has to be, well, experienced, in order to appreciate what the area has to offer.

The North Pennines could almost tempt me to move away from the sea, almost 😉

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