Saturday, 5 June 2010

Lambley and the South Tyne,Thurs / Ingram,Fri.

This is a walk as detailed in the booklet "Birdwatching in the North Pennines"  Started at Coanwood and after joining the South Tyne Trail for a short time dropped down to the river itself and under Lambley Viaduct then up to the moors. The walk started very nicely in beautiful light and my first birds being Oystercatchers in amongst the rocks by the side of the river. A couple of Pied Wagtails and a Grey Wag before i left the water and climbed the side of the gorge to arrive in the small village of Lambley. Passing by the cottages House Sparrows cheeped their greetings then the sound of young Starlings echoed as i passed through a tunnel under the road which opened onto a field with a lone Sycamore centre stage with a number of Swallows circling it before dropping to the ground. As i crossed the field along with the Swallows which lifted were some other smaller birds which turned out to be Goldfinches. There was a very small stream running across the field and this turned out to be a watering hole for these birds.
From now on and for the next couple of hours i only encountered 5 more species. I crossed the A689 and started to climb slowly and i had sight of the first of these species, Lapwing. One by one they took to the air, some displaying and others worried for the chicks that would be on the ground below. I seemed to pass through a belt of these before the Curlew started lifting.Unlike the Lapwing with their erratic flight patterns the Curlew circled elegantly overhead emitting the evocative CUR-LEW cry. Next species to be obvious were both Skylarks and Meadow Pipits. The later starting to appear on fence posts as i continued over Lambley Common. To my right large patches of heather started appearing and i immediately though i'd see Red Grouse now but to my disappointment didn't. The Pipits were happy making use of the heather along with the fence posts in between the Skylarks rising singing then parachuting back to earth. The fifth species appeared on two separate occasions and each time i nearly had a seizure. The birds in question were Snipe which only decided to appear when i was literally on top of them then would shoot out of the ground cover. I dropped back down and crossed Glendue burn and joined the Pennine Way for a few km. before arriving in Burnstones then turning to head back along the South Tyne Trail again. Nothing much of interest on the return journey as the majority of this was on the gravel paths of the trail with the exception of crossing the viaduct this time. I did spot my one and only Dipper here some 110 feet below along with some fish in the river.
Friday i joined Jeff and his mate Lewy on a walk above Ingram which would take us through Prendwick along Leafield Edge through Chesters Burn and back. A 17 km. walk following my !8.5km. the previous day . A nice walk without being exceptional the highlight, apart from the views, was coming across a Lapwing chick by the side of the pathway at almost the highest point of the walk. A couple of quick images before leaving it for the parents, which were overhead, to drop down and care for.
All images below were taken on my Canon compact camera, a decision i regretted whilst missing out on numerous "in flight" shots of Curlew, Lapwing and Skylark due to that fact i hate using the screen on the back of the camera as is doesn't have a viewfinder.


        In early morning light
        from footbridge below viaduct
        from Lambley Common
        lone Sycamore


        Lapwing chick


  1. If I start raving on about your photos again I'm going to come over looking like a groupie!

    It's lovely countryside John. I love the scenery down here... it's so open and varied. I was brought up in Glasgow and lived near Fort William for a few years. That was beautiful too, but mostly pine forest. I much prefer the N.E. England.

    Of course the chicks are adorable! :)

  2. Thank you Lesley, as i said flattery etc.....
    My exploits in Scotland are mainly on the west coast and have never been to the Highlands, something i will put right some time soon i hope.