Wednesday, 18 August 2010

High Cantle, Breamish Valley

Whilst out walking a few weeks ago with Mr. Cheviot we ascended Cushat Law and took in Bloodybush Edge before returning via High and Low Bleakthorpe. Towards the end of the walk there was plenty of bird activity on the Breamish and i had promised myself a return visit to bird only. While you are out walking you not only see some fantastic scenery but come across loads of interesting fauna but you don't have the time to take time to watch it at any great length. Unfortunately the weather hasn't been the best over the last few weeks so i only got to get back on Sunday so many of the species i had seen have since moved on.
I had a cracking day, parking up at Hartside, a spot used by loads of people, quite often to visit Linhope Spout. I headed off in that direction to start with but turned off over the grouse fells skirting Ritto Hill and on to High Cantle. Obviously at this stage the 2 main species showing were Red Grouse and Red-legged Partridge, with the grouse lifting at regular intervals from the heather with the "old Ticker" being tested on more than one occasion. You know birds will be flying up from cover but you still get a shock every now and again when one.... or twenty lift from under your feet as they burst into the air. Its a lot quieter up here now with Curlew and Lapwing both missing. A lack of Skylarks is also noticeable but still plenty Meadow Pipits keeping an eye on you as you pass through their patch.
On dropping down to the valley and the river, now the House Martins and Swallows appear as you start coming across some dwellings. A few more Meadow Pipits, Grey and Pied Wagtails and a lone Common Sandpiper were all seen "messing about on the river", but overall it was quiet so my attention switched to the butterflies that had started to catch my eye on the clumps of thistles now lining the riverbank. Signs of the oncoming of autumn showing here with flower heads starting to turn to thistledown in a number of cases and the insects having to search for the nectar.
The sun had broken out around midday and by mid afternoon it had become a glorious day and had made for a tranquil return as i sauntered along in the sunshine coming back via Alnhamoor to Hartside. The fact that i only bumped into 8 people while out made for a superb day. My day out had taken me 15.5 km. with an ascent of 515 metres the highest point being 482 metres at High Cantle.

      Red-legged Partridge

      Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell on thistles.

      Fungi with a cuppa.


  1. nice one Jon, as always great gramma and excellant pics, i love the fungi, when are we going out again?

  2. Yes, it does give you a start when the birds burst out from the undergrowth!

    "Signs of the oncoming of autumn showing here with flower heads starting to turn to thistledown..." I like this description and I also like the photo of the fungi. I still think of them as 'fairies houses'. :O)

    Sounds like you had an enjoyable and peaceful day.

  3. Geordie,
    Cheers, i wouldn't have discovered all this fantastic fauna and flora along with the pain and suffering if it wasn't for your good self.
    When you get 15 Red Grouse taking to the air within a few feet of you, well..........change of underwear occasionally. Although it was quite summery, it did have an underlying feel of autumn. As i mentioned, along this stretch of the Breamish there were lots more birds not that long ago and they have disappeared with the exception of a few species. The House Martins and Swallows will leave soon.
    One of the things i look forward to from now on is the fungi appearing. Mostly hidden under the trees somewhere in dark conditions. It was nice to lie on the grass and get down to it in sunshine. I would lie on the ground more to take images if i was able to. It gives a nice perspective to things.

  4. Well I hope you take a spare set of undies with you!

    It does make a difference getting down to the same level as the subject. I've yet to try it. It's one thing a man rolling about on the ground but for a woman, it seems a bit uncouth. :O)

  5. John thats a cracking picture of Dragon flies shagging.